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Justify? No more arguments

June 9th, 2018

Justify wins the Triple Crown.

Saturday, June 9, Belmont Park, NY

“He left there like he was going 440 at Ruidoso,” said Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who had just won the 1-1/2-mile Belmont Stakes aboard Justify to claim the Triple Crown. Justify is one of only 13 horses to have won the Triple Crown since 1919, when Sir Barton took the first.

Justify is also the only other Triple Crown winner besides Seattle Slew to come into the Belmont Stakes undefeated. However, Seattle Slew began his career as a 2-year-old; Justify did not make his debut until February 18, 2018, when he was three.

“It was almost like getting a Quarter Horse ready to run,” said Justify’s Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, referring to the short time span between the stallion’s first start and the Kentucky Derby.

Baffert won the Triple Crown in 2015 with American Pharoah and is now tied with James “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons (Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935) for most winners in the 99-year history of the Triple Crown.

“Bob made my dream come true,” said Mike Smith, who at 52 became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. Early in their careers, Baffert and Smith both raced at New Mexico’s Ruidoso Downs, where the first leg of Quarter racing’s Triple Crown, the $1 million Ruidoso Futurity takes place on Sunday, June 10.

Big weekend on track

June 8th, 2018

While cutters head for major events that begin this weekend in Oklahoma and Nevada, Quarter and Thoroughbred race fans will be tuned to New Mexico and New York for the first leg and the last leg of racing’s two Triple Crown events.

The Non-Pro Cutting, in Ardmore, Okla., the PCCHA Core Balance Derby, in Las Vegas, and the Ruidoso Futurity and Derby, highlight Quarter Horse performancers. The Ruidoso Futurity is the first jewel in the Quarter Horse Triple Crown, but the 2018 Belmont Stakes, where Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify makes his bid for the Thoroughbred Triple Crown, also has strong Quarter Horse connections.

Bob Baffert

Justify’s trainer, Bob Baffert, grew up on a 240-acre cattle ranch near Nogales, AZ and began galloping his father’s Quarter race horses when he was 12. He hoped to become a jockey, but by the time he graduated from the University of Arizona, he was training Quarter Horses on the side.

In the early 1980s, with leading trainer titles to his credit from Arizona’s Rillito Downs and Prescott Downs, Baffert landed in California, where he acquired Gold Coast Express, a 3-year-old palomino gelding that he conditioned to win the 1986 AQHA World Championship.

In the late 1980s at California’s Los Alamitos Race Track, in addition to Quarter Horses, Baffert began training Thoroughbreds. He rose to national prominence in the Thoroughbred world when he saddled Thirty Slews to win the 1992 Breeders Cup Sprint at Gulfstream.

In 1997 and 1998, Baffert won rare back-to-back victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with Silver Charm (1997) and Real Quiet (1998); in 2002, he won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with War Emblem; and in 2015, Baffert sent out American Pharoah, who became the first Thoroughbred Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

Justify’s jockey Mike Smith, looking for his first Triple Crown win at the age of 52, got his start riding Quarter Horses in New Mexico, where he grew up. Other Quarter Horse connections in the 2018 Belmont Stakes include contender Tenfold’s trainer Steve Asmussen, who won his first race at Ruidoso Downs, where his father rode Quarter Horses and his mother trained them, and Todd Pletcher, who saddles contenders Vino Rosso and Noble Indy, and as a boy served as a hot walker for his father Jake, a trainer at Ruidoso Downs.

Post time for the Belmont Stakes is Saturday, June 9 at 4:00 pm CDT: https://www.nbcsports.com/belmont-stakes

The $1 Million Ruidoso Futurity will be the last of 10 races beginning at 1:00 pm at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday, June 10: https://www.raceruidoso.com/suza-returns-faces-tough-task-in-1-million-ruidoso-futurity/

 

2019 AQHA Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

June 1st, 2018

Six horses and five American Quarter Horse Association members have been selected for induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2019.

The horses in the Class of 2019 are Harlan, a 1951 buckskin stallion; Mr Jess Perry, a 1992 sorrel stallion; Tiger Leo, a 1958 sorrel stallion; Vital Signs Are Good, a 2000 red roan mare; and Zippos Mr Good Bar, a 1984 red roan stallion. The 1976 Thoroughbred mare Trippy Dip will also join the Hall of Fame.

The AQHA members who will join the Hall of Fame are Billy Allen of Scott City, Kansas; AQHA Past President Johne Dobbs of Gastonia, North Carolina; the late J.M. Frost III of Houston; the late Hans Hansma of Granum, Alberta; and AQHA Past Executive Director of Publications Jim Jennings of Amarillo, Texas.

Two of the 2019 AQHA Hall of Fame inductees have strong ties to the National Cutting Horse Association:

Hans Hansma

Canadian Quarter Horse owner and breeder Hans Hansma (1917-1996), founded the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta, Canada and was a founding director of the Alberta Stakes and Futurities Association, which has become the Canadian Supreme, the largest western performance event in Canada. In 2002, Hansma was awarded the distinguished service award from The Horse Industry Association of Alberta.

Three of Hansma’s sons, Winston, Paul and Gerry, are NCHA Hall of Fame Riders. Winston Hansma, Weatherford, Tex., earner of over $2.3 million, and Paul Hansma, Fort Worth, Tex., earner of more than $6 million, are both NCHA Futurity Open champions. Gerry, Granum, Alberta, earner of over $1.3 million, is a Canadian Supreme and Calgary Stampede champion. Paul Hansma also bred 1994 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Hicapoo $446,712, who was out of Super Poo, a Hans Hansma family-owned mare.

