Archive for April, 2013

Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Post position draw is Wednesday for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. The best odds for winning trainer? Todd Pletcher with five contenders, including probable favorite Verrazano. Odds for entries will be determined on Wednesday, following the draw, but here is a rundown on North American leaders, based on qualifying points:

ORB by Malibu Moon
150 pts/Winner of GI Florida Derby and GII Fountain of Youth
Career: 7s 4-0-1 – $921,050
Trainer: Shug McGaughy
Rider: Joel Rosario (4th in 2010 in 1st Derby ride)
Owner: Stuart Janney III & Phipps Stable
NOTE: John Velazquez rode Orb in colt’s 2 graded stakes wins

VERRAZANO by More Than Ready
150 pts/Winner of GI Wood Memorial and GII Tampa Bay Derby
Career: 4s 4-0-0 (all at 3) – $861,300
Trainer: Todd Pletcher – won 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver
Rider: John Velazquez – won 2011 Kentucky Derby on Animal Kingdon
Owner: Let’s Go Stable, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith
NOTE: Verrazano has been ridden by Velazquez in all 4 starts

GOLDENCENTS by Into Mischief (1st crop sire)
129 pts/Winner of GI Santa Anita Derby and GIII Sham Stakes
Career: 6s 4-1-0 – $1,250,000
Trainer: Doug O’Neil – won Kentucky Derby in 2012 with I’ll Have Another
Rider: Kevin Krigger -Goldencents’ regular rider in all 6 starts
Owner: W.C. Racing, Dave Kenney, and RAP Racing
NOTE: 9 Santa Anita Derby winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, including I’ll Have Another

JAVA’S WAR by War Pass (deceased, 1st crop)
122 pts/Winner of the GI Blue Grass Stakes
Career: 7s 5-1-1 – $561,772
Trainer: Kenny McPeek – 2nd in 1995 Kentucky Derby with Tejano Run
Rider: Julien Leparoux
Owner: Charles Fipke
NOTE: Runnerup to Verrazano in the GII Tampa Bay Derby

OVERANALYZE by Dixie Union
110 pts/Winner GI Arkansas Derby and GII Remsen Stakes
Career: 7 s 4-0-1 – $956,381
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Rider: Rafael Bejarano
Owner: Repole Stable
NOTE: Ridden by Bejarano in Arkansas Derby win

REVOLUTIONARY by War Pass (deceased, 1st crop)
110 pts/Winner of GII Louisiana Derby and GIII Wither Stakes
Career: 6s 3-1-2 – $748,300
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Rider: Calvin Borel – 3 Kentucky Derby wins in last 6 years
Owner: WinStar Farm
Comes into Derby off of 3 consecutive wins

VYJACK by Into Mischief (1st crop sire)
70 pts/Winner of GIII Gotham Stakes; 3rd Wood Memorial
Career: 4s 4-0-0 – $397,200
Trainer: Rudy Rodriguez, former assist. to Rick Dutrow Jr.
Rider: Garrett Gomez
Owner: Pick Six Racing

WILL TAKE CHARGE by Unbridled’s Song
60 pts/Winner of GII Rebel Stakes
Career: 7s 3-1-0 – $545,371
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas – 4 Kentucky Derby winners
Rider: John Court
Owner: Willis Horton

ITSMYLUCKYDAY by Lawyer Ron (deceased, 2nd crop)
50 pts/Winner GIII Holy Bull
Career: 10s 5-2-0 – $625,600
Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr
Rider: Elvis Trujillo
Owner: Trilogy Stables and Laurie Plesa
NOTE: Runnerup to Orb in GI Florida Derby

PALACE MALICE by Curlin (1st crop)
50 pts/Runnerup by a neck to Java’s War in GI Blue Grass Stakes
Career: 6s 1-3-1 $262,000
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Rider: Mike Smith – won 2005 Kentucky Derby on Count Giacomo
Owner: Dogwood Stable
NOTE: Blinkers on in 4-27 work

