Archive for August, 2018

$3 Million All American Futurity on tap Labor Day

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Mm Fourinthemorning winning Rainbow Futurity in July

Mm Fourinthemorning, 2018’s top 2-year-old Quarter race horse, leads three runners from Blane Wood’s stable in the $3,000,000 All American Futurity on Monday, September 3 at Ruidoso Downs. The Labor Day program also includes the $200,000 All American Juvenile and concludes the Quarter Horse season at the famous New Mexico track.

The 440-yard All American Futurity pays out the largest purse in Quarter Horse racing. The finalists were determined through two days of 440-yard trials, with 16 trials held each day. Horses with the five-fastest times from each day advanced to the All American Futurity. Horses with the next five-fastest times from each day are eligible to race in the All American Juvenile.

Mm Fourinthemorning vaulted to the top of the American Quarter Horse two-year-old division with an eye-catching victory in the $1,000,000 Rainbow Futurity in July. Starting from the outside post position — the same post position he drew for the All American Futurity — Mm Fourinthemorning won the 400-yard Grade 1 stakes race by three-quarters of a length in an ever widening  pace, suggesting the 440-yard All American Futurity would suit his running style.

The Mr Jess Perry gelding, owned by his breeders Mark and Annette McCloy, later proved his 440-yard ability in the All American Futurity trials, where he rolled to an easy two-and-one-quarter-length win at odds of 1-9.

“We were hoping for the number 10 post position,” said jockey Ricky Ramirez, who rode each of the three Wood-trained runners in the trials and chose to ride Mm Fourinthemorning in the All American Futurity. “I just hope for the same outcome as the Rainbow. Hopefully, the big crowd doesn’t bother him. It didn’t in the Rainbow; it just wasn’t quite as large.”

Mm Fourinthemorning is the 3-1 morning line favorite.

The two other Wood-trained runners are Apocalyptical Jess, the 7-2 morning line second choice, and Badhabit Jess at 12-1.

Apocalyptical Jess, a gelding sired by Apollitical Jess and owned by Bill Robbins, could be especially dangerous from his number two post position. Although he had trouble at the start his Rainbow Futurity trial and came away racing behind horses, Ramirez was able to take him to the outside, move him around horses, and rally to grab second-place, beaten only by a neck.

In his All American Futurity trial, Apocalyptical Jess got an excellent start from the inside post position and ran down the rail to win by three and one-quarter lengths. He stopped the clock at :21.349, the top time on the first day of trials.

Raul Ramirez Jr. will be aboard Apocalyptical Jess on Labor Day.

La Feliz Montana Ranch’s Badhabit Jess, a $25,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, starts next to Mm Fourinthemorning in the ninth post position. The Mr Jess Perry gelding will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey G.R. Carter Jr.

Badhabit Jess broke his maiden in his fourth start, when he won his All American Futurity trial by a head. He placed second in his Ruidoso Futurity trial and fourth in his Rainbow Futurity trial.

In the All American Juvenile, J & SM, Inc.’s Rustys Miracle is the solid 2-1 morning-line favorite. The $61,000 Ruidoso Select Sale Yearling purchase comes to the race off of a three-race winning streak. Trained by Fred Danley, Rustys Miracle started the streak with a victory in her Rainbow Futurity trial, then won the $100,000 Rainbow Juvenile by one-half of a length. The daughter of Valiant Hero won her All American Futurity trial by a neck with a :21.695 time.

Keith Barnett, 1942-2018

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Keith Barnett, 76, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider who placed in the NCHA World Top Ten Open standings 17 times between 1966 and 2005, passed away on August 19, 2018.

Although he won his first saddle for a reining competition in Odessa, Tex., Keith Barnett seemed destined to cut. His father worked for Volney Hildreth, a founder of the National Cutting Horse Association, and later managed a small rodeo near Dallas that would become Neal Gay’s nationally famous Mesquite Rodeo.

Barnett was roping and bulldogging at the Mesquite Rodeo, when PRCA world champion Jim Shoulders asked him to manage a rodeo in Leesburg, Va. It was there, in 1963, that Barnett hooked up with North Wales Quarter Horse Farm and started riding Deuce Five. Barnett was the second-youngest rider to place in the NCHA Top Ten, when he showed Deuce Five to fifth place in the 1964 NCHA Top Ten Open standings.

