Direct Win was foaled in 1947. His sire, With Regards, was by Jack High and out of Loose Foot, by Terry. With Regards won several stakes races including the Arkansas Derby, Myrtlewood Handicap and Aqueduct Handicap. At age six, With Regards was forced to retire from racing after he refused to leave the starting gate on multiple occasions. With Regards went on to sire both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. His most successful Quarter Horse starter was a stakes placed stallion named Nevada Regards. His Thoroughbred sons Adelva, Don McCoy and Hour Regards sired AQHA Register of Merit earners in Racing, Performance and Halter.
Direct Win had close Quarter Horse connections on both sides of his pedigree. His dam, Gold Dream, was by Time Supply and out of Plumage, by Ballot. Gold Dream was the dam of three AQHA Racing ROM-earners – Golden Times, Vino Ro Jo and Vino’s Gold. Gold Dream also produced Boutique, the dam of Boola Mux. Boola Mux was a Thoroughbred mare by Moolah Bux. She was bred multiple times to National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame stallion, Doc Quixote. One of those pairings produced Boola Quixote, the 1982 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Reserve Co-Champion. Boola Mux also produced Moolah Quioxte, an NCHA and NRHA money earner.
Direct Win also traced back to Star Shoot, Ben Brush and Domino. With a pedigree that was as much Quarter Horse as it was Thoroughbred, there were high hopes for Direct Win on the short tracks. Unfortunately, it was said that he injured his foot while in training and developed a clubfoot. He only made one start as a two-year-old and did not place. He did not run at all at age three. In 1951, at four years old, Direct Win made three starts and finished third twice. He won a total of $650 on the track before a broken sesamoid bone forced his retirement from racing.
After his unsuccessful racing career, Frank Vessels Jr. bought Direct Win to stand him at the Vessels Stallion Station in Bonsall, California. Farrel Jones, a trainer for Vessels at the time, told Speedhorse Magazine the following: “I bought Direct Win for Frank. I liked the stallion because of two ingredients… his conformation and the fact that With Regards, his sire, had tremendous speed.”
In 1953, Direct Win’s first foal crop arrived. Among those first foals was Clab Win, a bay mare out of Clabber’s Flossie V, by Clabber. Clab Win won the 1955 Pacific Coast QHRA California Bred Stakes at Los Alamitos. In 1956, she won six races and was named the AQHA Racing Champion Three-Year-Old Filly. During her career, she set two track records at Stockton and Yuma County Fair for 350 yards in 18.300 seconds at both tracks. Clab Win went on to produce race winners Dream Dancer, Golden Win and Pana Magic.
Clabber’s Win, a full brother to Clab Win, was born the next year. As a two-year-old, Clabber’s Win won three of seven starts and earned a Register of Merit. At three, he won five races including the Barbara B Handicap, Hard Twist Stakes and Johnny Dial Stakes. He also set a new track record in the Pomona Championship at Fairplex Park for 400 yards in 20.100 seconds. Clabber’s Win was named the 1957 AQHA Racing Champion Three-Year-Old Colt. As an older horse, he won the Miss Princess Invitational Handicap and repeated his victories in the Hard Twist Stakes and Johnny Dial Stakes. Clabber’s Win also lowered his Fairplex Park record to 20 seconds flat and equaled a track record at Los Alamitos. In total, Clabber’s Win made 42 starts, won 14 races, and earned $44,743 on the track. He went on to sire stakes winner Music Note as well as Winning Note, a successful sire of racing and performance horses.
Stakes horses Winen, Chief Win, Do Win, Millie’s Queen and Winning Shot were bred while Direct Win stood at the Vessels Stallion Station. He also sired La Galla Win at that time. La Galla Win was out of La Gallina V, by Peppy. La Galla Win made 47 starts, won five races, and earned $2,327 on the track. Her biggest accomplishments were as a broodmare. She produced ten foals including stakes contenders Joe Win and Go Galla Go. Go Galla Go was by three-time World Champion Quarter Running Horse, Go Man Go. She won 15 starts, including the South Texas Derby, La Grange Downs Derby and Oklahoma Quarter Horse Exhibitor’s Association Derby. Go Galla Go earned a total of $28,285 on the track. As a broodmare, she produced fourteen foals, the best of which was AQHA Hall of Fame inductee, Rocket Wrangler.
