Aforethought was a race-winning Thoroughbred that went on to sire stakes winners of two breeds. His story is as much about speed as it is about mare power. It began with his legendary dam, Aspidistra.
Aspidistra was bred by the Kentucky division of the famous King Ranch. She was by Better Self and out of stakes winner Tilly Rose, by Bull Brier. As a yearling, she survived a barn fire and may have suffered lung damage. Despite this, Aspidistra was able to begin her racing career at age three. She made fourteen starts and won two races. In 1957, a group of employees from the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corporation, now known as 3M, purchased Aspidistra for $6,500 as a gift to their boss William L. McKnight. She became the foundation mare for his Tartan Farms near Ocala, Florida.
From 1960 to 1977, Aspidistra produced ten winners including Perplexing, A. Deck, Chinatowner, Captivate, Highbinder, Weyand, and Auraria. Her most successful offspring were Ta Wee and Dr. Fager. Ta Wee beat older males and earned the title of Champion Sprinter in 1969 and 1970. Ta Wee produced Great Above who sired Holly Bull and the dam of Housebuster. Dr. Fager won eighteen of twenty-two starts, set a world record in the Washington Park Handicap, and earned over $1 million on the track. He was the leading sire in North America in 1977. One year later in 1978, Aspidistra, the matriarch of this sprinting dynasty, passed away.
Aforethought was the result of pairing Aspidistra to champion sprinter Intentionally. He was foaled on April 17th, 1963 at Tartan Farms. He did not duplicate the success of his half-brother Dr. Fager or his full-sister Ta Wee, but he did have a respectable racing career. He started twenty-four times, won five races, and earned $40,645 on the track. He entered stud in 1969. While his speed and pedigree made him an attractive stallion prospect, Aforethought did not receive much attention initially.
His first foal crop was unremarkable, but his second crop included Lincoln Derby winner Foreign Intent (TB) and All American Futurity winner Timeto Thinkrich. Timeto Thinkrich was out of Chronometer, by Tiny Charger. He won multiple stakes races and earned the titles of Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in 1973, Champion Three-Year-Old Colt in 1974, and Champion Aged Stallion in 1975. In total, Timeto Thinkrich won fifteen races and earned $612,859 on the track. He sired Denim N Diamonds, Artesia, and My Startime among many others. He was also the damsire of Sign of Lanty, Artesias Specialchic, Royal Down Dash, and Docs Keepin Time, the horse that portrayed Black Beauty and the Black Stallion.
In the years after Timeto Thinkrich won the All American Futurity, more and more Quarter Horse breeders brought their mares to Aforethought. In 1975 he sired his second All American Futurity winner, Hot Idea. She won the race in 1977 on her way to earning the title of Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. Aforethought would also sire stakes winners For Love of Money, Mighty Thought, Snooty Cutie, and accomplished APHA stallion Tabasco.
Aforethought was the damsire of many race and performance horses. Perhaps the most notable barrel horse was Thinkin of Cash. Thinkin of Cash was by Cash Not Credit and out of the Aforethought daughter Inaminute. In 1992, Kim Thomas and Thinkin of Cash won the BFA Futurity World Championship. Aforethought was thought to carry the large heart gene, and is still sought after in female lines by some breeders. He has many descendants impacting racing and barrel racing today. They include Jess An Idea, Fit to Fly, No Brakes Now, Tres Fortunes, and NFR competitors Dash Ta Diamonds (“Arson”) and Prime Diamond (“Cutter”).
Aforethought was euthanized on October 31st, 1990 at the Baker Ranch near Fort Worth, Texas. He was 27 years old and suffering from complications due to a knee injury he sustained several years earlier.