Valid Expectations

Valid Expectations * Photo by Ackerley Images

Valid Expectations, Texas’ all-time leading sire, has been retired from active stud duty after a brilliant career. The 20-year-old son of Valid Appeal has been relocated from William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Texas near Hempstead to Greg Goodman’s Mt. Brilliant Farm in Kentucky. Goodman bought out the partnership group that included Farish, Lee and Bob Ackerley, Joe Archer and Robert McNair. Earlier this year, Valid Expectations passed 1983 Kentucky Derby winner Sunny’s Halo as the state’s all-time leading stallion by progeny earnings.

“You can’t put into words what he did,” said Lane’s End Texas Farm Manager Danny Shifflett, who has been with Valid Expectations since the stallion came to Texas in 2001 at what was then called Huisache Farm. “Almost everybody involved, whether they bred to him or owned him, experienced some type of success and joy. The horse was phenomenal.”

Valid Expectations was the first “big” horse for two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, who conditioned the sprinter for Texas brothers Lee and Bob Ackerley through a career in which he won 12 of 27 starts with seven stakes wins and earnings of $596,092.

From 13 crops to race, Valid Expectations has sired the earners of $30.3 million with 43 stakes winners and 41 stakes-placed horses. His leading runners include millionaire Saratoga County, a three-time graded stakes winner in the United States who also captured the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in the United Arab Emirates, Super Derby (G2) winner and successful sire The Daddy, and Texas Horse of the Year Leaving on my Mind.

Valid Expectations has topped the Texas sire list for virtually his entire tenure in the Lone Star State after standing his first two seasons in Florida. He topped the North American freshman sire list in 2001 by both winners (27) and progeny earnings ($1,397,911).

Valid Expectations has also established himself as a top broodmare sire, as his daughters have produced graded stakes winners Quantum Miss and She Digs Me, as well as Mylute, who finished fifth in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1), third in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and second in the Louisiana Derby (G2). Two-time stakes winner Don’t Tell Sophia, third in this year’s Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), is also out of a Valid Expectations mare.

Shifflett said Valid Expectations may still be bred for polo ponies in Kentucky.

“His bloodline for polo is in demand worldwide,” said Shifflett. “The leading proponent of Valid as a polo sire is Adolfo Cambiaso (currently ranked #2 in the world). His horses go to Argentina and England and everyone knows his horses. We’ve gotten calls from people all over wanting his offspring. They have the temperament, conformation, athleticism, right size, everything. If you watch them on the racetrack, they are very ratable with tactical speed; they do everything you ask of them.”

There is not much the progeny of Valid Expectations could not do, according to Shifflett.

“You look at all the records he surpassed in Texas, and he did it all the hard way,” he said. “He did almost all of that in Texas. He could do it all – racehorses, eventing horses, polo ponies, broodmares. They ran on all surfaces, turf, dirt, synthetic. It was really sad to load him on the trailer, believe me.”