02/16/2012 6:32PM

Texas: Valid Expectations still going strong


Valid Expectations has been around long enough now that it’s not just his runners who define him as a stallion.

“His daughters are making excellent broodmares,” said Danny Shifflett, farm manager for Lane’s End Texas in Hempstead. “There are several really top stakes horses out of Valid mares already, like Quantum Miss and She Digs Me.”

Valid Expectations, 19, has been one of the Southwest’s most prolific stallions since he came to Lane’s End Texas from Florida in 2001. Now 19, he was Texas’s leading general sire for the ninth time in 2011. Valid Expectations had 56 winners from 102 runners last year, for progeny earnings of $1,443,279. His chief earner was Miss Lederhosen, a stakes winner of $72,001 trained by Steve Asmussen.

Valid Expectations was Asmussen’s first big horse as a trainer. Asmussen conditioned Valid Expectations for Ackerley Brothers Farm and won seven stakes with him, including the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs in 1996. In all, Valid Expectations won 12 of 27 starts and $596,092. He began his stud career in Florida, and after siring two crops was brought to Texas by a partnership that included Will Farish of Lane’s End. To date, Valid Expectations has amassed $28,834,339 in progeny earnings. Among his leading offspring is Saratoga County, who earned $1.6 million, and The Daddy, who won the Grade 2 Super Derby in 2005.

Valid Expectations commanded a stud fee of $17,500 from 2005 to 2008, the highest published fee ever in Texas. His fee has dropped the last few years because of the market downturn, and for the 2012 season he will stand for $7,500. His book is being cut back out of respect for his age, and Shifflett looks for Valid Expectations to breed between 40 and 50 mares this season instead of the typical 80 to 85.

While the horse is in the twilight of his breeding career, Shifflett said he thinks Valid Expectations still has chapters to write.

“Just looking at him, he easily has four or five more years in him,” he said. “For his age, he’s excellent. He still doesn’t look over 10, 12.”

Valid Expectations will breed mares from around the Southwest this season, and Lane’s End Texas also has received inquiries from as far away as Pennsylvania. Valid Expectations’s influence is even extending to other equine markets, outside of the racing industry.

“He has some of the best polo ponies in the world,” Shifflett said. “He has horses under some of the best polo players internationally. Last year, some of his yearlings we sold at the sales went to polo buyers.”

Valid Expectations is part of a stallion battery at Lane’s End Texas that includes Grasshopper, Too Much Bling, Sing Baby Sing, and Supreme Cat, who will be standing his first season at Lane’s End.

New to state for 2012

Eaton's Gift Johannesburg-Kit's Girl, by Carson City Key Ranch, Salado $2,000
Littleexpectations Valid Appeal-Mepache, by Iron Constitution Asmussen Horse Center, Laredo $1,500
Oratory Pulpit-Arrested Dreams, by Dehere Eureka Thoroughbred Farm, Fredericksburg $3,500
Scrimshaw Gulch-Rogue Girl, by Sham Double S Thoroughbreds, Poynor $1,500

New stallions for 2012

Indygo Mountain A.P. Indy-Mountain Girl, by Mountain Cat Valor Farm, Pilot Point $1,200
Penitent Man Pulpit-Millie's Trick, by Phone Trick Key Ranch, Salado $1,500