Archive for March, 2010

Dont Look Twice and Ollies Spooky Cat top go-round

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Don’t Look Twice and Ollies Spooky Cat topped a tough field of Super Stakes Classic first round contenders with twin scores of 220 points.

Halee and Boyd Rice with Third Cutting, who topped yesterday's go-round.

Halee and Boyd Rice with Third Cutting, who topped yesterday's scores.

Twenty-five horses scored 217 points or more out of the 130 horses that advanced to the final go-round, with at least 212 points. Third Cutting, the 2009 NCHA Super Stakes and Derby champion, owned by Carl and Shawnea Smith, marked the second-highest score of 219.5 points under Boyd Rice. Rice also scored 218 points on Peptos Stylish Sue; 217 points with Dual Spark; and 216 aboard Smart Kitty RG, the 2008 NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion.

Phil Rapp shows Dont Look Twice for Louis and Corliss Baldwin, and Austin Shepard rides Ollies Spooky Cat for Khader Daoud. Rapp also advanced with 216 points on ARC Catty Dual and This Kats King, while Shepard scored 216.5 points on Playin At The Mall and 216 aboard Snazzy Easter Bunny.

Tuesday’s top scoring horses both came from the last set of the day  – Third Cutting, with 219.5 points, and Special Nu Kitty, with 219 points under R.L. Chartier for Wrigley Ranches, Weatherford, TX.

R L Chartier and Special Nu Kitty.

R L Chartier and Special Nu Kitty.

“I couldn’t have asked for her to be any better,” said Chartier. “We had three tough cows. She’s so smart and she’s quick underneath you, if you’re not ready. But she’s got eye appeal, too. Special Nu Kitty, by High Brow Cat, marked 227 points in the first go-round of the 2007 NCHA Futurity — the highest go-round score in the history of the event.

Special Nu Kitty and Special Nu Baby, a 2010 Super Stakes first round leader, with 219 points under Matt Gaines, are half-sisters out of Nu I Wood, an all-time leading earner of over $400,000. Special Nu Kitty and Special Nu Baby have each earned well over $100,000.

Stylish And Foxie siblings are competive, too

Full siblings Peptos Stylish Miss, Miss Stylish Pepto, and Eyez On Me, by Peptoboonsmal and out of Stylish And Foxie, rode the crest to today’s second go-round.

John Mitchell.

John Mitchell.

Six-year-old Peptos Stylish Miss scored 218.5 points yesterday with John Mitchell for Slate River Ranch, Weatherford, TX.

“That’s nearly the best she’s ever been,” said Mitchell. “She’s had a lot of big runs. The action here didn’t show as much as in other runs, but the cows were so tricky.

“They tried to trick her and she slowed down and made it look so simple. But it wasn’t. She was phenomenal.” Peptos Stylish Miss placed fourth in the 2008 NCHA Super Stakes and has earned more than $250,000, ridden exclusively by Mitchell.

Veteran Bill Riddle, who won the 1988 NCHA Super Stakes riding Aglows First Rio, shows both Miss Stylish Pepto and Eyez On Me. It was Riddle who rode the sisters’ dam, Stylish And Foxie, as reserve champion of the 1997 NCHA Super Stakes and to earn her over $300,000.

Terry Riddle, Bill’s brother, showed Foxie Merada, the dam of Stylish And Foxie, to win the 1990 Super Stakes for Chuck Drummond. It was Drummond who owned Docs Stylish Oak, the sire of Stylish And Foxie.

“I’ve been real fortunate to have good horses,” said Bill Riddle. “In this business, if you don’t have more than one (good horse), it’s hard to recoup sometimes. “I had a wreck the other day on my four-year-old that’s a great mare, but I was able to come back with another really good horse and get it shown.

“When you can do that, everything looks better and you feel better about yourself.”

On Monday, Riddle and 6-year-old Miss Stylish Pepto marked 219 points, ultimately the third-highest score from the first go-round. Miss Stylish Pepto, the earner of nearly $200,000, is owned by Glenn and Debbie Drake, Napa, CA.

Yesterday, Riddle rode 5-year-old Eyez On Me, also owned by Glenn and Debbie Drake, to score 217 points.

