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Cherry Lake: A Claim to Fame

by Helena Biasatti

The Quarter Horse Journal, December 1986

with other photos and Cherry Lake information

added by Teri Dinnell

 

Double Copy Mare & Dam of Distinction          Right to Run         

More Cherry Lake Connections

 

Ramon and Minnie Rhea Wood had gone to the horse races at Ak-Sar-Ben in Omaha, Nebraska, to watch the Thoroughbreds. Ramon, who had a keen eye for conformation, spotted a little chestnut mare named Cherry Lake. "Without even having seen her run, he claimed her for $7,500," said Minnie Rhea. "I didn't know he was going to do that, and I thought the price was exorbitant. It was a high price in those days."

That was back in 1968, when Cherry Lake was embarking on her two-year-old campaign at the track. But her real reputation has come about just recently as a broodmare. At 20, the Thoroughbred Cherry Lake is the only mare that will have, or that has ever had, three Quarter Horse offspring in the prestigious Grade 1 Champion of Champions race, which will take place December 6, [1986] at Los Alamitos Race Course in California. The three are the six-year-old gelding Cash Rate. the five-year-old gelding Countin The Cash and the three-year-old gelding Six Popper.


The 20-year-old Thoroughbred mare Cherry Lake is owned in partnership by

Minnie Rhea Wood of Wichita Falls, Texas, and B. F. Phillips, Jr., of Frisco, Texas.


 

"I think Six Popper might be the fastest horse, especially if he breaks like he did when he won this year's All American Derby-G1," said B.F. Phillips. co-owner of two of the finalists. "Countin The Cash, if he gets hold of the racetrack, will be a real contender. But, you've got to give the end to Cash Rate because of his age, strength and experience."

 

Each of these horses has won more than $200,000, and combined with the earnings of her other racing foals, the mare's produce has collected more than $1,800.000.

 

"You don't realize the value of a mare until she gets old or is gone," said Phillips, who also shares a partnership on Cherry Lake with Minnie Rhea. "There are not many like her."

 


 

Cherry Lake, still in good health and excellent shape, roams the spacious pastures with two older broodmares at the B.F. Phillips Ranch, near Frisco, Texas. She has made her home at the ranch for the past 11 years, and Phillips has supervised her breeding since becoming a partner in 1976.

With an even blaze and two matching rear socks, she is a small mare, 14-2 hands, and she is a mare that is well balanced and structurally correct. "She is matronly looking now," said Minnie Rhea.

"She is a mare that has a lot of conformation, as far as I'm concerned -- although she isn't very big," said Phillips. "She is a well-proportioned mare, and she has the characteristics of throwing offspring that are like herself. She is a good example of the statement that 50 to 75 percent of the foal is the result of the mare. This mare is remarkable how she can keep on producing offspring with great quality."

Phillips refers to Cherry Lake as a "great race mare with a big, big heart." He said, "She is one of those mares that could run in Quarter Horse company and win, and run in Thoroughbred company and win. You don't find that in many horses."

As far as personality at the track, Phillips said, "She was a mare than tended to business."

According to Minnie Rhea, Cherry Lake made a lasting impression on many people at the tracks where she ran. "They remembered her racing career. She was a mare that was nearly always out in front, and she was real good in the mud."

At two, the little mare ran in Nebraska at Ak-Sar-Ben. After the Woods claimed her, they immediately ran her again in a $10,000 claimer. "We were real lucky she didn't get claimed that time," said Minnie Rhea.

The mare was shipped back to the Eastern tracks for a while, and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where she ran at Turf Paradise. "My husband decided it was best to run at the western tracks," said Minnie Rhea.

From Arizona, the mare went to New Mexico and raced at Ruidoso Downs, Albuquerque and Sunland Park. "She was run in the shorter-length races, which was to her advantage," said Minnie Rhea.

Raced through her five-year-old year, after which a leg injury caused her retirement, Cherry Lake started 21 times in Quarter Horse races, and had 10 wins, four seconds and two thirds, and winnings of $16,651. However, 16 of those starts were unofficial (because 870 races had not been approved at that time). In Thoroughbred races, she had 21 starts with nine wins, one second and three thirds, and earnings of $17,729.