BLACK ONYX by Rock Hard Ten
50 pts/Winner GIII Spiral Stakes
Career: 5s 3-1-0 – $407,810
Trainer: Kelly Breen
Rider: Joe Bravo
Owner: Sterling Racing
NOTE: Made bid 5 wide in Spiral to win by 1 1/2

GOVERNOR CHARLIE by Midnight Lute (1st crop) – OUT
50 pts/Winner GIII Sunland Derby
Career: 3s 2-1-0
Trainer: Bob Baffert – 3 Kentucky Derby winner
Owner: Mike Pegram

44 pts/Runnerup by a neck in GI Wood and by a nose in GII Remsen
Career: 5s 1-2-0 – $300,240
Trainer: Chad Brown
Rider: Javier Casettano
Owner: Fox Hill Farms
NOTE: Closer

FRAC DADDY by Scat Daddy (2nd crop)
44 pts/Runnerup to Overanalyze in GI Arkansas Derby
Career: 6 s 1-3-0 – $270,596
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Rider: Victor Lebron
Owner: Magic City Partners
NOTE: Game duel as runnerup by a nose in GII Kentucky Jockey Club

MYLUTE by Midnight Lute (1st crop)
42 pts/Runnerup by a neck to Revolutionary in G II Louisiana Derby
Career: 9s 2-3-2 – $417,695
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Rider: Rosie Napravnik
Owner: GoldMark Farm
NOTE: Napravnik will be just the fifth woman to ever ride in the Kentucky Derby

OXBOW by Awesome Again
36 pts/Runnerup to Will Take Charge in GII Rebel Stake
Career: 9s 2-1-1 – $383,500
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Rider: Gary Stevens – 3 Kentucky Derby wins
Owner: Calumet Farm
NOTE: Caught in traffic to place 5th in GI Arkansas Derby

FALLING SKY by Lion Heart
30 pts/Winner GIII Sam Davis Stakes
Career: 6s 3-0-1 – $249,800
Trainer: John Terranova
Rider: TBD
Owner: Newtown Stud, Covello and Bulger

20 pts/3rd GI Blue Grass Stakes
Career: 7s 2-2-2 – $257,000
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Rider: TBD
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey

WINNING CAUSE by Giant’s Causeway – OUT
20 pts/Winner GIII Lexington Stakes
Career: 7s 3-1-0 – $206,104
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: A1 Racing

CODE WEST by Lemon Drop Kind – OUT
20 pts/Runnerup by a nose in GII Risen Star
Career: 7s 1-3-2 $156,000
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Gary and Mary West

TIZ A MINISTER by Ministers Wild Cat – OUT
20 pts/3rd GII San Felipe; 4th GI Santa Anita Derby
Career: 11s 2-4-2 – $327,780
Trainer: Paul Aquirre
Owner: S.A.Y. Racing
NOTE: California-Bred stakes winner

GOLDEN SOUL by Perfect Soul
14 pts/4th GII Louisiana Derby; 2nd GIII Lecomte
Career: 5s 1-2-0 – $117,400
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Rider: TBD
Owner: Charles Fipke

FEAR THE KITTEN by Kitten’s Joy
6 pts/2nd GIII South West Stakes
Career 6s 2-1-1 – $70,215
Trainer: Mike Maker
Rider: TBD
Owner: Frank Irvin

Edd Bottom, 1925-2013

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Edd Bottom

Edd Bottom.

Edd Bottom of Asher, Oklahoma, an NCHA Members Hall of Fame inductee, passed away April 24.

Bottom began his training career in 1950 and showed his first cutting horse, an ex-roper named Grey Nellie H, at Vernon, Texas in 1954.

By the 1960s, he began breeding his own line of horses based on the foundation bloodlines of Oklahoma Star and Bert. The foundation sire of his breeding herd was Lucy Star Mac, who has produced the Lucky Bottom bloodline.

