In order to achieve proper cylinder wall prep, three areas are typically scrutinized by the engine builder and/or machinist; finish, cross-hatch and distortion, all with the goal of achieving superior ring seal and maximum performance. High performance engine shops use a profilometer to scrutinize cylinder wall finish, formerly referred to as "RA" (Roughness Average). The sophisticated electronic tool features a diamond-tipped stylus, similar to the needle found on a vinyl record turntable, that drags across the surface measuring the distribution of peaks and valleys. A profilometer provides modern, defined descriptions of cylinder bore finish that include "RPK" (Reduced Peak Height), "RVK" (Reduced Valley Depth) and "RK" (Core Roughness Depth), which is based on both the "RPK" and "RVK" measurements.
Bred by Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud in , he was the son of winner , a son of the very important , . Peaks and Valleys' dam was Strike a Balance, a daughter of the , .
At age three in 1995, Peaks and Valleys won the but skipped the races. Under future jockey , he also won the at Woodbine Racetrack and the Grade I at the in . He also beat by two lengths to win the in . After his win in the last of these races, Krone described him as "a magnificent horse with a long, smooth stride." Although he finished sixth in the , his 1995 performances earned Peaks and Valleys the and titles.
At the end of the year, Peaks and Valleys was retired and entered stud for the 1997 season. He first stood at Pin Oak's stud farm in Kentucky before being sent to in . Among his offspring are multiple U.S. stakes winner (b. 1998), Zurbaran (b. 1999) who earned Horse of the Year honors in , and Pinpoint (b. 2002), winner of the .