A foal of 1965, Hold Hands had a most unlikely background for an internationally important producer. Sired by the stakes-placed Eight Thirty horse Anyoldtime, she was produced from stakes-placed Cold Hands, whose sire Beau Max was a beautifully bred son of Bull Lea who could never live up to his pedigree. Cold Hands’ dam Rosy Fingered (by Eight Thirty) was likewise more distinguished for pedigree than performance as she is a half sister to 1937 American champion 3-year-old filly Dawn Play (by Clock Tower). Nonetheless, there was potential in Hold Hands’s pedigree: she was inbred 2x3 to Eight Thirty, an excellent racehorse, sire, and broodmare sire, and she was also inbred 5x5x4 to the immortal Man o’ War, likewise a great sire and broodmare sire. Adding to the potency of Hold Hands’s genetic background, Man o’ War and Eight Thirty were both grandsons of 1903 English Triple Crown winner and influential sire Rock Sand (the paternal grandsire of Eight Thirty and the broodmare sire of Man o’ War), and one of the Man o’ War crosses is through 1937 American Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year War Admiral, who came from the same immediate female family as did Eight Thirty.
Like many closely inbred individuals, Hold Hands did not fare well on the track, though this may have been due to misfortune as much as to lack of talent; she made only one start and won it, earning US$900. It was in the paddocks that she showed her true merit. Bred to a series of regional sires, she produced five stakes winners and the earners of US$1,017,729, a more than respectable sum for any mare producing anywhere in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. For the state of Washington, it was astronomical.
Hold Hands got her broodmare career off on the right foot with her 1969 filly Hot Feet, a daughter of 1954 Saratoga Handicap winner Cold Command (by War Admiral) that won three local stakes races and produced three Washington stakes winners of her own. The mare’s next foal was 1973 Yakima Valley Derby winner Whatawaytogo (by the Ribot horse Kotzebue).
After producing the hardy Prince Aurelius (a winner of 21 of 146 starts) by 1966 Longacres Mile Handicap winner Aurelius II, Hold Hands had no produce in 1972 or 1973 but got back into the swing of things in 1974 with Prince Aurelius’s full sister Any Time Girl, whose three stakes wins as a juvenile of 1976 included the Oak Leaf Stakes (USA-G2). Sadly, Any Time Girl did not produce any foals, but her stakes-placed full sister Got You (a foal of 1975) produced multiple Washington stakes winner Got You Runnin (by Table Run) and I Got Silver (by Petersburg), a stakes winner at Sunland Park as a 6-year-old. Hold Hands was to produce two more winners by Aurelius II, and one, Anytime Ms., brought further glory to the family as the dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Brocco (by Kris S.) and listed stakes winner Shapiro’s Mistress (by Unpredictable); the last-named mare, in turn, produced Grade 2-placed listed stakes winner Mistress S. (by Kris S.) and listed stakes winner Kodema (by Seeking the Gold) and is the ancestress of 2009 American Oaks Invitational Stakes (USA-G1) winner Gozzip Girl (by Dynaformer), Grade 2 winners Kingsbarns (by Uncle Mo) and My Gi Gi (by E Dubai), and Group 3 winners Galileo’s Town (by Speightstown), Gianella (by Lizard Island), and Lotus Land (by Point of Entry).
Hold Hands’s final two stakes winners were sired by the Round Table horse Table Run, winner of the 1973 Longacres Derby and two other stakes events. Crystal Run was roughly on a par with his sire in merit, winning three stakes races at Longacres and Remington Park and running second in the 1989 Longacres Mile Handicap (USA-G2), but his elder sister Table Hands was better, winning the 1979 Del Mar Debutante Stakes (USA-G2) and Hollywood Lassie Stakes (USA-G2) and the 1980 Santa Ynez Stakes (USA-G3). Table Hands failed to produce any stakes winners, but her daughter Silver Service (by Silver Deputy) is the dam of multiple Grade 3-placed stakes winner Summer Service (by Siberian Summer).
The South American branch of Hold Hands’s family descends through Table Hands’s 1982 Nijinsky II daughter Blint, in turn the dam of By My Side (by multiple Grade 1 winner Ogygian). By My Side never raced and was exported to Brazil, where she produced 2000 Grande Prêmio Roger Guedon (BRZ-G3) winner In My Side (by multiple Group 1 winner and Brazilian champion sire Clackson). In My Side, in turn, produced 2013/2014 Brazilian Horse of the Year Bal a Bali (by Put It Back), a multiple Grade 1 winner in the United States. Through her Wild Event daughter Quebra-de-Braco, In My Side is also the second dam of 2022 Grande Premio Francisco Eduardo de Paula Machado (BRZ-G1) winner Online (by Agnes Gold), and another In My Side daughter by Wild Event, Valleyview, is the dam of multiple Brazilian Group 1 winner Orfeu Negro (by Agnes Gold) and 2019 Grande Prêmio General Couto de Magalhaes (BRZ-G3) winner Quiron (by Public Purse). Calling You and Don’t Be, full sisters to Quebra-de-Braco and Valleyview, are the dams of 2022 Premio Francisco J. Beazley (ARG-G2) winner Lucky You (by Put It Back) and 2021 Grande Prêmio Presidente Augusto de Souza Queiroz (BRZ-G3) winner Alley-Oop (by Tiger Heart), respectively, and In My Side’s 2009 Northern Afleet daughter, Angel Eyes, is the dam of Love Touch (by Put It Back).
Very few regional broodmares will ever achieve what Hold Hands has, but then again, few mares from bluer blood and more fashionable areas ever do either. Her story is a reminder that lightning can strike anywhere, but particularly when the ground has been prepared for it by a careful effort to concentrate the best genetics possible out of whatever bloodlines are available. Hold Hands was the result of such an effort, and that effort continues to benefit the breed.