 

Against Quarter Horse competition, the dark chestnut won the Governors Speed Handicap and the Sunland Handicap, and ran second in the Brigand Handicap. In the Thoroughbred races, she ran third in the Ak-Sar-Ben Juvenile Stakes and Ruidoso Speed Handicap.

 

She established and still holds a track record at Albuquerque for four furlongs in :45 4/5ths. In 1970, while the mare was running at Sunland Park, she topped the world 870 record.


 

Phillips noted that Cherry Lake was an extremely fast horse, and much of her speed can be traced in her strong pedigree. Her sire is Lake Erie, who was a son of Triple Crown winner War Admiral. War Admiral was by Man O'War out of Brushup.

 

Lake Erie's dam was Sweet Tryst by the imported Jacopo, who was sired by Sansovino, and English Derby winner. Sweet Tryst is a daughter of Sir Gallahad III.

 

Lake Erie was a stakes placed runner which earned $54,572. He ran 93 times from 1958 to 1964, had 22 wins and 6 seconds, and his 20 thirds included the Jersey, Sanford and Christiana stakes.

 

As a sire, Lake Erie's Thoroughbred get include 157 total foals, of which 91 are winners. Lake Erie is also the sire of 57 Quarter Horses, with 17 winners, 13 ROM race earners and two stakes winners, all of which have earned $74,656.

 

But Lake Erie's ultimate contribution to the Quarter breed was not as a sire of runners, but as a sire of broodmares. From the 78 Quarter Horse foals that have a mere 15 dams have produced, 42 have started at the track, and nine have become stakes winners.

 

 
Lake Erie War Admiral Man O'War
Brushup
Sweet Tryst Jacopo
Gentle Tryst
Cherao Nechao Nearco
Cassiope
With Blessings With Regards
Endowah
 
Just as impressive as the sire line is the bottom side of Cherry Lake's family tree. Her dam was Cherao, a daughter of imported Nechao, who is by Nearco out of imported Cassiope. Cherao, foaled in 1959, raced on the West Coast until she was five, and earned $13,160.

Cherao is out of With Blessings, a daughter of the mare Endowah and the stakes-winning stallion With Regards. The stallion With Regards raced 63 times during the war years, and had 19 wins, 14 seconds and four thirds. he is also the sire of Direct Win, who is found in the lineage of the two stallions that Cherry Lake has been mated with -- Dash For Cash and Streakin Six. La Galla Win by Direct Win is the second dam of Rocket Wrangler, the sire of Dash For Cash. Assured by Direct Win is the second dam of Streakin Six.

Cherao is the dam of 12 foals, 11 of which are starters, and 10 of these are winners. Some of her foals include a full sister to Cherry Lake, stakes inner Potranco. This mare raced until the age of six, and had eight wins and earned $61,525. Potranco is the dam of three starters, all of which are winners, and two of which are stakes winners.

Marimacho, a stakes-placed runner and another full sister to Cherry Lake, raced until three, and she had five wins and earnings of $29,166. While racing, the mare set a North American record at Hollywood Park by running 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:28 3/5. Marimacho has produced four winners, including one stakes placed one stakes winner.

 

Viajo Ahora is a full sister to Cherry Lake. Running until three, she was a winner at the track, earning $7,491. Viajo Ahora is teh dam of three starters -- all winners -- and one, stakes winner Buen Chico, equalled the track record at Agua Caliente in Mexico by running 8.31 furlongs in 1:39 2/5.

 

The mare Real Sangre, by Knight in Armor TB, raced until a five-year-old, and won $9,139. She is the dam of three foals, all winners, including a stakes winner.


 

1985 world champion running horse, Cash Rate (shown here in the Champion of Champions post parade).

Multiple Champion Cash Rate is a 1980 gelding by Dash For Cash out of Cherry Lake. Started 27 races for 16 wins including 11 stakes wins. Earned $537,802. 1985 World Champion, Champion Aged Gelding, 1986 Champion Aged Horse, 1986 Champion Aged Gelding.