In 1966, Barnett showed Bill Royal, owned by North Wales Farm, to tie Matlock Rose and J.D. Tadlock for fifth place in the NCHA Futurity; the same year he placed third in NCHA Top Ten standings aboard Mackay Alice.

Little Joe Jones, who Barnett paid $750 for and whose dam was a AAA race mare, carried him to claim the reserve championship of the 1968 NCHA Futurity. It was the first of 12 NCHA Futurity performances for Barnett, who also tied as reserve champion of the 1970 NCHA Derby riding Bill’s Highness. Other business interests kept Barnett out of the saddle during the mid-1970s, but he was back in the NCHA Top Ten standings in 1978 with Lucky Bottom 5, who also won the 1978 World Champion Gelding title.

Barnett was living in Logansport, Ind., when R.L. Waltrip of Houston sent him Colonel Flip. Barnett showed the stallion to place second in the 1983 NCHA Futurity Semi-Finals and to tie for third in the Finals. In 1985, Billy Joe Browning sent a 5-year-old stallion by Son Ofa Doc out of Chiquita Boss to Barnett for appraisal.

“Short Doc was a wild little booger when I got him,” said Barnett. “He had been turned out after he was three, but I convinced Billy Joe to geld him and after that he started making a neat pony.”

Short Doc and Barnett won two major stock show cuttings in 1986 and placed second in the TQHA National Stakes before the gelding bowed both front tendons and had to be laid off. When he came back, he placed in the 1987 NCHA World standings and went on to win the 1988 NCHA World Finals and place third in the World standings. In 1990, Barnett and Short Doc claimed the NCHA World Championship reserve title.

During nearly six decades as a successful cutting horse trainer and competitor, as well as a past NCHA Executive Committee member, an Augusta Futurity director, and an NCHA judge, Barnett touched many lives and will be remembered as an unwavering ambassador for the sport.

A Celebration of Life will be held 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 28, at Brenham Fireman’s Training Center, 1101 Hwy 290 West.

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund has been set up in honor of Keith. Contributions can be mailed to Brenham National Bank, P.O.Box 2568, Brenham, TX 77834

Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel, 2300 Stringer St., Brenham, TX. 979.836.361l Access on-line guest registration at

Armed and dangerous

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

PG Heavily Armed and James Payne. Dawn Baxstrom photos.

PG Heavily Armed, ridden by James Payne for Michael and Brenda Armstrong of Marietta, Oklahoma, marked 226 to win the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the West Texas Futurity in Amarillo Saturday evening, August 18. Hashtags, who is leading in the World Championship standings, marked 224.5 for second. Mistresssis and Dont Stopp Believin shared third place with 222 points.

PG Heavily Armed was bred by Dick and Brenda Pieper by Playgun out of Not Quite An Acre, by Bob Acre Doc. Not Quite An Acre, the 1997 NCHA Horse of the Year with trainer Curly Tully, won the NCHA Classic Challenge that year, and earned more than $153,000.

Last month, PG Heavily Armed gave James Payne a record three NCHA Classic Challenge championships. Payne, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider, had previously won the Classic Challenge with Sarenadaul in 2012 and Once In A Blu Boon in 2012.

Payne has also the West Texas Futurity three times, beginning with PG Serenade in 2011, and continuing with Dmac Spicy Spoon in 2014 through last week, with Kathleen Moore’s Stylish Hailee.

PG Heavily Armed $10,800 Mercuria paycheck will take his career earnings over $194,000.

Tatum Rice showed Hashtags in second place for Hashtag Ventures of Weatherford, Texas.  The 5-year-old stallion by Metallic Cat out of Dual Rey Tag, won all three weekend show events during the West Texas Futurity, and now has earnings of more than $400,000.


Steve Anderson on Littlemak. Dawn Baxstrom photo.

In the Non-Pro division, Steve Anderson of Victoria, Texas, and Littlemak earned their first Mercuria win, marking 222 as the first contestants in the seven-horse finals. Ali Good and Cat Atat Cat marked 217 for second place.

