(2004, P, 3, 1:56.2 $12,826)
She was the second horse I ever purchased, a tall lanky Western Hanover filly sold by Kentuckiana. She fit what we were looking for; athletic, well-bred fillies to race and then become the future broodmares for the farm. As they say … “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry.”
Yes Ma’am was sent to Kelly O’Donnell where she was broke and trained down like a very good horse. I recall a conversation in the spring, where she was compared to the best horses he had trained. As happens more than we would like, the horse made liars out of all of us. Yes Ma’am became just a statistic, a filly who loomed large and yet was disappointing on the track. She was just good enough to tease us and keep her in training again at 3.
After her race career ended and her broodmare career began, we turned the page and hoped she would produce racehorses like her female family suggested. Unfortunately, the mare became mired in one unlucky situation after another. Her history is similar to her owners, in that whatever could go wrong, did go wrong and many unfortunate circumstances were not her own doing but just luck of the draw (or “unluck” of the draw).
An uneventful first pregnancy produced a good looking Bettors Delight filly that we sold for $47,000 to Jimmy Takter. As the top trainer in the sport, Jimmy would give the filly the best chance to be great. What more could we ask for. We heard rumors that she was training down with his best fillies and by late spring, we were anticipating great things from Miss Liz. A call from Jimmy right after her first qualifier was not what I was expecting to hear. The filly could not sweat. You read that right … Miss Liz could not properly cool herself off. Of course no one believed it. We took the horse home for turnout and searched for an answer. After much investigating, everyone agreed … Miss Liz would never be a racehorse because she could not sweat. If bad luck for any one mare could be bottled then Yes Ma’am’s would be overflowing. In hindsight, that was just the beginning.
After Miss Liz was born, we struggled getting Yes Ma’am to conceive again in the spring of 2009. Her left ovary remained large and would not ovulate. Through the fall and winter she was evaluated by the top vets in Kentucky. No one would definitively say whether she had a tumor or not but that is what we all suspected. At the start of the 2010 breeding season, the left ovary had grown in size from the previous fall and on March 15th, 2010 her left ovary was removed. It was also determined that she did in fact have a granulosa cell tumor. With no left ovary, the right ovary did its thing and proceeded to produce great follicles and ovulate normally. Three weeks after surgery, she was pregnant again. Yes Ma’am became a factory of efficiency and produced 6 straight foals from 2011 to 2016. Her production record reads like a mare who missed living up to the high expectations forced upon her by her 24 yr old naive, newly minted owner that beautifully warm and sunny day in October 2005.
Unfortunately, the saga of Yes Ma’am does not end there. Rewind the tape back to April 2014. Yes Ma’am delivers a healthy filly on April 8th and shortly thereafter develops an infection in her left eye. It quickly intensifies and the aggressive nature of it forces us to remove her left eye on April 30, just 22 days after foaling. The eye removal doesn’t seem to affect the mare in any way and by the end of May, she is pregnant again.
At this point, the health of the mare and the economic nature of this business were first and foremost in our minds. When she foaled in 2016, we decided to curtail her broodmare career and let her live a peaceful and gentle life with the rest of the retired mares. At only 12 years old she was poised to be the youngest retired mare we had but one who had been through more battles than all the other combined.
Gina, who cares for all the mares at her farm, has a special memory of Yes Ma'am's last foal.
"Talk about going out with a bang. She was super uncomfortable that day and we had turned her out in a small paddock close to the barn. I had two of the girls go get her and bring her back into the barn. Halfway into the barn her water broke. When the intern went to check the position of the foal, the mare pushed more fluid out and completely soaked her from head to toe. During the new foal exam later that day, while we were busy with her colt, she kept reaching over to play with my daughter in the stroller. Faith loved every minute of it, giggling and reaching for the mare’s muzzle.
Today Yes Ma’am is living her best life out at my house with her best friend Sister Sammy."
|Year Foaled||Name||Sire||Sex||Earnings||Record||Yearling Sale $|
|2016||Confessional||A Rocknroll Dance||Colt||$2,500|
|2014||Inner Demons||Rock N Roll Heaven||Filly||$7,020||1:59.0||$8,000|
|2012||Litmanen||Rock N Roll Heaven||Gelding||$7,401||$50,000|
|2011||Cut A Deal||Rocknroll Hanover||Filly||$120,715||1:52.3||$25,000|
|2009||Miss Liz||Bettor's Delight||Filly||$47,000|