“He’s a beautiful moving horse and, to me, a little quicker and a little stronger than the mare,” said Riddle, who placed third riding Eyez On Me in the 2009 NCHA Super Stakes.

Stella competitors

Bruce Morine.

Bruce Morine.

Half-sisters Catrina Starlight, by Highbrow Cat, and Wanda Rey, by Dual Rey, also made the “A” list for today’s action. Both mares are ridden by Bruce Morine and out of 2000 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro champion Stella Starlight, who was trained by Morine for Lach Perks.

Catrina Starlight, owned by Kyle Manion, who will show her in the Non-Pro division next week, scored 217 points, while Wanda Rey, owned by Lach and Jan Perks, marked 216.

“I like all of those out of Stella,” said Morine. “They’ve been good to me.”

Ollies Spooky Cat, Dont Look Twice share 220 lead

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Ollies Spooky Cat and Dont Look Twice claimed the first day of Super Stakes Classic competition with dual scores of 220 points.

Austin Shepard and Ollies Spooky Cat.

Austin Shepard and Ollies Spooky Cat.

Ridden by 2008 NCHA Super Stakes champion Austin Shepard, Ollies Spooky Cat made his mark as the first to work in the fourth set. At the time, Docs Alota Pepto was the go-round leader at 219 points, with 2008 NCHA Super Stakes Open Limited champion Jaime Snider, the first to work in the third set of cattle.

Shepard had also scored 216 riding Snazzy Easter Bunny as the first rider in the second set.

“I can’t say enough about how well this horse was trained,” said Shepard of Ollies Spooky Cat, who he purchased last fall through Tommy Marvin. Marvin had shown the High Brow Cat son as a finalist in the 2008 NCHA Futurity and the 2009 Tunica Futurity, where he had caught Shepard’s eye.

When non-pro client Khader Daoud asked Shepard to find a horse that both of them could show, Ollies Spooky Cat was the one that came to Shepard’s mind.

“It was kind of nerve-wracking because the deal was over the phone and Khader had never seen the horse,” said Shepard. “You don’t want to buy a horse for someone that they’re not going to like.”

But Shepard had a good feel for what Daoud would like. It was Shepard who acquired Daoud’s first limited age event mount, Peponita Times Two, the horse that would carry Daoud and his wife, Dora, to win six major non-pro and amateur championships.

Shepard gelded Ollies Spooky Cat several months ago and since then, the 5-year-old has placed as reserve champion of the South Point Winter Derby with Shepard and as an NCHA Eastern National Non-Pro finalist with Khader, who will also show him in the Super Stakes Non-Pro Classic.

Phil and Mary Ann Rapp with Dont Look Twice.

Phil and Mary Ann Rapp with Dont Look Twice.

Dont Look Twice earned $70,119 as the fourth-placed finalist at last year’s NCHA Super Stakes. It was one of the few times that the 5-year-old mare, owned by Louis and Corliss Baldwin, Fort Worth, TX, has been “off the boards.”

“She’s just one of those special horses that don’t come along very often,” said Rapp, who should know. He has shown the High Brow Cat daughter to win seven major championships, three reserve championships, and over $320,000.

“She’s so smart,” Rapp said. “And she has so much reach. She’s just got so much of her grandmother in her.”

Dont Look Twice’s grandam, Tap O Lena, won 16 majors with Rapp, including the 1994 NCHA Open Super Stakes, as well as both the 1996 Open and Non- Pro Super Stakes Classics. The 20-yearold mare, who has a 2010 Dual Rey filly that Phil looks forward to showing, has career earnings of $502,000.

Rapp and his wife, Mary Ann, cutting’s all-time leading open and non-pro money earners, also showed Tapt Twice, dam of Dont Look Twice, to earn nearly $300,000.

219 times three

snider jaime

Jaime Snider.

Docs Alota Pepto, Miss Stylish Pepto, and Auspicious Cat all marked 219 points, Monday’s second-highest score. Docs Alota Pepto, ridden by Jaime Snider for Thad and Kristen York, Saratoga, WY, earned his biggest paycheck as the sixth-placed finalist with Snider at last year’s NCHA Classic Challenge.

The 6-year-old son of Sweet Lil Pepto will be ridden in the Super Stakes Amateur Classic by Kristen York, who showed him for the first time as a finalist in the Arbuckle Mountain Amateur division.