Anderson, who is in the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, had teamed up with Littlemak  to win both the NCHA Super Stakes Classic and the NCHA Classic Challenge this year. Anderson is no stranger to success in Amarillo, having won the West Texas Classic in 2006 with PG Maxine and the West Texas Derby in 2010 with Jojo Boon.

Littlemak was bred by Joann Parker by Starlights Gypsy out of Justa Swinging Gal, by Justa Swinging Peppy. Littlemak’s winning check for $11,241 will take him past his full brother, PKR Big Mac, as the leading earner for both their sire and dam, with lifetime earnings of more than $185,000.

In second place, Ali Good of Ringling, Oklahoma and Cat Atat Cat added to a string of accomplishments this year which includes wins in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro and Senior Youth at the NCHA Eastern Nationals, the Non-Pro at the NCHA Western Nationals, and the $35,000 Non-Pro at The Non-Pro & The Open Cutting.

Cat Atat Cat was bred by Glenn and Debbie Drake by High Brow Cat out of Miss Stylish Pepto, a $216,000 earner by Peptoboonsmal. Cat Atat Cat has now earned more than $115,000.


Kenli Marvin – 2018 NCHA Derby Non-Pro Champion

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

Kenli Marvin on Cinderella Cat (P). Hart Photography.

August 5, Fort Worth, Tex.
Kenli Marvin, Barnsdall, Okla., scored a definitive 223-point win on Sunday, showing Cinderella Cat (P) in the 2018 NCHA/Metallic Cat Non-Pro Derby. Todd Quirk, Denham Springs, La., scored 219.5 points on Real Suen for the reserve championship; Megan Miller, Poolville, Tex., placed third with 218 points on Spur That Spot.

This was the first major limited age event win in Fort Worth for Kenli, who won the 2012 NCHA Junior Youth World Finals on the Kit Dual daughter MK Vivian LTE $111,286, the same year that she also placed eighth in the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited riding MK Smooth Texas LTE $55,924, by Smooth As A Cat.

Kenli, the NCHA earner of $154,763, showed Cinderella Cat as fifth-placed finalist in the NCHA Derby Non-Pro Limited, as well, and her father, Tommy Marvin, placed fourth with 220 points on Cinderella Cat in the NCHA Derby Open Finals. It was the ninth performance in as many days for the gritty tobiano mare.

Sired by Thomas E Hughes, Cinderella Cat now halifetime earnings of $66,830. She was bred by Don and Kathy Boon out of Miss Instant Choice, by SR Instant Choice. Kenli acquired Miss Instant Choice with Cinderella Cat at her side for $6,500 in the 2014 NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale and raised and started the filly herself.

Todd Quirk on Real Suen. Hart Photography.

Todd Quirk, the NCHA earner of $517,742, received his first NCHA Derby check in 2012, when he was a Non-Pro finalist with Creepy Crawler LTE $75,971 and placed fifth on Foralimitedtimeonly. This year, also showing McLintockk LTE $21,872, by High Brow Cat, and Quiete Boon LTE $22,565, by Boon Too Suen, Quirk has been a finalist in the 4-Year-Old Non-Pro divisions of the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity, the Ike Hamilton Futurity, and the Breeders Invitational .

Real Suen LTE $56,264, by Boon Too Suen, is a full brother to Donas Suen Boon LTE $423,341, 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro champion, and out of Donas Cool Cat LTE $315,104, by High Brow Cat, dam of nine NCHA earners of $944,651.

The Non-Pro Gelding champion, Real Suen was purchased for $47,000 at the 2015 NCHA Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales by Todd’s father, Buster Quirk.

Todd and his wife, Elizabeth, also own Catillac Reys, reserve champion of the Open NCHA Derby, ridden by Adan Banuelos, and winner of the $100,000 Metallic Cat incentive.

Megan Miller, the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $1,126,905, won the 2018 NCHA Derby Non-Pro Semi-Finals on the Spur That Spot LTE $33,933, who also carried her as reserve champion of the PCCHA Derby Non-Pro. She also won the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro championship with Carolena Reyn LTE $145,790, by Dual Smart Rey, and placed fifth on Hey Boo Boo LTE $65,886, by Dual Smart Rey.