He was a finalist in the first NCHA Futurity in 1962, and he rode Lucky Bottom Me, a Lucky Star Mac daughter, to the reserve championship of the 1980 NCHA Futurity.

He raised and showed many top horses over the years. Leading up to the Legends Cutting in Temple, Texas in 1992, he said, “I spent a lot of time on the road, but had always rather been at the house. But if I hadn’t enjoyed it so much, I wouldn’t have been there.”

Visitation is Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 7 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. at Swearingen Funeral Home, Konawa, Oklahoma. (580) 925-3252. Funeral services are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 29th at the Agri-Plex in Ada, Oklahoma under the direction of Swearingen Funeral Home.  Burial will follow at Vista Cemetery. Donnie Gee and Shannon Hall will officiate.

Pallbearers are Tony Kuestersteffen, Jim Sharp, Mason Allen, Ron Phay, Gaylon Wells, Sonny O’Dell, Jerry Bob Seago, and Junior Grissom.  Honorary Pallbearers are Gary Fry, Ham Brown, James Hargrove, John Carter, Roger Harris, Glen Pruitt, Jack Turner, C.J. Sisco, Eddie Bottom, Jr., Chad Wartchow, Mark Wartchow, Ronnie Wartchow, Steve Miles, Richard Sisco, Dan Fleming, Jason Keck, and Greg Hillerman.

He is survived by one son, Eddie Wayne Bottom and wife, Charlotte of Macomb, Oklahoma; three daughters, Darla Miles and husband, Steve of Asher, Oklahoma, Connie Wartchow and husband, Ronnie of Roff, Oklahoma, and Phyllis Sisco and husband, Richard of Asher, Oklahoma; eight grandchildren, Chad Wartchow, Mark Wartchow, Melanie Keck, Steffanie Fleming, Eddie Bottom, Jr., C.J. Sisco, Mike Sisco, and Ricky Sisco; ten great grandchildren, Sean Fleming, Shelby Fleming, Sarah Fleming, Carley Collings, Coy Wartchow, Riley Wartchow, McKenzie Wartchow, Andrew Fleming, Chelsy Bottom, and Braxten Frasier.

He and his wife, Lillie, were married 66 years until her death in 2009.

2013 NCHA Super Stakes Sale highlights

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Austin Rey, a 5-year-old gelding sired by TR Dual Rey, topped the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Sale at $55,000, on Saturday, April 20 in Fort Worth. An NCHA Futurity open finalist and the earner of $129,221 under his consignors, Tatum and Kylie Rice, Austin Rey was bred by Bennett-Martin Cutting Horses and purchased by Shane Plummer, Fort Worth, Tex.

Austin Rey was one of four geldings from the auction’s top 10 high-seller’s roster. Ann Olenas Cat, a 6-year-old gelding and earner of $87,533, went for $29,000, the third-highest price of the sale. Sired by WR This Cats Smart, Ann Olenas Cat was consigned by Jacob Pinheiro and purchased by David Taurel, Carac, Venezuala.

Farra Blue Rey, at $35,000, brought the second-highest price of the sale and was the high-selling mare. The 5-year-old daughter of Mecom Blue was consigned by Dees Cattle, Ltd. and purchased by Gordon and Geri Gowdy, Cave Creek, Ariz.

Royal Black Cat, also sold for $29,000. The 11-year-old High Brow Cat daughter, earner of $8,024 and dam of three NCHA money earners, sold with a colt at side by Pretty Boy Cat. Consigned by Waggoner Ranch, she was purchased by Kandee Thorn, from Australia.

The high-selling stallion, as well as high-selling 4-year-old, at $22,000, was Pepto Smoothie. The Smooth As A Cat son, consigned by Joe and Kim Lo and in training with Clark O’Donnell, is out of NCHA Horse of the Year Little Pepto Gal, LTE $523,752, and also sold to David Taurel.