Died of Colitis X  at a veterinary clinic near Los Alamitos Race Course on January 1, 1987.

 

 
Just as Cherry Lake's dam was a producer of top running stock, so is she. Her racing progeny has put her into the Quarter Horse history books, even though she herself is a Thoroughbred. Up to now [December 1986], Cherry Lake has 11 foals, nine of which are Quarter Horses. "You can say something about all of them," said Phillips. "They are all individuals, yet they resemble the family."

In 1972, the year after Cherry Lake ran her last race, Minnie Rhea's husband became ill. "He made an arrangement to breed this mare so I wouldn't have to worry about looking after her," she said.

Minnie Rhea explained that she wasn't involved with the horses at this time; it was a love of her husband's. "Ramon was the horseman," she said. "He was a rancher and cattleman, and an AQHA-approved judge."

The Woods made their home in Wichita Falls, Texas, and after Ramon died in 1974, Minnie Rhea continued to reside there. She said, "I've entered into the horse business more now that he is gone, and it's been a real pleasure."

Before Ramon's death, however, Cherry Lake was bred to Go Man Go and dropped a sorrel filly named Rain Onya in 1973. Rain Onya, who was often ridden by jockey Jerry Nicodemus. ran as a two-year-old, and had three wins and earnings of $28,268. Rain Onya is the dam of six foals, including Shake It To Em, si 96, and $69,200 in winnings; Take It To Em, si 97, and earner of $16,571; and Rainin Six, si 79, and $150 in earnings. One of her foals, Shake It To Em, has produced four foals, tow of which are runners. One of these runners is Streak It To Em, a 1984 stallion with a 90 speed index and earnings of $38,024.

Rain Onya was sold in the B.F. Phillips Sale this year [1986].

In 1974 and 1975, Cherry Lake did not have a foal.

In 1976, she had another Go Man Go foal, a colt named Right To Run. Unraced, this colt was sold and later died.

 

Leading Sire Royal Shake Em is

a great-grandson of Cherry Lake

through her daughter Shake It To Em.

 

Above: Photos (late 1970s, early 1980s) of Right To Run, a stallion by Go Man Go

 out of Cherry Lake, when he stood in Montana.

 

Right To Run was the sire of 20 starters, 8 winners, 2 stakes winners with $69,006 in earnings.

Right to Run is the broodmare sire of Circle D's mare BR Baby Come Bac.


 
That same year, Woods and Phillips entered into a partnership and worked out a lifetime lease on Cherry Lake. The partnership is that Phillips will breed the mare, and he and Wood will share ownership of the foal and the expenses of running it.

"I knew Mrs. Wood, and had met her husband a long time ago. It just so happened that I thought I could help her and she thought I could help her," said Phillips.

"That was the luckiest break I ever had -- when Mr. Phillips and I became partners," said Wood. "Cherry Lake has jut been campaigned properly and handled right. If B.F. and I hadn't joined partnership, I just wonder what the future of Cherry Lake would have been. Probably she wouldn't have had a future. I feel most fortunate."

Today Phillips and Wood are partners on 12 horses. He said, "She is the best partner I've had in anything. She wants to know exactly what's happening, and then doesn't bother you."

In 1977, Cherry Lake did not have a foal, but the following year she had a sorrel colt by Dash For Cash named Big Number One. The colt only had two outs before he died in 1981 at Ruidoso Downs from Colitis X.

In 1979, the mare had a sorrel filly by Dash For Cash, Bringitonhome. This mare was sent to the track, but due to a hip problem and blisters in her throat, she did not run. She has produced three foals, including her first,a 1983 gelding called Bring Six. He has a speed rating of 88, and with 10 starts, he has three wins, two thirds, and a money line of $3,785. Bringitonhome is in the broodmare band at the Phillips Ranch, and this year [1986] she is not in foal.

Much of Cherry Lake's success has come about through her next offspring Cash Rate. The 1980 sorrel gelding by Dash For Cash was last year's world champion running horse, champion gelding and the champion aged horse.