Bill Riddle and his daughter Kelly with Miss Stylish Pepto.

Bill Riddle and his daughter Kelly with Miss Stylish Pepto.

Miss Stylish Pepto and Bill Riddle worked next-to-last in the same set as Docs Alota Pepto.

“We were fortunate and got the cattle that we wanted,” said Riddle, an all-time leading money earner, who won the 1988 Super Stakes on Aglows First Rio. “The cow that we cut first, I would have cut her if I had been first (in the herd),” Riddle added. “But there were a couple of scratches in the set that may have helped us a little bit.”

Miss Stylish Pepto, was bred and is owned by Glenn and Debbie Drake, Napa, CA. The 6-year-old Petoboonsmal daughter, third-placed in the 2008 NCHA Super Stakes, has earned nearly $200,000 under Riddle, who also showed her dam, Stylish And Foxie, to win over $300,000.

Ed Dufurrena.

Ed Dufurrena.

Auspicious Cat and rider Ed Duferrena worked third to Ollies Spooky Cat and Austin Shepard, in the fourth set of the day.

“It’s always a little unsettling when someone like Austin goes in front of you and lays down a big run,” said Duferrena. “But this horse has been a pretty consistent finalist and he gets better every day.”

Owned by Dos Cats Partners, Gainesville, TX, 5-year-old Auspicious Cat, by High Brow Cat, has been a finalist in six major events.

“He’s a pretty mover, very low profile and very cowy,” said Duferrena. “(Dos Cats Partners) will breed at least 20 mares to him this year because we think he should have a chance to see if he can produce.”

Dualin Cats Merada wins go-round with 220

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Super Stakes Open first go-round competition concluded yesterday with a bubble of 210 points.

Dualin Cats Merada, by Cats Merada, and Geoffrey Sheehan won the go-round with 220 points for Cal and Debbie Sanders.

Dave Stewart, rider of Short Of Reymarkable.

Dave Stewart, rider of Short Of Reymarkable.

Short Of Reymarkable, ridden by David Stewart, and Boonie Tunes, shown by Boyd Rice, were the day’s leaders with 218.5-point scores.

“That was a tough set, but she helps a lot,” said Stewart, who performed midway through the fourth set of cattle, where only five other horses scored above 210.

“I had to hang on a little too long on my second cut and dropped (Short Of Reymarkable) in kind of a bad spot. But within four moves she was exactly where she needed to be. She actually makes things easier.”

Stewart purchased the Dual Rey daughter last summer for MGM Casino, which gave her to client Roger Turner, of Midland, TX, as a birthday present.

The mare had been trained to that point by Randy Larson.

Stewart and Short Of Reymarkable were among first go-round leaders in the NCHA Futurity, then went on to place as reserve champions at the Abilene Spectacular.

“She’s pretty wired up and takes a lot of riding, but she retains everything well, and she tries her guts out,” Stewart said.

“You don’t get many like that. She’s easily the best one I’ve ever had.”

Boyd Rice.

Boyd Rice advanced two horses.

Boyd Rice, winner of last year’s NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Derby aboard Third Cutting, scored 218.5 points on Boonie Tunes, owned by Danny Poole, Texline, TX, and 218 points with Smart Cat Moria for Ralph Gray, Argyle, TX.

Rice and his son Tarin, also a trainer, both worked with Boonie Tunes leading up to the NCHA Futurity. Boyd showed the Peptoboonsmal son as a first go-round leader in the Futurity, but didn’t advance to the finals. He most recently rode the colt to place 12th in the Cattlemen’s Derby.

Tarin Rice showed Smart Cat Moria in the first go-round of the NCHA Futurity, but had to scratch the High Brow Cat daughter from competition when she developed colitis.

It wasn’t until the end of February that Smart Cat Moria was strong enough to be ridden again.

“She’s a pretty exciting little horse to ride,” said Boyd, who won the first go-round of the Cattlemen’s Derby on the mare and placed 10th with her in the finals.

“No one has seen how good she is because she hasn’t filled back out yet and gotten strong. At the Futurity, I thought she could go all the way. But she got sick and didn’t get the shot.”

Smart Cat Moria is a full sister to Smart Kitty RG, also owned by Ralph Gray, reserve champion of the 2008 NCHA Futurity under Lee Francois.