Spur That Spot, by Spots Hot, is out of Princess Clarence LTE $42,327, by Peptoboonsmal. Matt Miller, Megan’s husband, showed Princess Clarence as reserve champion of the 2011 Cattlemen’s Derby Open, as well as a finalist in the 2011 NCHA Super Stakes Open.

Vangilder prevails in Non-Pro Ltd.

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

Jim Vangilder on Take It Eazee. Hart Photography.

August 4, Fort Worth, Tex.
Jim Vangilder, Weatherford, Tex., scored 220 points on Saturday to win the 2018 NCHA/Metallic Cat Summer Spectacular Derby Non-Pro Limited on Take It Eazee, by Smooth As A Cat. Lauren Minshall, Vine Grove, Ky., and her Woody Be Tuff daughter, CR Sister Tuff, claimed reserve with 218 points, while Ali Good, Ringling, Okla.,  and Sneakish, by Hottish, placed third with 216.5 points.

In 2002, Jim Vangilder won the NCHA Derby Non-Pro Limited and the NCHA Derby Amateur championships on the Meradas Money Talks gelding Merada Clone, who Clint Allen, at the time assistant to trainer Matt Gaines, had shown as reserve champion of the 2001 NCHA Futurity Open Limited. Merada Clone would go on to earn over $400,000 with Gaines and Vangilder in the saddle, but when Vangilder won his 2002 NCHA Derby championships, he had been showing for a little more than a year.

Today Vangilder, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $1,197,911, has a record in Fort Worth, alone, that includes the 2008 NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro championship on Pet Squirrel LTE $389,160; the 2005 NCHA Derby Non-Pro and 2006 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro championships on Quintan Blue $594,637; and the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Amateur championship on Smooth Sailing Cat LTE $87,178.

Take It Eazee LTE $44,119 is a full brother, out of Zee Dualy LTE $201,899, by Dual Pep, to Smooth Asa Zee LTE $616,978.

Lauren Minshall on CR Sister Tuff. Hart Photography.

Lauren Minshall, the NCHA earner of $350,593, won the 2013 NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro Limited riding Little Sweet Spot LTE $113,915, by Spots Hot. CR Sister Tuff LTE $47,148, was a 2017 NCHA Futurity Open Semi-Finalist and Open Limited Finalist under Gabe Reynolds, who also showed the Woody Be Tuff mare as reserve Open champion of the Augusta Futurity.

Minshall has shown CR Sister Tuff to place fourth in the 2018 Augusta Futurity Non-Pro and the third in the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Limited.

Ali Good, the NCHA earner of $72,242, and Sneakish LTE $28,523 won the 2017 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited championship and placed in the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Semi-Finals. Sneakish’s dam, Smooth Sneakin LTE $73,716, placed eighth in the 2012 NCHA Derby Non-Pro under Dustin Adams.

The 2018 NCHA/Metallic Cat Summer Cutting Spectacular continues daily through Aug. 5th. For live webcast and live scoring go to

The Animal claims Open Semi-Finals

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

The Animal, ridden by Lee Francois. Hart Photography.

August 4, Fort Worth, Tex.
The Animal, by Cat Ichi, reserve champion of the NCHA Open Futurity under Lee Francois, took command of the NCHA/Metallic Cat Derby Open Semi-Finals with 222 points, as the first to work in the 46-horse field and was never topped.

Mizpah Cat, by Auspicious Cat, with Tom Dvorak, and Reystylin Smooth, by Smooth As A Cat, with Justin Chalmers, each earned 220 points, the second-highest score in the Semi-Finals, where 20 horses with 217 points or higher qualified for Sunday’s Open Finals.

Owned by Richard and Beth Carney Partners, Kemp, Tex., and bred by EE Ranches, owner and breeder of his sire, Cat Ichi, The Animal LTE $169,633, is a full brother to Ichis My Choice LTE $393,328, 2016 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, and out of My Little Abra LTE $64,220, by Abrakadabracre.

