Archive for March, 2008

2008 NRCHA Stakes champions

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Days Zanolena, ridden by Tucker Robinson, won the NRCHA Open Stakes and a total of $42,822, on Sunday at Idaho Horse Park, Nampa, ID, with Governor and First Lady Butch and Lori Otter among the spectators. The 5-year-old daughter of Smart Zanolena earned a composite score of 656.5. Hes Wright On placed second (655) under Doug Williamson; Smart Crackin Chic, by Smart Chic Olena, was third (653) with Todd Crawford.

Robinson, 29, is the son of Ted Robinson, NRCHA’s most celebrated rider and first million-dollar winner, with seven Snaffle Bit Futurity wins and two World’s Greatest Horseman titles. Ted is pictured here winning the 1999 World’s Greatest Horseman championship on Katie Starlight.

Days Zanolena, who was 2007 NRCHA Hackamore Classic champion for Tucker Robinson, is owned by her breeder, former Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro champion Matt Day, of Bend, OR.

The NRCHA Stakes Non-Pro Finals was won by Marc Bourdet with 647.5 on 5-year-old CD Precious Peppy, by CD Olena. This was Bourdet’s first major limited age event win. Anne Reynolds and Michelle Cowan tied for second with 645.5 on Very Smart Flo Jo and Wheres My Shine, respectively. Cowan also placed fifth on Reward Me Please.

Bourdet collected $12,316 for his win. Bar H Ranche, Weatherford, TX, also received $2,000 as the owner of the sire of the champion.

Curlin claims the world’s richest horse race

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

2007 Horse of the Year Curlin captured the $6 million Dubai World Cup on Saturday with a 7 3/4-length victory in the at Nad al Sheba racetrack, in the Untied Arab Emirates. The win boosted his earnings to $8.8 million and places him third behind Cigar, with $9.9 million, and Skip Away, with $9.6 million, among all-time leading race earners. Cigar won the inaugural Dubai Cup in 1996.

“Curlin is like a limousine and I am just along for the ride,” said Robby Albarado of the Smart Strike colt trained by Steve Asmussen for Stonestreet Stables. The winning margin topped Dubai Millennium’s 6-length record in the 2000 running of the Dubai Cup.

It was Curlin’s fourth consecutive victory. His 2007 wins included the Preakness Stakes, followed by the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. On February 28, he claimed a handicap at Nad al Sheba in preparation for the Dubai Cup.

Curlin came to prominence on April 14, 2007 with a record 10 1/2-length win in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby. It was his third career start. He had won his first two by overwhelming margins, as well. Although he was a public favorite coming into the Kentucky Derby, handicappers were skeptical because he had not raced as a 2-year-old. The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby without having raced at two was Apollo in 1882. The last horse to win the Derby with only three previous starts was Regret in 1915.

Curlin didn’t win the Derby. He placed third behind Street Sense. But he came back to upset Street Sense in the Preakness Stakes, ran second in the Belmont Stakes, and is within striking distance of Cigar’s hallowed record.

Rapping with Redneck Yachtclub

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

When it comes to naming horses, Thoroughbred racehorse owners tend to be more inventive than Quarter Horse owners, whose vocabularies are often limited to words like smart, peppy, kid, skip, zip, whiz, etc.

Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, however, are Quarter Horse owners and breeders that stand out in the herd. Phil is cutting’s all-time leading money earner with more than $5.5 million; Mary Ann is also a leader with $2.5 million.

Phil recently won $300,000 as champion of the MillionHeir Open Derby on Redneck Yachtclub. The Rapps purchased the gelding as a 2-year-old at the NCHA Futurity Sales. He had been registered as FMR Too Smart, but Phil liked the Craig Morgan song Redneck Yacht Club and the future champ was given a new name that is as flashy as his working style.

“He’s a neat horse,” said Phil. “The harder it is and the more a cow will threaten him, the more he likes it.”

Possum Kingdom Reservoir is close enough to the Rapps’ ranch in Weatherford, TX that Phil can slip away every now and then for some fishing. He was there last Labor Day, when his best fishing buddy, son Ryan, 5, asked, “Daddy, what’s a redneck yacht club?” Phil didn’t have to look far to find an example, but the best one was at home in his own back yard.

This Silver was pure gold

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

There might not be a “Hall of Fame” for helping horses, those unsung heroes of horse sports, both on the racetrack and in the arena, but Silver, owned by the late Greg Welch, received special recognition for years of service during his last day on the job, at the 1991 National Cutting Horse Futurity.

Although he belonged to Welch, an NCHA Hall of Fame trainer, NCHA Futurity champion, and NCHA World champion, through the years, Silver served hundreds of owners and riders. “Jillions of people used him,” Welch told me during an interview following Silver’s retirement. “I think just about everybody borrowed him at one time or another.”

“He was good for anything you wanted to do on him, but not great at anything except as a turnback horse,” added Welch, who acquired Silver as a 3-year-old, when the bay colt didn’t pan out as a cutting horse. “Retired cutting horses are usually too cowy to be turnback horses. It takes one with not quite enough cow to make a turnback horse. It’s hard to find a good one.” (more…)

2008 Rocky Mountain 5/6 Open

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
Earned: $1,645


2008 Rocky Mountain 4-year-old Open

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
REY TO PLAY R: COX, LLOYD O: Holmes Cutting Horses
Earned: $1,691


2008 Rocky Mountain 4-year-old Non-Pro

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
Earned: $728