Trendi scores upset over Kiss My Hocks in $900,000 Rainbow Futurity

July 21st, 2014

Trendi, at odds of 44-1, pulled off the upset of the year at Ruidoso Downs by handing number-one-ranked Quarter Horse runner Kiss My Hocks his first defeat, in the Grade 1, $900,000 Rainbow Futurity on Sunday afternoon .

Ridden by Larry Gamez, Trendi covered the 400 yards in :19.525 to defeat Kiss My Hocks by a neck. Eagle On The Fly finished third, one neck behind Kiss My Hocks.

“When I got her, she had already won (a maiden race at Delta Downs),” said trainer Wes Giles, who trains the 2-year-old filly for William Smith, who purchased her for $210,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.

“If she would have run in the top-three I would have been happy, but you always want to win,” Giles added. “She can’t read, so she wasn’t worried (about Kiss My Hocks).”

Trendi won her first two starts, including her Ruidoso Futurity trial, but did not qualify for the Futurity. She next finished second to Logans Zoomin in their Rainbow Futurity trial, which produced the three-fastest qualifiers to the Futurity: Logans Zoomin, Trendi and Tempting Valor.

Kiss My Hocks, the 3-10 odds on Rainbow Futurity favorite, sustained his first setback after five-straight wins, including the G2 Sam Houston Futurity and the G1 $700,000 Ruidoso Futurity.

“He lost his footing (at the start) and stumbled into Jm Miracle,” said Kiss My Hocks’ rider, Cody Jensen, who won the Rainbow Derby with Houdini on Saturday. “Trendi was already gone and we just couldn’t run her down.”

Third-place finisher Eagle On The Fly, a daughter of One Famous Eagle, was trying for her third-straight win. She was a non-qualifying winner of her Ruidoso Futurity trial in her career debut and then won her Rainbow Futurity trial by one length.

Trendi’s full brother, Stolis Winner, won the 2008 Rainbow Futurity and then went on to win the All American Futurity and was named world champion as a two-year-old. Trendi and Stolis Winner are by Stoli and out of Veva Jean, by Runaway Winner.

The order of finish for the Rainbow Futurity: Trendi at 44-1; Kiss My Hocks at 3-10; Eagle On The Fly at 14-1; Bodacious Eagle at 12-1; Boi George at 28-1; Wild Sixes Cartel at 18-1; Tempting Valor at 36-1; Jm Miracle at 5-1; Logans Zoomin at 14-1.

Jerry Linaweaver, 1942-2014

July 16th, 2014

Jerry Linaweaver of Leavenworth, Kansas, a former NCHA director, and a member for 40 years, passed away July 14.

Linaweaver traced his involvement in cutting to a local show he attended in the early 1970s.

“A lady there explained it to me and we’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.

Linaweaver’s cutting rose to a new level in the 1990s when he began “collecting” horses by San Jo Lena out of Miss Johnie Sug. He won the NCHA Western Nationals Non-Pro championship on Sanjo Sneaker.

He qualified for the NCHA World Finals in 2001. That same year, he won both the Open and Non-Pro championships at the Oklahoma Select Breeders Futurity, riding San Joes Gaybar Tari.

He shared the secret of his success by saying, “Concentrate. The point is, it’s just between you and your horse. Don’t try to impress anyone. Go in there and get him shown.”

Jerry Linaweaver is survived by his wife of 53 years, Betty, and sons Jerry Jr., Mark and Blaine.

Visitation will be July 22 6-8 pm, with the funeral 10 am wed July 23. RL Leintz Funeral Home, 4701 10th Ave., Leavenworth, Kansas.

The Ghost Horse

July 10th, 2014

A book with the title “The Ghost Horse – A True Story of Love, Death, and Redemption” is one that would not ordinarily interest me. But the author’s name gave me pause, so I picked it up.

Joe Layden, a New York Times best-selling author and award-winning journalist, connects on a gut level in the unvarnished story of 57-year-old, small-time race trainer Tim Snyder and a $4,500 filly Snyder named Lisa’s Booby Trap, in honor of his late wife, who had galloped horses for a living and said before she died of ovarian cancer in 2003 that she wanted to be reincarnated as a horse.

“Horse racing is not so much a business as it is a calling,” notes Layden. “The work requires too much time and energy to pursue it with anything less than utter passion; and even then, the odds against success can seem practically insurmountable. But for those who are drawn into the game, particularly at a young age, success and failure are almost irrelevant. Theirs is an obsession that must be fed, often without regard to the usual societal constraints, or the expectations set forth by family and friends.”

Such was the case of Snyder, a jockey’s son born in the first-aid station at a small Massachusetts racetrack, always on the lookout for a big break, but nevertheless the practical philosopher.