Cash Rate began his racing career at Trinity Meadows in Weatherford, Texas, as a three-year-old. After winning twice, he was sent home to the Phillips Ranch, where he was ridden and considered by Phillips to be used as a rope horse.

The next year. 1984, Cash Rate's younger siblings -- Countin The Cash and Flow of Cash -- started making names for themselves, and trainer Dwayne (Sleepy) Gilbreath decided to put Cash Rate back into race training. In November, the gelding won an allowance race at manor Downs, near Austin, and then headed for the West Coast in 1985, under the direction of trainer Blane Schvaneveldt.

The pretty-headed gelding began the year with four official starts -- three wins and one third with earnings of $972. By the end of the year, he had 17 starts and 11 wins, three seconds and one third, and winnings of $258,877. He had won six stakes races, which include the Champion of Champions (in which he recorded his present speed index of 106), the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship, the Grade 2 Shue Fly Handicap, the Grade 3 Double Bid and Kaweah Bar Handicaps, and the Woodside Handicap.

This year [1986], he has won the Grade 1 Horsemen's QHRA Championship, the Double Bid Handicap, and the Goetta Handicap. In the Goetta Handicap at Hollywood Park, he set a track record going 44 yards in :21.90, and the gelding lowered it to a :21.74 when he won the Hollywood Park Championship in October.

Cash Rate has also run second in the Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap at Los Alamitos, the Grade 3 Clabbertown G and Chicado V Handicaps, and third in the Los Alamitos Championship and Go Man Go Handicap at Hollywood Park. His record now stands at 24 starts, 15 wins, four seconds and three thirds, with a bankroll of $468,052.

 

Another sorrel gelding, Countin The Cash, by Dash For Cash, was Cherry Lake's next foal, in 1981. "This is a foal that we thought, and we still think, is as good as any she's had," said Phillips. "He is a horse that resembles the mare and 'Dash' combined."

 


Countin the Cash was foaled in 1981, and referred to as "Pee Wee."

He was a Grade 1 stakes winner & earned $369,000.


 

Countin The Cash, nicknamed "Pee Wee" due to his small size, was Cherry Lake's first $100,000 winner. This gelding earned his black type by winning such races as the Jet Deck Handicap and Budweiser Derby in 1984. The next year, he ran second in the Grade 1 Rainbow Silver Cup, and this year, he has racked up a number of stakes honors with wins in the Grade 1 Peninsula Championship, Easy Jet Handicap and Orange County Invitational Handicap. He's run second in the Alameda Handicap, Go Man Go Handicap, and the Grade 3 Kaweah Bar and Clabbertown G Hancidaps. With a speed index of 110, Countin The Cash has had 26 starts thus far, with 13 wins and 7 seconds. He has collected $339,724.

In 1982, Flow of Cash, a chestnut filly by Dash For Cash out of Cherry Lake was foaled. "Flow of Cash resembles her mother," said Phillips., "because she has a stretchy body, just lie Cherry Lake."

"Flow of Cash" ran third in the 1984 Grade 1 Kansas Futurity, and won the 1985 Grade 1 Kansas Derby. This year she ran second in the Go Together Handicap and third in the Grade 1 All-American Gold Cup. With 15 starts and a 107 speed rating, the stakes winning mare has 10 firsts, one second and two thirds, and a bank account of $259,814. Flow of Cash will have an embryo transfer foal by Streakin Six in 1987.

Foaled in April of 1983, Six Popper is the fourth foal out of Cherry Lake to earn more than $200,000. With $519,665 in the bank, he is her highest money earning offspring.

Whereas her last five sons and daughters were by Dash For Cash, Six Popper's sire is Streakin Six. "We bred the mare to another horse to see what she'd do," said Phillips. "I thought she would mate better to Dash For Cash than Go Man Go at teh time time . I also thought she might cross better on Streakin Six, and I'm not too shure she didn't."

