Archive for March, 2012

Kingsley tunes in to 437.0

Friday, March 30th, 2012
Bob Kingsley

Non-Pro leader Bob Kingsley.

Radio legend Bob Kingsley and Little Pepto Cat marked Friday’s high score of 220 Friday which gave him a cumulative lead of 437 after the second round of Non-Pro competition in the XTO Energy NCHA Super Stakes Classic. Kingsley, who turned 73 on March 19, is also leading the Senior contenders in the Super Stakes Classic, and his first-round 217 landed him in the Limited Non-Pro finals, as well.

Twenty-eight riders posted cumulative scores of 431.5 or better to advance to Tuesday’s Non-Pro finals.

Kingsley’s Bluestem Ranch bred Little Pepto Cat by High Brow Cat out of 2002 NCHA Horse of the Year Little Pepto Gal. Little Pepto Cat has earned over $122,000 and won the Arbuckle Mountain Classic with trainer Matt Gaines this spring. Kingsley placed third on him at the Abilene Spectacular at the beginning of the year.

Seniors fared well in the Non-Pro rounds, with Frank Diehl, 66, and David McDavid, 69, each landing two horses in the finals. Diehl will ride Cats Lena, by High Brow Cat, and Lets Smoke This Deal, by Reys Dual Badger. McDavid will ride Spork, by Hes A Peptospoonful, and Dmac Reyon, by Dual Rey.

Kyle Manion and Allie Roger tied for the second highest cumulative score at 435.5.

Manion is riding Holly Is Smooth, the Smooth As A Cat mare that he won with at the Bonanza this spring. Roger is riding Cattahoochie, a High Brow Cat mare.

2012 NCHA Super Stakes Classic

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Queen for two days

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Elizabeth Queen

Elizabeth Queen.

Elizabeth Queen of Lipan, Texas, and Lil Sting Rey held onto the lead with 222 points after the second day of Non-Pro competition in the XTO Energy NCHA Super Stakes Classic in Fort Worth Wednesday.

Jennifer Foland and Shes Twice As Smooth, who were co-champions at the 2010 Super Stakes, have the next highest score with 218.5.

Queen, an NCHA Non-Pro World Champion, is riding a 5-year-old son of Dual Rey and Sanjo Lisa bred by Glenn Drake. Sanjo Lisa is a San Jo Lena mare that earned more than $85,000. Lil Sting Rey was an NCHA Futurity Open semi-finalist with Skip Queen in 2010, and was an Augusta Classic Open finalist earlier this year.

In the Limited Non-Pro division, with qualifying rounds held in conjunction with the Non-Pro, Isisdro Sigala and Andrew Viola share the lead with 218 points.

Sigala is riding Sofie Rey, his 6-year-old Dual Rey mare which has earned more than $100,000, and which carried him to a Limited Non-Pro reserve championship at the Abilene Spectacular at the beginning of the year.

Andrew Viola, who turns 12 this Friday, is riding One Rowdy Kitty, a 5-year-old mare by One Time Pepto. Viola won the El Rancho Futurity 4-year-old Amateur championship on her last September.

Non-Pro and Limited Non-Pro competition continues with six sets in historic Will Rogers Coliseum on Thursday.

Bob Baffert suffers heart attack in Dubai

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, 60, is resting comfortably after suffering a mild heart attack late Sunday evening, March 25, in Dubai, where he is scheduled to start Game on Dude in next week’s $10 million Dubai World Cup.

“He had two blocked arteries,” said Game On Dude’s co-owner Bernie Schiappa, who is in Dubai with Baffert. “The main one was 100-percent blocked, the other 90-percent. He had two stents put in one artery, one stent in the other.

“Sheikh Mohammed (bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai) has gone out of his way to get the best help to take care of Bob, who will stay in intensive care until Tuesday. He is expected to get out of the hospital on Thursday, but will have to stay eight to 10 days to recover before he can fly home.”

Game On Dude, runnerup to Drosselmeyer in the 2011 Breeders Cup Classic, has earned $2,254,658 with a 6-4-1 record in 15 starts.

Baffert, with three Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer, has saddled three Kentucky Derby and five Preakness winners, as well as 10 Eclipse champions.

Secret Circle, come-from-behind winner in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 17, will likely be Baffert’s 2012 Kentucky Derby contender. The 3-year-old son of Eddington has won five of six career starts and earned $818,990.

Time for Reyn

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Reyn Maker

Tate Bennett on Reyn Maker.