This year’s NCHA Super Stakes Sale reflected the increased demand for geldings, both trained and in-training, which correlates to the number of geldings currently being shown in limited age events. Thirty-three percent (33%) of the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Open semi-finalists were geldings; as well as 29% of the open finalists, including champion, Hes A Hot Cat. Thirty percent (30%) of the Non-Pro finalists were geldings, including reserve champion Playin With A Spoon.

The 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Sale averaged $9,234 on the sale of 80 head. For complete results go to

Hes A Hot Cat in Super Stakes finals

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Hes A Hot Cat

Wesley Galyean on Hes A Hot Cat.

Hes A Hot Cat lived up to his name with a 219-point, $100,000 win under Wes Galyean, in Saturday’s NCHA Super Stakes Open finals¬† in Fort Worth.

Quick Be A Cat and James Payne claimed reserve with 217.5 points; and CR First Tuff and Boyd Rice scored 217 points for third.

“The first cow was really good, but that second cow was unbelievable,” said Galyean, who also placed fourth (worth $46,244) on Lil Rattler, winner of the Semi-Finals with 218.5 points; and tied for fifth ($30,699) with his own horse Tattoos On This Town.

Hes A Hot Cat is owned by his breeder, Don Gilbert, Coushatta, La., and is sired by Spots Hot, the horse Galyean showed as champion of the 2004 NCHA Futurity.

Hes A Hot Cat also placed third ($7,529) with the second-highest score, behind co-champions Smooth Mitch and Playin Fancy Lights, in the Open Gelding finals.

“He’s real athletic and the cows we cut were stingy, quick and fast and let him really get across the cow and bury it in the ground,” said Galyean, who was showing Hes A Hot Cat for the first time since a suspensory injury grounded the gelding last July.

“A lot of them don’t make it back after they have missed so much (training),” Galyean added. “But he got better¬† and through this show. And in the finals he really read the cattle and let me ride him aggressively.”

Ray Baldwin takes Super Stakes Non-Pro

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Ray Baldwin

Ray Baldwin on Shesa Hollywood Cat.

Dean Holden and Playin With A Spoon, reserve champions of the Super Stakes Gelding Non-Pro division and first to cut in the Super Stakes Non-Pro Finals Saturday evening, set the pace and held the lead with 216 points, until Ray Baldwin and Shesa Hollywoodcat, the last to cut in the 20-horse finals, closed the gap with a 216.5-point win.

Kelle Earnheart scored 215 points for third place with Flash About, by Purdy Boy Flash, who she showed as non-pro reserve champion of the Bonanza Cutting and the Cattlemans Derby.

“There were a lot of good horses and a lot of great riders, but the cows were tough and it was survival of the fittest,” said Baldwin, following his win. “I was just happy to be able to cut fairly clean and my mare took over.

“Usually things are so fast in that pen, but they kind of slowed down tonight and it all came into place.

“I was having so much fun (by the third cow) and just trying to stay on. It was a great satisfaction, knowing how many bad runs and how many mistakes I’ve made in this pen, to finally get a good run down.”

This was the first major NCHA championship win in Fort Worth for Baldwin, who rides with Phil Rapp, trainer and rider of the sport’s richest mare, Dont Look Twice, LTE $740,060, bred by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, and owned by Baldwins parents, Louis and Corliss Baldwin, Fort Worth, Tex.

Havey Riddle and Mean Girl take Ltd Non-Pro

Saturday, April 20th, 2013
Havey Riddle

Havey Riddle on Mean Girl.

Havey Riddle and homegrown Mean Girl trumped competition in the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Limited Finals on Friday, with a 220-point win.

Kelsey Weeks claimed the reserve championship with 217 points on GC Counting On Kitty and placed third with 213.5 points on Brittney Rey.

“My mare couldn’t have been any better,” said Riddle of the Cat Ichi daughter who carried her as a non-pro limited finalist at the NCHA Futurity. Mean Girl was also a 2013 Arbuckle Mountain Futurity finalist with her trainer and breeder, Bill Riddle, Havey’s father.