Owned by Wood and Phillips' wife, Jane, the blaze-faced gelding won the 1985 Kansas Futurity Consolation at Ruidoso Downs and was second in the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity, where he recorded a 107 speed  index. This year he won the Rainbow Derby Consolation, and handily won the All-American Derby with his regular rider, Alex Baldillez, Jr., in the irons. Six Popper now has, from 12 starts, seven wins and three seconds.

Six Popper (by Streakin Six),

the 4th foal

out of Cherry Lake.

He won the 1986

All-American Derby.

 

 

 


 
Cherry Lake's 1984 foal is a flashy bay Thoroughbred gelding with four white pasterns. Named Cherokee Lake, he is by Master Ego, a son of Master hand, which stands at the Phillips Ranch. "He was so fast and so big and so good, we didn't take him to the racetrack until this year. We have to let him mature, and we will run him in 1987 as a three-year-old," said Phillips. "He might be the quickest and fastest colt of any of them."

Gilbreath said, "This colt is quite a runner. We worked him with the Quarter Horses and he showed us a lot of run. We think he is going to do really well."

The next year, Cherry Lake had an extremely large foal and had trouble foaling. In order to save her, the colt had to be dissected and removed.

This year [1986], a healthy, bright sorrel colt by Dash for Cash made his appearance. Nicknamed "Flash," but registered Hottest Thing Going, the decision was made to keep him as a stallion. "The other colts, I thought, were too small to keep as stallions," said Phillips. "Until they showed me what they could do, like they did, then they weren't stallion prospects. But the little fella, we are going to keep him."

Cherry Lake will not have a 1987 foal. Efforts to transplant an embryo from her failed. "We never could get a good egg out of her," said Phillips. "We are going to try again this spring. By doing this, it will save the mare from the strain and stress of having a foal."

Phillips said he is contemplating breeding her to Dash For Cash, but "if Six Popper wins the Champion of Champions, we might decide to breed her to Streakin Six. I'd like to get a Streakin Six foal out of her that we can keep as a stallion."

Although the broodmare has some age, she will more than likely put a few more foals on the ground. She is a mare that is often talked about in racing circles and her produce record has set a standard that will be difficult to ever equal or break.

Reminiscing, Wood flipped through a scrapbook that contained several clippings and win pictures of the little chestnut mare. "Looking back," she said, "Cherry Lake was really an excellent claim."

Hottest Thing Going 1986 colt by Dash For Cash out of Cherry Lake.


 

Cherry Lake: Dam of Distinction & Double Copy Mare

 

Cherry lake was foaled in 1966. She ran in both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races. Her QH speed index was 97. Cherry Lake whipped Quarter Horses on their own track, but it was her offspring that made her a household name in the Quarter Horse racing industry.

"Double Copy" mare. Cherry Lake was one of the 39 mares test-bred to Dash For Cash in his first season at stud. Produced 11 foals & 9 starters who earned $1,953,951. Cherry Lake is a "Dam of Distinction."

  •   Stakes Winners:  Cash Rate, Cherokee Lake TB, Countin The Cash, Flow of Cash, Six Popper
  •   AQHA Racing Champion:  Cash Rate
  •   Foals who place in the Top Ten Money Earners of any particular year:  Six Popper, 1986; Cash Rate, 1986
  •   Grade 1 Stakes Winners:  Cash Rate, Countin The Cash, Flow of Cash, Six Popper

The grand mare died on July 1, 1993 (at the age of 27), just 16 days before the Phillips Ranch was to be dispersed.

She was the first Thoroughbred mare inducted to the AQHA Hall of Fame.


 

Other Cherry Lake Connections

 

Cherry Lake's full-sister Marimacho is the dam of Sin Tacha TB (by Slew's Royalty). Sin Tacha foaled five winners from 7 Quarter Horse starters and the earners of $768,303. Her top earner, the Streakin La Jolla gelding Streakin Sin Tacha banked $692,842 from 16 wins in 27 starts (including 8 stakes victories).

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 10-day-old descendant of

the great Cherry Lake,

running like her pedigree

says she should,

May 13, 2009.

 

 

 

 

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