“For most of us it’s a really rough life,” Snyder told Layden. “It doesn’t matter how pretty they are, they’re still horses, and what goes on in the barn in the morning is what really matters. All that other stuff – the braided tail, the colorful silks, the guy wearing a suit in the paddock, in the afternoon, before the race? That’s all window dressing.”

Unlike Snyder’s unceremonious backside birth, Lisa’s Booby Trap was bred and raised at Florida’s prestigious Ocala Stud and nominated at birth to the Breeders’ Cup. But as an early 2-year-old, she showed little promise and Ocala Stud handed her off to horse broker John Shaw.

“She was a good-looking horse, big and strong, with a decent pedigree,” Shaw told Layden. “Not great, but respectable. But when I tried to work her? Jesus Christmas, she was slow. I practically had to time this horse with a sundial. It was ridiculous.”

Shaw, in turn, handed the filly over to another broker, Don Hunt. “My deal with Don was ‘Come and get her, try to do something with her. I gotta tell you though, she’s so slow you have to mark the ground to make sure she’s moving.”

Ultimately, the filly ended up with Snyder, who paid $2,000 down, with a promise to remit the remaining $2,500 from her earnings. In her first start, at Finger Lakes Racetrack, where Snyder camped out in a tack room, Lisa’s Booby Trap won a maiden special weight by 17¾ lengths, After her second start, won by 10½ lengths, Snyder was offered $50,000 for Lisa’s Booby Trap, but turned it down. He did the same when offered $125,000, following her third start, which she won by 8½ lengths.

From Finger Lakes it was on to renowned Saratoga Race Course, where Lisa’s Booby Trap won $42,000, as the six-length winner of the Loudonville Stakes. By now the all but throw-away filly had won four races out of four starts, by a total of 42½ lengths. And her story had just begun.

“Breeding is as much about hope and luck as it is science,” says Layden, a longtime racing fan. “You throw all that DNA into a blender and hit the switch, and then you stand back and let nature take its course.”

Or perhaps, as in the case of Lisa’s Booby Trap, let love takes its course.

“I don’t really believe so much in reincarnation,” Snyder has been quoted as saying. “It’s a big word, you know what I mean? But, there are a lot of things in this horse that resemble my wife.”

World champs dominate Calgary

July 10th, 2014

One Time Choice

Chubby Turner on One Time Choice.

Reigning NCHA Open World Champion One Time Choice and Non-Pro World Champion Mary Jo Milner dominated their respective divisions of the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the Calgary Stampede on Wednesday, July 9.

One Time Choice, ridden by Chubby Turner for the Jaeggi Family’s J Five Horse Ranch Mgmt, marked 226 as the last contestant in the Open finals. Her $8,900 paycheck took the late-blooming mare’s career earnings over $212,000. The 7-year-old was bred by Walt & Lou Ann Burdette, by One Time Pepto out of Hickory Choice.

This was her second win in Mercuria World Series of Cutting events, following her victory at the Idaho CHA Futurity last year.

Mary Jo Milner

Mary Jo Milner on Smooth Asa Zee.

Mary Jo Milner, who claimed her eighth World Championship in 2013, marked 219 on Smooth Asa Zee to win by three points over David Anderson on CD Peptofilly.

Smooth Asa Zee, inducted in the NCHA Horse Hall of Fame at the 2014 NCHA Convention in Salt Lake City, went over the $500,000 mark in earnings with the win. The 9-year-old Smooth As a Cat gelding was bred by John and Hope Mitchell out of Zee Dualy.

While Milner has been a finalist in 16 prior Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting events, this was her first win in the series.

Marie Hulling, 1920 – 2014

July 9th, 2014

Marie Elizabeth Hulling, 93, wife of the late Cletus Hulling and mother of noted equine clinician Barbra Schulte, passed away on July 7th, 2014. For details click this link.

The Non-Pro and Open

June 18th, 2014

Pete Branch

Little Rey Whirlacat and rider Pete Branch capped off The Non-Pro Cutting in Oklahoma City with a 220-point win in the 4-Year-Old Open, on Tuesday, June 17. The $7,500 winner’s check was the richest from the 8-day, 12-division event.

Reserve champion Cool Cat Dual Rey, with 219 points under under Kobie Wood, earned $3,894; while third-placed Playful Highbrow CD, ridden by Walt Erwin, claimed $3,149 with 215 points.

Little Rey Whirlacat, by Little Dulces Rey, is owned by Lonnie and Barbara Allsup’s El Cid Land & Cattle Company, Clovis, N.M., and was bred by the Allsups, who also own Little Dulces Rey. Little Rey Whirlacat is the first NCHA money earner out of the High Brow Cat daughter Whirlacat, who was a 2005 NCHA Futurity Open finalist (10th) under Branch, a Hall of Fame Rider and earner of $3.5 million.

