Valid Expectations, a seven-time leading Texas stallion, reached another prominent milestone when he passed deceased Sunny's Halo to become the state's all-time leader by progeny earnings, according to Denis Blake, editor and publisher of Southern Racehorse.
Twenty-year-old Valid Expectations, who stands at William S. Farish's Lane's End Texas near Hempstead, topped Sunny's Halo's mark of $29.5 million in February and already has upped his total to more than $29.7 million.
"He's basically been the top sire in Texas the past decade, and it's great that he passed a stallion like Sunny's Halo, who was a great stallion too," Blake said. "Valid Expectations is more of a Texas stallion because he was trained by Steve Asmussen from Texas, is owned by Texas owners, and basically stood his whole career in Texas. He was raced by the Ackerley brothers, Lee and Bob, who are from the Houston area."
The Ackerleys bought Valid Expectations for $225,000 at the 1995 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s February sale of 2-year-olds in training sale from Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd, agents. He began racing that July and ended the year with four wins from seven starts including scores in the Old Hickory Stakes and the Sugar Bowl Handicap, both at Fair Grounds.
Valid Expectations, who proved best sprinting, twice competed as far as a mile, winning the 1996 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and finishing 11th in that year's NYRA Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack. During his career, he won seven stakes and placed in nine others and was retired with a record of 12-3-6 from 27 starts and earnings of $596,092.
Valid Expectations, who was bred in Florida by Harry T. Mangurian Jr., stood his first two seasons at Mangurian's Mockingbird Farm in Florida before relocating to Farish's Huisache Farm, which later was named Lane's End Texas. He is owned by Farish in partnership with the Ackerleys, Robert McNair's Stonerside operation, Greg Goodman, and Joe Archer.
By Mockingbird stallion Valid Appeal out of the stakes-winning Iron Constitution mare Mepache, Valid Expectations got out to a quick start as a stallion, topping the freshman sires' list by progeny earnings and by number of winners with 27. His lifetime mark of winners from foals (excluding this year's 2-year-olds) is an excellent 64% .
"He's a versatile stallion and passes along his soundness, intelligence, athleticism, and conformation," said Lane's End manager Danny Shifflett. "He's 20 but looks like he's 10, and he's the type of stallion who knows how to take care of himself and is fertile. He'll cover 20 to 25 mares this year."
Valid Expectations first led the Texas sires' list in 2002 when his oldest runners were 3-year-olds. He topped the list the next three years and after finishing second in 2006-07, then headed the list from 2008-10.
Valid Expectations' success also is underlined by his stakes runners. He has sired 83 runners that have won or placed in stakes including 43 that are stakes winners. The group is led by graded winners Saratoga County, The Daddy, and Expect an Angel.
Saratoga County was a highweighted sprinter in Dubai after winning the 2005 Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) and was a three-time graded winner along the East Coast, winning the General George Handicap (gr. II), the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), and the Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III, in track-record time). The Daddy won the Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs, and Expect an Angel took the Chaposa Springs Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course.
Valid Expectations ranks third on this year's Texas sires' list.