Rockin W

Tony Piggott, rider of Rockin W.

Tony Piggott, rider of Rockin W.

Rockin W, the 2009 NCHA Futurity champion with Tony Piggott, was yesterday’s headliner and crowd favorite.

The Dual Rey son, bred and owned by Walton’s Rocking W Ranch, Millsap, TX, scored 218 points on a run that ended just as Piggott drove his third cow from the herd. But the performance gave spectators a tantalizing taste and reminder of the NCHA Futurity, where Rockin W brought down the house with a 229-point performance that tied the previous record.

“It was a big relief,” said Piggott, after yesterday’s ride. “He’d been a little sore, so I’d only gotten to work him two or three times before this.

“But he’s so smart. I just work him until I feel him kind of thinking and then I quit. He’s  a lot like his mother, I think. He knows when it’s time to show.

“He’s got a neat style. He kind of traps those cows and snakes around with his neck.”

Rockin W is out of Boon San Kitty,  2004 NCHA Horse of the Year and the fourth generation bred by Alice Walton, owner of Rocking W Ranch.

“To be Miss Piggy’s first baby and for him to always be so special, and then I’m silly enough to name him after my ranch, it was amazing,” said Walton, after the Futurity win.

Walton, who nicknamed Boon San Kitty “Miss Piggy” because of the mare’s healthy appetite, missed yesterday’s performance to attend a memorial service in Dallas for Bill Ellard, the late husband of Jo Ellard, owner of EE Ranches and a close friend of Walton’s. Bill Ellard passed away on March 16 following a long battle with cancer.

Piggott, who was assistant to Paul Hansma at Bar H Ranche before going to work for Rocking W Ranch, also showed Rockin W in the NCHA Futurity Open Limited finals and is the first limited open rider to win the Open Futurity.

Rockin W was trained by Gary Gonsalves and had been laid off for several months in the fall of 2009 to recuperate from a bruised coffin bone. Piggott stepped aboard for the first time a week before the Futurity.

Dualin Cats Merada takes first round lead

Sunday, March 28th, 2010
Geoffrey Sheehan and Dualin Cats Merada marked 220 in Day 2 of Super Stakes competition.

Geoffrey Sheehan and Dualin Cats Merada marked 220 in Day 2 of Super Stakes competition.

No pussy-footing for Dualin Cats Merada yesterday. After the first two horses zeroed out of the first set of the day, The Cats Merada daughter and trainer Geoffrey Sheehan rode in on the fourth draw and marked 220 points, the high score from two days of competition.

“The cows that we picked were supposed to be good and they were,” said Sheehan, who sealed the score with a two-cow run.

“I’ve liked her all along, but I’ve just had some bad luck on her. I showed her at the Futurity and went out in the first round.”

Sheehan won the 2009 NCHA Futurity Open Limited with 222 points on JoJo Boon, the horse that Kory Pounds showed yesterday to earn 218 points.

Both Dualin Cats Merada, owned by Cal and Debbie Sanders, Camden, AR, and JoJo Boon, owned by Steve Anderson, Victoria, TX, belonged previously to Hope Mitchell (Cats Dualin Merada through Justice Farms, owned by Mitchell’s father, Arlis Justice, and JoJo Boon, who was bred by Mitchell).

Sheehan, 24, learned to cut from fellow Aussie native Graham Amos, before going to work for Justice Farms six years ago. The Futurity Limited title was his first major win.

Sheehan shows Miss N Wood and Bobs Freckle Pepto in today’s fourth and seventh sets, respectively.

Spoonful Of Seahorse

Skip and Elizabeth Queen with Spoonful Of Seahorse.

Skip and Elizabeth Queen with Spoonful Of Seahorse.

Spoonful Of Seahorse, owned by Bobby and Lori Gale, Conway, SC, marked yesterday’s second-highest  score of 219 points. The Hes A Peptospoonful daughter was ridden by Skip Queen, midway through the sixth set.

“I only cut two cows, but they were ones that we had watched,” said Queen. “I had a chance to get off my second cow, but I only had fifteen seconds left and I knew I couldn’t get another one cut, so I stayed with it.”

Spoonful Of Seahorse and Queen placed tenth in the recent Arbuckle Mountain Derby and took reserve in the novice division of the same event.