In addition to The Animal, Lee Francois also qualified for tomorrow’s NCHA Derby Finals with 218.5 points aboard Desires Mamie LTE $21,809, sired by Metallic Cat and owned by Woody Bartlett, Pike Road, Ala., and with 217 points on Rey Reddington LTE 20,771, sired by Dual Rey and owned by MLH Partners, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Reystylin Smooth LTE $21,768 and Justin Chalmers, who tied with 220 points, also won the NCHA Derby Open Limited Finals with 220.5 points on Wednesday and earned 223 points, the second-highest score, in the first go-round. The Smooth As A Cat son was bred and is owned by Eddie and Barbara Young, San Angelo, Tex.

Just four riders in tomorrow’s Derby Finals have won an NCHA Open Derby champion’s buckles, but three of them have each won two:

Boyd Rice – on Third Cutting in 2009 and on Peptos Stylish Sue in 2008
Eddie Flynn – on Stylish Baby Doll in 2006 and on BR Instant Replay in 2000
Paul Hansma – on Rockin by Choice in 2005 and on Hicapoo in 1994
Kenny Platt – on Moms Stylish Player in 2016

The 2018 NCHA/Metallic Cat Summer Cutting Spectacular continues daily through Aug. 5th. For live webcast and live scoring go to

Megan Miller wins Derby Non-Pro Semi-Finals

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Megan Miller on Spur That Spot. Hart Photography.

August 3, Fort Worth, Tex.
On Friday, it came down to 20 riders with scores of 214.5 points or higher in the Non-Pro Semi-Finals of the NCHA/Metallic Cat Summer Spectacular Derby. Those 20 riders, led by Megan Miller, Poolville, Tex., with 220 points on Spur That Spot, by Spots Hot, will compete in the Non-Pro Derby Finals on Sunday, August 5.

Whitney Hall, Comanche, Okla., riding Kitty Canutt, by Kit Kat Sugar, and Stacie McDavid, Fort Worth, Tex., on Princess Of Bel Air, by Metallic Cat, each earned 219 points, Friday’s second-highest score, while Ashley Flynn, Weatherford, Tex., aboard Smooth Lines, by Smooth As A Cat, and Michael Kemna, Valley View, Tex., on DBL Smart, by Dual Smart Rey, each earned 218.5 points.

Megan Miller, the NCHA Hall of Fame earner of $1,126,905, won the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro championship with Carolena Reyn LTE $145,790, by Dual Smart Rey, and placed fifth on Hey Boo Boo LTE $65,886, by Dual Smart Rey. Miller also claimed the reserve championship of the PCCHA Derby Non-Pro with Spur That Spot LTE $15,405.

Whitney Hall, the NCHA earner of $197,629, showed Kitty Canutt’s half-brother, Lucky Nedd Peppy LTE $31,700, to place third in the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Finals and qualified to show him in Saturday’s Derby Non-Pro Limited Finals. Kitty Canutt and Lucky Nedd Pepper, were bred by Whitney’s parents, Shannon and Ronda Hall, out of Royal Red Pepto LTE $177,472, who Shannon Hall showed as Open champion of the 2008 NCHA Classic Challenge.

Royal Red Pepto is the producer of nine NCHA money earners, including Royal Red Rosita LTE $100,855, by Smart Little Lena, and Royal Red Hal LTE $83,808, by Halreycious, who Whitney showed to place fifth in the 2013 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Finals and to win the 2014 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Limited.

Stacie McDavid, the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $962,116, was reserve champion of the 2002 NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro riding Pretty Bo Bunny LTE $100,046, the dam of Princess Of Bel Air LTE $18,826. In April of this year, she showed Princess Of Bel Air to place 12th in the NCHA Super Stakes Amateur Unlimited.

In addition to Princess Of Bel Air, McDavid also showed Desires Chromed Cat LTE $38,711, by High Brow Cat, earlier this week as a finalist (9th place) in the Derby Amateur Unlimited, and 10 days ago she rode DMAC Piccolo Pete LTE $130,229, by WR This Cats Smart, to place tenth in the Classic Challenge Amateur Unlimited Finals.

The 2018 NCHA/Metallic Cat Summer Cutting Spectacular continues daily through Aug. 5th. For live webcast and live scoring go to