Tate Bennett and Reyn Maker broke new ground Tuesday in the John Deere Division of the XTO Energy NCHA Super Stakes Classic in Fort Worth. They marked career high scores of 227 in the finals of the Limited Open event, and they notched up a record three Limited Open wins in a row in NCHA Triple Crown events.

Bred by Jack Silver Jr., Reyn Maker is a 5-year-old by Dual Rey out of Mists Annie Oak.

Bennett and Reyn Maker burst into the spotlight at last year’s Super Stakes when they won the John Deere Division. They repeated that effort at the 2011 NCHA Summer Spectacular.  The hat trick they completed today has not been matched in the more than 20 years since NCHA began offering the Limited Open class at Triple Crown shows.

Australian Aaron Wheatley is the only other rider to win three Limited Open titles in Fort Worth, and he needed two different horses to do it.

Reyn Maker, an earner of more than $70,000, was a $5,400 purchase at the 2008 Western Bloodstock NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale.

“He was just a scrawny gelding, that no one paid much attention to,” Bennett said. “He caught my eye. He’s got a lot of personality, and of course his big, bald face caught my eye.”

Reyn Maker

Tate Bennett and Reyn Maker.

Bennett, 28, had started and sold some good horses before, but Reyn Maker gave him his introduction to showing in Fort Worth. A killer second cow helped run the points up to 227 for their record third win in Will Rogers Coliseum.

“My help, Kory (Pounds), Clint (Allen), Boyd (Rice) and Lloyd (Cox) worked very hard for me,” Bennett said. “I’m pretty new to this, so it’s been a good deal. It was Kory’s idea to cut that (tough second cow) and if we hadn’t cut it, we wouldn’t have had that score, so I guess I’m glad he picked it.

“This horse is so smart and he can stop so quick and get out of messes like that. He’s taught me a lot more than I’ve taught him.”

Dual Rey offspring swept the top two places of the John Deere Division. KTZ Rey Of Cash, a 6-year-old by Dual Rey out of Clays Little Cash, bred by Judy Garrett, took the reserve championship. Dean Domann marked 223 on Rodney Wrinkle’s KTZ Rey Of Cash. They were champions of the $3,000 Novice at the 6666 Ranch NCHA Eastern National Championships earlier in the month.

John Deere Division results.

Special Nu Baby leads Open qualifiers

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Special Nu Baby

Matt Gaines on Special Nu Baby.

Special Nu Baby, a 6-year-old Dual Rey mare that passed the $300,000 mark this spring, heads a list of 25 qualifiers to the XTO Energy NCHA Super Stakes Classic after Tuesday’s second round of Open competition.

Ridden by Matt Gaines for Gary and Shannon Barker of Madill, Oklahoma, Special Nu Baby posted the high second round score of 222, as well as the the top cumulative score of 441.5. Gaines won at the Bonanza and was second at the Arbuckle Mountain Classic with Special Nu Baby earlier this year.

Twenty-five contestants scored 435 or better to advance to Saturday’s finals. They include defending Super Stakes Classic Champion Reys Desire (Lee Francois), World Champion Bet Hesa Cat (Austin Shepard), 2010 NCHA Futurity Champion One Time Royalty (Lloyd Cox), NCHA Derby Champion Stylish Martini (Roger Wagner), and 2012 major event champions Little Pepto Cat (Matt Gaines), Great Chief (Austin Shepard) and KTZ Rey Of Cash (Dean Domann).

Special Nu Baby was bred by Eddie Longley’s Crystal Creek Ranch by Dual Rey out of his 2003 Super Stakes Classic winner Nu I Wood, an earner of more than $400,000.

“Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys”

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

A sobering feature in today’s “New York Times” details the incidences of injuries and breakdowns at U.S. horse racing tracks, including the fact that even non-fatal horse breakdowns imperil the lives of jockeys.

Famous champion Quarter Horse jockey Jacky Martin, paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a breakdown last September at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, is among the jockeys, trainers, racing officials, and veterinarians, interviewed for the article, many, including Martin, in attached video clips.

The article is not an indictment against racing, but raises questions about the legal and illegal use of drugs in race horses, particularly in New Mexico, where 4 out of the 5 tracks are unaccredited and enforcement of drug violations is relatively lenient compared to other states.

The feature, titled “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys,” is definitely worth a clear-eyed look for anyone who loves horses and racing, as well as all performance horse events where drugs are an issue.