“I’ve had a tough time getting her shown,” said Queen, who trained the mare for the Sanders. “She’s a real showy mare and has been very trainable, so I am excited that I was able to get her shown today.”

Bred by Tony and Lisa Langdon, Spoonful Of Seahorse is the first performer out of Playing My Style, an unshown daughter of Docs Stylish Oak.

JoJo Boon

Kory Pounds.

Kory Pounds.

JoJo Boon and Kory Pounds drew third to work in the fifth set of cattle.

“I had a good draw and the mare did her job,” said Pounds, who was co-champion of the 2008 NCHA Super Stakes riding Playin N Fancy Smart, owned by Slate River Ranch. Slate River  is managed by John Mitchell, husband to Hope, JoJo Boon’s breeder.

“She’s a big stopper,” said Pounds. “But she’s by Peptoboonsmal and he just keeps bringing them.”

Steve Anderson purchased JoJo Boon, after he watched Geoffrey Sheehan win the Futurity Open Limited with her.

“He loved her,” said Pounds. “He made the (non-pro) finals at Augusta on her the only time that he’s shown her.”

Pounds has shown the mare once in major competition — at the Bonanza where he finished fourth.

JoJo Boon is out of Bambi Freckles, a Freckles Playboy daughter that Hope Mitchell showed to earn over $100,000, along with non-pro championship wins in the 2001 NCHA Classic Challenge and the 2001 West Texas Futurity Classic.

Millions Of Freckles, by Bodee Boonsmal, a three-quarter sister to JoJo Boon, has earned over $85,000, while half-sister Lil Ellie Mae has $42,000, and full sister Bobbie Boonsmal is the earner of $21,200.

Little Pepto Cat

Matt Gaines had already staked a claim as one of the high-scoring riders from the first day of competition with 219 points on Special Nu Baby, owned by Gary and Shannon Barker.

But yesterday, Gaines made another stake midway through the last set of cattle, with 218 points on Little Pepto Cat, owned by Bob Kingsley’s Bluestem Ranch, Weatherford, TX.

Little Pepto Cat, by High Brow Cat, is out of 2002 NCHA Horse of the Year Little Pepto Gal, the earner of $524,000, also trained and shown by Gaines.

Little Pepto Cat and Gaines placed fourth recently in the Arbuckle Mountain Derby and also won the novice division of the same event.

Kingsley, long renowned as radio broadcasting’s “Voice of Country Music,” rode Little Pepto Cat as an NCHA Futurity Limited finalist.

Gaines also scored 216.5 points on Friday with A Smooth Criminal for Roxanne Koepsell.

Reys Hot Wheels

Disappointed with his performance on Friday aboard Flo Like A Cat, the mare that he showed to win last month’s South Point Winter Derby, Tim Smith “came a cluckin’,” as the first to work in yesterday’s second set of cattle and scored 217.5 points on Reys Hot Wheels, owned by Brinkman Ranch, Lockeford, CA.

“I cut some bad cows on my good mare, so I’m glad I redeemed myself today and cut some good cows,” said Smith, who won the recent PCCHA Derby and South Point Winter Classic on Cats Full Moon for Brinkman Ranch.

Smith also scored 216 points on Friday as catch rider for Phil Rapp aboard Jerry Bailey’s Smoother Than A Cat.

Reys Hot Wheels, by Dual Rey, was trained and shown in several early futurities by Steve Schlesinger. Smith took up the reins three months ago.

“Steve is easy to follow and he did a great job training him,” said Smith. “This gelding’s been immature mentally, but he’s getting better all the time, and he’s a show horse. You work him and think, geez. But then he cuts.”

Trick Pepto takes the day

Saturday, March 27th, 2010
T.J. Good with first-day leader Trick Pepto.

T.J. Good with first-day leader Trick Pepto.

Former roper T.J. Good had a trick up his sleeve yesterday and it didn’t involve a lasso.

Riding the Peptoboonsmal daughter Trick Pepto, Good scored 219.5 points early in the last set to top the first day of Super Stakes Open go-round competition.

“We had good cows and cut them clean and smooth without stirring anything up,” said Good, who trains and shows for Jackson Land & Cattle Company, Jackson Hole, WY and Weatherford, TX.

