Bloodlines: A Confounding But Elite Producer

by | 02.23.2016 | 11:03am
Cash Back is the fifth stakes winner of out the Mt. Livermore mare, Hidden Assets (photo by Kenny Martin)

For a sire to achieve a double with stakes winners on a single day or over a weekend is a notable accomplishment, but for a broodmare, the feat is nearly unheard of.

For stallions on Feb. 20, the high-class sire Candy Ride was represented by a pair of stakes winners, both at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. The chestnut Gun Runner earned his first stakes success in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes and propelled himself into consideration as one of the year's classic prospects. The same day, the stallion's 6-year-old gelded son Chocolate Ride won the G3 Fair Grounds Handicap.

Not to be outdone, the A.P. Indy sire Congrats went one better when Venus Valentine won the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds, Haveyougoneaway won the Spring Fever at Oaklawn, and Cash Back won the Melody of Colors at Gulfstream.

The 3-year-old Cash Back is now unbeaten in three starts, and the Melody of Colors was the filly's first stakes. Bred in Kentucky by Bert, Elaine, and Richard Klein, Cash Back is one of five stakes winners out of the Kleins' outstanding producer Hidden Assets, a graded stakes winner by leading sire Mt. Livermore.

Hidden Assets is the key to the story because, on the same day that her daughter by Congrats won at Gulfstream, the mare's 5-year-old Cash Control won a stakes at Fair Grounds. A daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, Cash Control won the Daisy Devine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on firm turf, marking her seventh victory in a dozen starts and raising her earnings to $245,700.

The dam of Cash Back and Cash Control has practically dedicated her life to squashing statistical probability. First, she had five colts in a row, then five fillies. Would like to score the odds on that? Next, she beats the odds with five stakes winners from nine foals to race, when the average for the breed is about 3 percent.

For those who follow birth rank (which foal is born in order of the mare's produce), Hidden Assets has been a nightmare. She has stakes winners from her third, fourth, sixth, eighth, and ninth foals. And for those who follow age of mare in terms of selecting racing prospects, it's about time to slit the wrists. The mare not only produced stakes winners when she was younger – 8, 9, and 12 – but her last two came when she was 14 and 16.

The 19-year-old Hidden Assets is not unique among elite producers by the number of stakes winners that she has to her credit, but she is making statisticians pull their hair out as she continues racking up successes with her progeny on the track. Too bad.

All the stakes winners raced at 2, all won on turf, most won in slop, and generally they were able to switch between dirt, turf, and synthetic when those surfaces were available. All were graded stakes-placed, except for Cash Back, who also has raced only on turf so far.

The mare's first stakes winner was Due Date (El Prado), then came Country Day (Speightstown), Good Deed (Broken Vow), Cash Control (Pioneerof the Nile), and Cash Back (Congrats). All these were foaled and raised at Clarkland Farm outside Lexington, where Hidden Assets resides presently.

Clarkland's Marty Buckner said the Kleins keep about 15 mares at the family-owned and -run farm in Fayette County. Buckner said, “Hidden Assets is a really nice mare: medium-sized, nice-looking, correct, and a very good momma. She consistently produces good, strong, typey foals, and one of the things we're currently looking forward to are the first runners by Hidden Assets's son Country Day,” whose first crop are 2-year-olds of 2016. Country Day is a son of Speightstown and stands at Crestwood Farm near Lexington.

The unbeaten Cash Back “was a really nice yearling,” Buckner noted, and she is in charge of yearlings for Clarkland. The Kleins' stock “leave here as weanlings or as yearlings,” Buckner said, “and go to Amy Lopresti. All are out by June of their yearling season, and Amy breaks them and puts them into early training, some on the farm and others at Keeneland.”

That process allows a seamless transition between farm and racetrack, and the results of the homebreeding operation speak for themselves. Among the 2-year-olds in training currently is another out of Hidden Assets.

The mare has a 2-year-old gray filly by leading sire Tapit named Cash In, a bay yearling colt by Broken Vow, is in foal to Proud Citizen and due at the end of April, and is booked to Hard Spun for 2016.

Among the mare's visible assets for the Kleins are her three stakes-winning daughters, and the eldest of these, Good Deed, was bred on Feb. 22 to Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense.

Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.

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