Archive for June, 2014

The Non-Pro and Open

Wednesday, 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

Saturday, 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.

Kiss My Hocks kicks tail in Ruidoso Futurity

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Kiss My Hocks

Kiss My Hocks reinforced his lock on the title of leading two-year-old Quarter running horse with a one-half length victory in the $700,000 Ruidoso Futurity, on June 8 at Ruidoso Downs, N.M. JM Miracle finished second, 1½ lengths ahead of third-placed Bodacious Eagle.

Owned by Conda Maze and Tyler Graham, trained by Toby Keeton, and ridden by Cody Jensen, Kiss My Hocks was the fastest qualifier for the 350-yard race, winning his trial by three lengths, in 17.281 seconds. His perfect record of 4 wins in 4 starts includes a 330-yard track record win in his trial to the $564,000 Sam Houston Futurity, which he won by one-half of a length.

Bred by Tyler Graham and John Mayers, Kiss My Hocks is sired by Tempting Dash and the first stakes winner out of stakes-placed Romancing Mary, by Tres Seis.

“I’m trying to be unbiased, but he might be the fastest horse I’ve ever seen,” said legendary horseman Charlie Graham DVM, of Elgin, Texas Veterinary Hospital and Southwest Stallion Station fame, as well as grandfather of Tyler Graham. As a preeminent equine practitioner and racehorse breeder for 53 years, Graham has seen and stood the best, including Rocket Wrangler, sire of the immortal Dash For Cash.

Kiss My Hocks is from the first full crop of 7-year-old Tempting Dash, who on November 1, 2013 was sold at the Heritage Sale Mixed Sale in Oklahoma City for $1.7 million, an auction record for a Quarter race horse. Purchased by Simmons Ranch, Burnet, Tex., the stallion was sold by VSE Consignment on behalf of the Department of Treasury. Thereby hangs an incredible tale, which can be followed via the following links – Texas Observer and AQHA Racing News.

Should his connections choose to enter him in the $900,000 Rainbow Futurity trials, at Ruidoso Downs on July 3 and 4, thanks to his Ruidoso Futurity win, Kiss My Hocks is eligible for the $4 million All American Triple Crown Bonus, reserved for the horse who can sweep all three of the track’s G1 two-year-old events: the Ruidoso Futurity, the Rainbow Futurity, and the $2.6 million All American Futurity on Labor Day.

Special Effort, who won all three races in 1981 and retired with 13 victories from 14 starts, is the only horse to have ever won the All American Triple Crown.

Tonalist tarnishes California Chrome’s bid for crown

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Tonalist, photo by Adam Coglianese

Heavily favored California Chrome was defeated today at Belmont Park in his bid for the Triple Crown. But the race’s real loser turned out to be the colt’s co-owner Steve Coburn, who held forth in a post race interview about the unfairness of the Triple Crown venue, proving that his Dumb Ass Racing Partnership is well named.

Meanwhile Robert Evans, owner of Tonalist, winner, at 11-1 by a head over Commissioner, recalled, when asked, the reaction of his father, Thomas Mellon Evans, when Pleasant Colony, owned by the elder Evans lost the 1981 Belmont Stakes, after wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

“He was very quiet for a long time,” said Evans.

California Chrome, who seemed a well-positioned fourth on the outside in the stretch, was unable to muster a winning surge and tied for fourth, 1½ lengths back, in a deadheat with Wicked Strong. Medal Count finished third by a length.

“He’s fine,” Espinoza told Donna Brothers, after he the race. “He just didn’t have it in him today.”

Tonalist and Commissioner last raced and finished one-two in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on May 10. The Belmont was Tonalist’s third win and fourth start in 2014 and broke California Chrome’s six-win streak. The Belmont was California Chrome’s sixth start in 2014.

Tonalist, trained by Christophe Clement and ridden by Joel Rosario, 29, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby aboard Orb, is out of a daughter of Pleasant Colony and sired by Tapit, who commands a $150,000 stud fee at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Ky.