“And she can do less and you like her more than some horses that have to work harder for it,” Good added.

Trick Pepto and Good came to the Super Stakes off of a win in the Cattlemens Derby, earlier this month. They also won the Abilene Spectacular Open Limited, in January.

“It seems like every time I go she gets a little more confident and relaxed,” noted 28-year-old Good, who had his first major cutting success as an NCHA Futurity Open Limited finalist in 2008, aboard NQH Tom Cat, who he will show later this week in the Super Stakes Classic go-round.

Good also scored 216.5 points as the last performer in the fifth set yesterday riding Docs Hickory Kitty, also owned by Jackson Land & Cattle.

New York native Richard Fields, chairman of Coastal Development, which specializes in resort, entertainment and gaming properties, purchased Jackson Land & Cattle Company in 2007, at the same time that he acquired 1995 NCHA Futurity champion Peptoboonsmal from Elaine Hall.

Peptoboonsmal is one of cutting’s top 10 all-time leading sires, as well as the sire of five of the leading NCHA sires of 2009.

Matt and Tara Gaines with Special Nu Baby.

Matt and Tara Gaines with Special Nu Baby.

Special Nu Baby

Matt Gaines and Special Nu Baby set yesterday’s bar with 219 points marked late in the first set of cattle.

“I think she’s in a league with some of the better horses I’ve had,” said Gaines, who rode the Dual Rey daughter’s dam, Nu I Wood, to earn over $405,000.

“She’s very physical and quick. She’s a lot like her mother.”

Gaines and Special Nu Baby placed 13th in the NCHA Futurity and third in the Abilene Spectacular, before claiming reserve championship titles at the Tunica Futurity and the Arbuckle Mountain Derby.

Special Nu Baby, owned by Gary and Shannon Barker, Madill, OK, is the earner of over $112,000, and half-sister to Special Nu Kitty ($157,922) and Special Nu Cat ($127,750).

Gaines was also one of yesterday’s leaders with 216.5 points aboard A Smooth Criminal, owned by Roxanne Koepsell, Aubrey, TX.

Koepsell, who owns 2008 NRHA Open Futurity champion Shining N Sassy, purchased A Smooth Criminal, by Smooth As A Cat, for Todd Bergen to show as a reined cow horse.

Bergen called Gaines when the colt was a late yearling and said, “I think he needs to be a cutting horse.”

Gaines has had A Smooth Criminal, Koepsell’s first cutter, since the colt was two.

“He’s been a really nice horse,” said Gaines, who showed the red roan as a finalist at Abilene, Augusta, Tunica and Arbuckle Mountain.

“He’s been very consistent and he’s getting smarter all of the time.”

A Smooth Criminal is out of open and non-pro major event finalist Carolena Moon, by Peptoboonsmal.

Allen and Lauryn Crouch with Somekindapurrfect.

Allen and Lauryn Crouch with Somekindapurrfect.

Somekindapurrfect

Somekindapurrfect defied a streak of bad luck that has plagued her this year to score 219 points as the last performer in the last set of the day.

“I’ve always thought the world of her and nothing’s ever seemed to go her way,” said Crouch, who rides the High Brow Cat daughter for Southern Cattle Company, Marianna, FL.

Somekindapurrfect was up to the challenge of a fast second cow focused on an escape.

“She’s extremely smart and she thinks really good about a cow,” said Crouch. “A lot of people have tried to buy her, but Mr. Downs has decided to keep her.”

John Downs is the owner of 49,000-acre Southern Cattle Company, the second largest breeder of Angus cattle in the U.S., according to Crouch.

Downs, owner of Qualico Steel Company, headquartered in Webb, AL, began developing a cutting program about five years ago.

CDs Starlight Ms, 2007 NCHA Futurity finalist and reserve champion of the Augusta Futurity, was also trained and shown for Southern Cattle Company by Crouch.

Somekindapurrfect is out of Some Kinda Memories, earner of $365,000 and 1997 NCHA Futurity champion under Mike Mowery. She is also half-sister to eight money earners, including 2004 foals Some Kinda Sweety ($134,193); Fernturity ($59,402); and Some Kinda Twister $53,570).

