Special Nu Baby leads Open qualifiers

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.