“When you raise the kid and you raise the horse, it’s pretty special,” said Bill Riddle, NCHA Hall of Fame rider and NCHA Members Hall of Fame honoree.

“The last show I won here was the Scholarship Cutting,” said Havey, who also qualified with Mean Girl for the Super Stakes Non-Pro Finals. “Things have changed a lot since then.”

Riddle, 30, won the NCHA Senior Youth Scholarship Cutting in 1999 on Dual Reward and again in 2001, on Stylish And Foxie.

On Sunday, following the Non-Pro Finals, Havey and NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame rider Kyle Manion are bound for the Caribbean, where they will be married on April 27.

Mean Girl is descended from the Riddle family’s equine matriarch Clarks Little Fanny, dam of Cowstruck, producer of 11 NCHA earners of $545,000, including Im Catman, 2010 NCHA Super Stakes Open Gelding and Novice champion.

The wide gap between Kelsey Weeks’ reserve championship score of 217 points on GS Counting On Kitty, by Im Countin Checks, and her third-place mark of 213.5 points aboard Brittney Rey, by TR Dual Rey, reflected the mettle of Friday’s cattle.

“I knew everybody had been having tough luck and I just wanted to be clean,” said Kelsey, 23, who won the 2012 Super Stakes Amateur Classic with Holidayware, as well as the 2011 NCHA¬† Futurity Amateur on One Sweet Sis.

“This mare is so consistent and easy to ride,” said Weeks of GS Counting On Kitty. “She’s super smart and honest, and always right there at a cow’s head.”

Weeks purchased GS Counting On Kitty, trained by Kenny Miller, last July from the mare’s breeder, Gordon Seving.

“I wanted to show her in the small futurities,” Weeks explained. “I did really well on her and so did my trainer, Kathy Daughn.”

GS Counting On Kitty was reserve champion of the 2012 Cotton Stakes Futurity with Daughn, as well as reserve champion of the Brazos Bash Non-Pro Futurity under Weeks.

This past February, Weeks and GS Counting On Kitty won the Tunica Non-Pro Futurity, as well as the Tunica Futurity Non-Pro Ltd, and placed sixth in the Bonanza Non-Pro Futurity in March.

Lil Rattler leads Super Stakes qualifiers

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Wesley Galyean

Wesley Galyean qualified 3 horses for the Super Stakes.

Lil Rattler comes into Saturday’s finals of the NCHA Super Stakes, presented by XTO Energy, with no earnings to date, but good credentials for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Ridden by Wesley Galyean, Lil Rattler is a mare by Dual Rey, out of NCHA Futurity winner Highbrow Supercat. She was bred by Paul Dean’s Cross Timbers Cutting Horses, and is owned by Steven Feiner of Aspen, Colorado.

Lil Rattler marked 218.5 to top Friday’s semi-finals, after posting 214.5 and 215.5 in the go-rounds.

Galyean also landed two other horses in the finals, Hes A Hot Cat, a Spots Hot gelding owned by Don Gilbert of Coushatta, Louisiana; and Tattoos On This Town, a Spots Hot son owned by Galyean and his wife, Kristen. Hes A Hot Cat placed third in the Gelding Stakes.

Twenty-four horses marking 215 or better advanced to the Open finals of the Super Stakes. They include CR Tuff Hearted Cat, the NCHA Futurity co-champion, with a 216.5 under Ronnie Rice. The Woody Be Tuff mare has a Triple Crown hope alive for owner and breeder Center Ranch of Centerville, Texas.

Glamor horse High Brow Jackson, winner of the recent John Deere Division of the Super Stakes under Monty Buntin, marked 216 to make the finals for owner Scott Gaddy of Clements, California.

Bamacat, third in the NCHA Futurity, marked 215.5 under Austin Shepard to advance to the finals.

High Brow Jackson and Bamacat are two of five High Brow Cat offspring to make the finals.