Thoroughbred racetrack fatality rate

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The Jockey Club yesterday released a North American fatality rate for Thoroughbreds based on the Equine Injury Database, launched in July 2008, as a first step in the process of examining and preventing athletic injuries in racehorses.

Results found 2.04 fatal injuries per 1,000 starts based on a year’s worth of data from 378,864 total starts (November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2009), in Thoroughbred flat races at 73 North American racetracks.

The analysis was performed by Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the project.

“Data collected from a broad cross-section of racetracks in the United States and Canada will serve as an important tool for racetracks seeking benchmarks concerning the safety of racehorses,” said Parkin. “Over time, as data continues to be added, the database should yield numerous trends and factors associated with racing injuries and lead to strategies for their prevention.”

Racetracks currently have tools provided by InCompass Solutions Inc. to analyze data collected at their respective facilities. In early April, InCompass will make available an enhanced module that automates selected reports.

“Analysis of data in the Equine Injury Database is ongoing,” explained Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.”

Dr. Parkin is scheduled to report additional analysis and insights on the matter at the third Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit on June 28 and 29 at Keeneland.

The Jockey Club, through two of its for-profit subsidiary companies, InCompass and The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc., has underwritten the cost to develop and operate the database. By agreement with the participating racetracks, the Jockey Club may publish certain summary statistics from the Equine Injury Database, but will not provide statistics that identify specific participants, including racetracks, horses or persons.

Eighty-one racetracks and the National Steeplechase Association participate in the Equine Injury Database,representing 86 percent of flat racing days in North America. A list of racetracks participating in the Equine Injury Database can be found at jockeyclub.com/initiatives.asp.

Old stallions never die…

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Peptoboonsmal

Peptoboonsmal

…but frozen semen supplies eventually do.

Waggoner Ranch recently announced that due to testicular degeneration, High Brow Cat is sterile at the age of 22, although he will remain “cryogenically” fertile through frozen semen supplies for a number of years.

High Brow Cat is second only to Smart Little Lena, who turned 31 this year, as the all-time leading sire of cutting horses. Dual Pep, ranked third among leading living sires is 25.

The next decade will see a shift in hierarchy among cutting stallions, although the genetic pool is likely to remain the same, unless the elusive “out-cross,” which calls to mind the search for the Dutchman’s lost mine, is finally discovered.

There are a number of young stallions with outstanding performance records, but as yet no performers, that are ready to take up the leader’s mantle. In the meantime, there are the top-ranking “middle-aged” sires (in order of total offspring earnings at the end of 2009) – Peptoboonsmal (1992 – $13.8 million); Dual Rey (1994 – $13.3 million), CD Olena (1991 – $12.5), Playgun (1992 – $5.6 million) and Smart Mate (1990 – $5.4 million), all among the 20 all-time leading sires.

Most intriguing are the NCHA leading sires of 2009 (excluding those I have mentioned and Docs Stylish Oak, deceased)  in descending order of 2009 offspring earnings: Smooth as A Cat, Smart Lil Scoot, Sweet Lil Pepto, San Tule Freckles, Hes A Peptospoonful, TR Dual Rey, Boonlight Dancer, Bodee Boonsmal, Cats Merada, Peptos Stylish Oak, Playin Stylish.

Five of these 11 stallions (Sweet Lil Pepto, Hes A Peptospoonful, Boonlight Dancer, Bodee Boonsmal, and Peptos Stylish Oak) are sired by Peptoboonsmal.

Close up connections also come through Docs Stylish Oak, the sire of Playin Stylish, who is a full brother to the dam of Peptos Stylish Oak.

Smooth As A Cat and Cats Merada are the only two sired by High Brow Cat, while Smart Lil Scoot, San Tule Freckles, and  TR Dual Rey, are sired by Smart Little Lena, Freckles Playboy, and Dual Rey, respectively.

It should be noted that less than $925 separated 20th-ranked Playin Stylish from numbers 21 – 23: Smart Sugar Badger, by Smart Little Lena; WR This Cats Smart, by High Brow Cat; and Mecom Blue, by Peptoboonsmal.

Dual Rey, at 16, is the youngest of the top all-time leading sires, and Smooth As A Cat, Sweet Lil Pepto, TR Dual Rey and Cats Merada, all foaled in 1999, are the youngest of the 2009 new guard, where Playin Stylish, foaled in 1995, claims senior status.