The Western Thoroughbred History: Cherry Lake

Cherry Lake was foaled on January 19th, 1966 in Arizona. She was bred by Richard D. Breen. Her sire, Lake Eire, was a stakes-placed son of Triple Crown winner War Admiral. Lake Erie was a prolific broodmare sire of both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. His top-producing daughters include Dainty Lake, the dam of War Star Wrangler; Erie Legend, the dam of Dashin Elvis; Miss Annie, the dam of Kickin Country; and Bar Dearie, the second dam of Dash Ta Fame. Cherry Lake, without question, tops that list of exceptional mares.

Cherry Lake was the first foal out of Cherao, a race-winning mare by Nechao and out of With Blessings, by With Regards. Cherao produced thirteen registered foals. Her second foal, Potranco, was a full sister to Cherry Lake. Potranco was a black-type stakes winner and producer of stakes winners Aduana and Granja Duquesa. Marimacho, Cherao’s third foal, was also by Lake Erie. She won five races and placed second in the St. Francis Stakes. Marimacho went on to produce Sin Tacha, the dam of the 2002 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse, Streakin Sin Tacha. Cherao produced six more winners for Granja Vista Del Rio in California including Granja Aquesta, Viaji Ahora, Real Sangre, Vivaracho and Veschacho. Cherry Lake certainly came from an outstanding female family.

A photo of Cherry Lake via All Breed Database

Throughout her racing career, Cherry Lake made starts at distances from 440 to 870 yards against both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. As a two-year-old, she won four of eight starts and placed third in the Ak-Sar-Ben Juvenile Stakes in Omaha, Nebraska. At ages three and four, Cherry Lake won twelve races including the Governor’s Speed Handicap and Sunland Handicap. She also placed second in the Brigand Handicap. In her final season of racing, Cherry Lake won three races and equaled the track record at Ruidoso Downs for four furlongs in 45.80 seconds. In total, she made 42 starts, won 19 races, and earned $34,382, the equivalent of about $250,000 today.

This is a photo of Streakin Sin Tacha, the 2002 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse, via All Breed Database. Streakin Sin Tacha’s second dam, Miramacho, was a full-sister to Cherry Lake.

After Cherry Lake retired from racing, she was owned by Raymon Wood and his wife Minnie Rae. When Raymon passed away, Minnie entered a partnership with B. F. Phillips Jr. to continue breeding Cherry Lake. Her first two foals, Rain Onya and Right to Run, were by three-time World Champion, Go Man Go. Rain Onya, made nine starts, won three races, and earned $28,268 on the track. She went on to produce at least five foals including Easy Rain Onya, a sire of performance horses. She also produced Shake It To Em, the dam of Special Shake, Shake Six and Shake Em Six, the 1996 Broodmare of the Year. Right to Run was unraced but sired at least twenty foals in Montana.

This is a photo of Royal Shake Em from All Breed Database. His dam line goes directly to Cherry Lake through her daughter Rain Onya.

In 1977, Cherry Lake was one of the mares that Phillips bred to two-time World Champion Dash for Cash in his first season at stud. The resulting foal, Big Number One, made just two starts and earned $0 on the track. Her next foal by Dash for Cash, Bringitonhome, never even made it to the races. In 1980, the cross finally produced a winner – Cash Rate, the 1985 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse.

Cash Rate was a slow-maturing gelding. He only made four starts as a three and four-year-old. Phillips was going to make him a team roping horse, but Minnie insisted that he go back to the track. In 1985, at the age of five, Cash Rate won the Woodside Handicap, Kaweah Bar Handicap, Shue Fly Handicap, Los Alamitos Invitational Championship and Champion of Champions. He also equaled the track record in the Double Bid Handicap at Los Alamitos for 350 yards in 17.480 seconds. For his accomplishments that year, Cash Rate was named the AQHA Racing Champion Aged Gelding, Champion Aged Horse and World Champion. He also won the 1986 Champion Aged Gelding and Champion Aged Horse titles after victories in the Horsemen’s QHRA Championship, Double Bid Handicap, Hollywood Park Championship and Z Wayne Griffin Director’s Stakes. He also set a new track record at Hollywood Park for 440 yards in 21.900 seconds in the Goetta Handicap. In total, Cash Rate made 27 starts, won 16 races and earned $537,803 on the track.

A photo of Cash Rate via All Breed Database

Cherry Lake’s next two foals, Coutin the Cash and Flow of Cash, were also multiple graded stakes winners by Dash for Cash. Countin the Cash, a sorrel gelding, won the Jet Deck Handicap, Budweiser Derby, Easy Jet Handicap, Orange County Invitational Handicap and Shue Fly Handicap. He also set a new track record in the Peninsula Championship at Bay Meadows for 400 yards in 19.660 seconds. Coutin the Cash won 15 races and earned $369,184 on the track. Flow of Cash, a sorrel filly, won the Kansas Derby and Las Damas Handicap. She won 14 races and earned $324,245. Flow of Cash produced only two foals before she died. One of which, Frisco Flare, was a multiple graded stakes winner and successful sire.

A photo of Frisco Flare, a stallion out of Cherry Lake’s daughter Flow of Cash, via All Breed Database

In 1983, Cherry Lake produced Six Popper, a sorrel gelding by Streakin Six. Six Popper won the 1986 All American Derby. During his five years on the track, he made 36 starts, won 11 races, and earned $562,679. Six Popper was one of the highest money earners by Streakin Six. Cherry Lake’s next foal, Cherokee Lake, was her only the only Thoroughbred. He was a bay stallion by Master Ego, an unraced son of Master Hand. In 1987, Cherokee Lake won the Master Salls Handicap against Quarter Horse company. He continued racing until age six and added wins in the Sunland Jeep Challenge and Premier Stakes to his record. In total, Cherokee Lake won six races and earned $42,205 on the track. He never sired any foals.  

Cherry Lake’s final two foals, Hottest Thing Going and Already Famous, were both by Dash for Cash. They earned their racing ROMs but were average racehorses at best. Cherry Lake died in 1993 at age 27, just two weeks before the Phillips Ranch was dispersed. Altogether, she produced 11 foals, nine starters, seven winners and one champion. Her foals earned $1,873,007 on the track. In 1998, Cherry Lake became the first Thoroughbred mare to be inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame. She was also recognized as a Dam of Distinction in 2006. She was on the list of all-time leading dams until embryo transfer made it possible for mares to produce multiple foals each year. Her descendants excel in racing, barrel racing, roping and other performance events.

Sources: Equineline, Equibase, Speedhorse Magazine, American Quarter Horse Association

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s