Branch was also a The Non-Pro 4-Year-Old Open finalist aboard MS Curious Kitty, owned by El Cid Land & Cattle.

Cool Cat Dual Rey, sired by Dual Rey and owned by Cotton and Davis Quarter Horses, was bred by Kobie Wood’s wife, Paula, out of Donas Cool Cat LTE $315,104. Paula placed third in The Non-Pro 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro finals last week on Boon Too Suen-sired Donas Suen Boon, 2012 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity champion with Paula and half-sister to Cool Cat Dual Rey.

Kobie also placed third with 5-year-old Donas Suen Boon in The Non-Pro 5/6-Year-Old Open and showed Ted and Dee Berry’s stallion Sues Cat Jack, by Cats Quixote Jack, to place eighth in the 4-Year-Old finals.

Nadine Payne, Overbrook, Okla., won the 4-Year-Old Non-Pro finals with 219 points on Dizzy Lizzy Girl, by Lizzys Gotta Player. Megan Miller took reserve with 218 points aboard Booreylicious, by Halreycious, and Luis De Armas was third with 216 points on Sensacious, also by Halreycious.

Payne and Dizzy Lizzy Girl also won the 4-Year-Old Non-Pro Limited. The two wins this week mark the third championship for the pair, who also won the Abilene Spectacular Non-Pro Limited. James Payne, Nadine’s husband, has also been successful with the bay mare, beginning in 2013 with a reserve title in the West Texas Open Futurity; fifth-place in the PCCHA Open Futurity; and third in the Cotton Stakes.

James Payne

James Payne also claimed the 5/6-Year-Old Open at The Non-Pro with 224 points aboard 6-year-old Once In A Blue Boon, owned by Charlotte Farms. The Peptoboonsmal son was one of three horses shown by Payne in the finals. Payne also placed sixth on Highrey Cat, owned by Andy Beckstein, and 13th with Peptotoodie, for Bill Masterson, the breeder of Dizzy Lizzie Girl.

Five-year-old Smooth Strategy, sired by Smooth As A Cat and ridden for Ken Sitton by Steve Oehlhof, was reserve champion of the 5/6-Year-Old Open with 220 points.

Megan Miller and homegrown Booreylicious came to The Non-Pro off of a third-place finish worth $19,486 in the Breeders Invitational, as well as the reserve title in the Non-Pro Novice of the same event.

Booreylicious, trained by Megan’s husband, Matt, is out of Travs Scooter LTE $221,566, 2006 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro champion with Matt, and 2009 NCHA Super Stakes 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro champion with Megan. Travs Scooter’s first foal, 5-year-old Bada Boo, by One Time Pepto, also owned and shown by the Millers, is the earner of $34,507.

In the 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro finals, Kelle Earnheart and her 5-year-old Purdy Boy Flash daughter Flash About took the champion’s title with 223 points. Chad Bushaw and 6-year-old Bet On A Cat, by High Brow Cat, claimed reserve with 221 points, and Paula Wood on Donas Suen Boon, and Lauren Chartier on Spoonful Of Tears, tied for third with 219.5 points.

This was the sixth championship win for Earnheart and Flash About. The dynamic duo came to Oklahoma City with three 2014 non-pro titles: the Tunica Futurity, Arbuckle Mountain, and Breeders Invitational.

Dual Smart Kitty scores big in Vegas

June 14th, 2014

Dual Smart Kitty. Photo by Midge Ames

NCHA Futurity champions Dual Smart Kitty and Clay Johnson scored 226 points on Thursday night in Las Vegas to win the PCCHA Derby. What About Blue and Countin On Stella, ridden by Morgan Cromer, placed second and third, respectively, with 223 and 221.5 points; Cromer also scored 216 points in a three-way tie for sixth on Little Dirty Deeds.

Dual Smart Kitty, sired by Dual Smart Rey and owned by Rusty Simpson, Nemo, Tex., is the leading contender for NCHA Horse of the Year, with a championship win in the Abilene Spectacular, finalist rankings in four other major events, and earnings of $285,000.

What About Blue, sired by High Brow CD, had previously placed as a finalist in four non-pro and non-pro limited events with owner Jacob Pinheiro, Los Alamos, Calif. Countin On Stella, by Im Countin Checks, was an open finalist (20th) with Cromer in the Breeders Invitational, and placed as a finalist in the NCHA Super Stakes Amateur (9th) and as Amateur reserve champion of the Pacific Coast Winter Roundup with owner Terry Ratto, Los Altos, Calif.


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