In 1955, the Vessels sold Direct Win to L. E. Patterson of Chino, California. That same year, Assured was foaled. Assured was a chestnut mare by Direct Win and out of Sally Rand V, by Joe Reed. Assured made 11 starts, won five races, and earned $3,293 on the track. As a broodmare, Assured produced nine starters. She is the dam of Derussa, a stakes contender and producer of two-time Champion Go Derussa Go. Assured was also the dam of Miss Assured. Miss Assured won the 1964 Los Alamitos Thanksgiving Stakes. She went on to produce three stakes winners – Assured Copy, State of Mind, and Streakin Six. Streakin Six won ten races including the Rainbow Futurity, Derby Consolation and New Mexico State Fair Handicap. He earned $473,934 and later sired winners of over $17 million on the track. As of 2022, Streakin Six was ranked 31st among the Leading Sires of All Time. Streakin Six is also ranked 12th on the All-Time Leading Broodmare Sires list.
Direct Win continued to sire race winners and performers at the L. E. Patterson Ranch. Most notably, Fire Call, a chestnut gelding by Direct Win and out of Laura Reed, by Joe Reed II, set a new track record in the Pikes Peak Derby for 440 yards in 22.840 seconds. He also set a new track record at Portland Meadows for 440 yards in 22.580 seconds and at Rimrock Meadows for 250 yards in 13.410 seconds. Fire Call went on to sire Dickeys Fireman, the 1979 All American Derby winner and AQHA Champion Three-Year-Old Gelding.
L. E. Patterson was the breeder of Armsmear, a chestnut stallion by Direct Win and out of Miss Joastor, by Joe Reed II. Armsmear won 11 races and earned $14,507 on the track. He went on to sire Plunder Bay, the 1973 AQHA Champion Aged Stallion. Armsmear also sired Quinault Hot Spot, an Appaloosa who earned the title of California State Champion Three-Year-Old Racing Colt in 1969. Lewin, a full-brother to Armsmear, won nine races and earned $15,352 on the track. He went on to sire Le Cinder, winner of the Raton Derby, Wonderland Stakes, Lam Kansas Maturity and Jet Deck Handicap. Lewin also sired Shawnee Win, the dam of multiple stakes winner Shawne Bug. Shawne Bug is ranked 41st on the All-Time Leading Broodmare Sires list. His daughters have produced earners of over $14 million on the track. Shawne Bug is also ranked 9th on the All-Time Leading Barrel Broodmare Sires list.
Altogether, Direct Win sired seven track record setters. Among those were Clab 2 Win, Hy Mrt and Direct Gyp. Clab 2 Win, a bay stallion out of Salome Salle, by Clabber II, won the 1963 LSRVQHA Futurity and set a new track record at Jerome County Fair for 350 yards in 18.200 seconds. Hy Vince, a sorrel gelding out of Hy Myrt, by Joe Reed II, set and equaled three track record at Tinity Meadows, Uvalde and Columbus for 400 yards in 20.810, 20.630 and 20.440 seconds respectively. Hy Vince also set a new track record at Bandera Downs for 350 yards in 17.900 seconds. Direct Gyp, a chestnut stallion out of Bar Gypsy, by Diamond 2 Bar, won the 1966 North Central Futurity and set a new track record at Pocatello Downs for 350 yards in 17.990 seconds.
Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, Direct Win was a leading sire. With only eight starters in 1956, Direct Win ranked 12th on the list of Leading Sires of Money Earners. In total, Direct Win sired 229 registered Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse foals in 20 foal crops. Among those were 87 race winners, 69 ROM-earners, seven stakes winners and two champions with earnings of $501,195 on the track. His champions off the track include Mike Win, Mr Win and Ol’ Pro. Direct Win was also a leading broodmare sire. Aside from the notable horses mentioned above, Direct Win’s daughters produced Beatle Win, Breezing Pat, Go Win, Limits Regards, Mr Briar Patch, Truly Night and Truly’s Easter.
Direct Win passed away in 1977 at the age of 30. It is remarkable that he only sired an average of ten Quarter Horses per year, yet his name appears in the pedigree of nearly every Quarter Horse racehorse alive today. Leading sires First Down Dash, Mr Jess Perry, Dash For Cash, Mr Eye Opener, Streakin La Jolla, Tres Seis, Streakin Six, Takin On The Cash, Dean Miracle and Dashing Val all have Direct Win within their five-generation pedigrees. Most of the horses on the leading sires list have Direct Win further back. Leading barrel horse sires Dash Ta Fame, A Streak Of Fling, Eddie Stinson, JL Dash Ta Heaven, The Goodbye Lane, Dash For Perks and Judge Cash all trace to Direct Win also. He can even be found in the pedigrees of top cutting horse sires such as Reyzin The Cash. Direct Win made a quiet contribution to the western industry, but his impact has resonated for generations.
Sources: Equineline, Equibase, Speedhorse, The Quarter Horse Journal, All Breed Database