J.M. Frost III (1914-2013), born on Frost Ranch in Houston, was a fourth-generation Texan, whose lifelong involvement with horses ranged from jumping horses, as a young man, to cutting horses, as a rider, owner and breeder, to race horses, as a breeder and owner. He was inducted into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame, and served as an AQHA director from 1962 until 1985, when he became one of the association’s first directors emeriti. At the 2013 AQHA Convention, he was recognized as the senior member of the AQHA board.

Harlan, foaled in 1951, also had ties to cutting competition. Bred by Paul and Jack Smith of Indiahoma, Okla., by Hank H out of Dixie Beach, in addition to an AQHA world champion, 17 AQHA Champions, eight Superiors, and two AA-rated race winners, in the early years of National Cutting Horse Association competition, Harlan also sired the NCHA earners of $15,241,

Cliff-hanger in Breeders Invitational Open Finals

May 26th, 2018

Dual Reyish, ridden by Austin Shepard. Hart Photography.

Kobie Wood, winner of the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes on Cool N Hot, can attest to the success of his recent triple bypass. On Saturday, as Wood recuperated from surgery and followed the Breeders Invitational, his friend and fellow NCHA Hall of Fame rider Sean Flynn, showed Cool N Hot, to tie 2017 NCHA Futurity champions Dual Reyish and Austin Shepard with 223 points in a heart-stopping Breeders Invitational Open Finals.

A workoff won the championship title and $68,107, for Dual Reyish LTE $310,003, but Cool N Hot LTE $223,916 retained his #1 ranking among 2018 NCHA 4-year-old money earners, with $188,353 to Dual Reyish with $117,312. Rollz Royce, reserve champion of the NCHA Super Stakes and Ike Hamilton Futurity under Beau Galyean, ranks second among 2018 NCHA 4-year-olds, with $120,127.

Cool N Hot, ridden by Kobie Wood at the Super Stakes. Hart Photography.

First crop sire Hottish, sire of both Dual Reyish, owned by Billy Wolf, and Cool N Hot, owned, bred and also shown as a champion in non-pro limited age competition by Paula Wood, claimed top sire status of 2018 Breeders Invitational Open Finalists. In addition to Dual Reyish and Cool N Hot, Hottish was also represented by Hott Nu Cowboy, tied for 8/9 with Sean Flynn, for Mary Jo and Bobby Hawkins, and Blackish, at 13/15 for Julie Jarma, with Boyd Rice.

Hottish, by Spots Hot, won the 2012 Breeders Invitational 4-year-old championship, as well as the NCHA Derby Open championship with Lloyd Cox.

CR Smart Boots, third-placed in the 2018 Breeders Invitational, with 222 points under Boyd Rice for Sarco Creek Ranch, also has a connection with Kobie Wood. His sire, Boon Too Suen LTE $250,368, by Peptoboonsmal and out of Meradas Little Sue LTE $670,098, earned a quarter-million dollars under the direction of Wood, who also showed Meradas Little Sue to win three NCHA Open World Championships and the NCHA Horse of the Year Award.

In addition, Nike Lil Sue, sired by Boon Too Suen and shown by R.L. Chartier, for Teresa Gillock, placed seventh with 218.5 points.

## Wins another

May 16th, 2018

Hashtags, ridden by Tatum Rice. Hart Photography.

Hashtags, by Metallic Cat, reinforced his position as 2018’s leading 5/6-year-old open money earner on Tuesday, with a 224.5-point win worth $21,707, in the Breeders Invitational Classic/Challenge. Shown by Tatum Rice for Hashtag Ventures LP, it was the 5-year-old stallion’s second win in 2018 (he also won the Bonanza 5/6 Open) and his sixth career win. Hashtags, winner of the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes and 2017’s leading 4-year-old money earner, has NCHA lifetime earnings of $336,694.

Hesa Money Maker, by Im Countin Checks, realized his biggest single payout ($18,045), as reserve champion of the Breeders Invitational Classic/Challenge, with 224 points under Robbie Boyce for Roger Anderson, Hillsboro, N.D. In April, Boyce showed the 6-year-old gelding as a finalist in the NCHA Super Stakes 5/6 Classic, and in 2017, the pair placed sixth in the Breeders Invitational Classic/Challenge. Including Tuesday’s earnings, Hesa Money Maker has lifetime earnings of $77,039.

Play Miss Boonsmal, reserve champion of the 2017 Breeders Invitational Classic/Challenge Open with Ed Flynn for Danny Jones, Alberta, Canada, scored 222.5 points this year to earn $14,056 for third place. The 6-year-old Peptoboonsmal daughter has earned $172,500 with Flynn in open events and Jones in amateur competition. So far, in 2018, Jones has earned money in eight limited age event divisions, including for first place in the Cattlemen’s Derby 5/6 Amateur, and third place in both the NCHA Super Stakes Classic Amateur Unlimited and the Bonanza 5/6 Amateur Unlimited.

The 2018 Breeders Invitational continues through Saturday, May 26.

 

 

Dual Rey 1994-2018

May 2nd, 2018

Dual Rey, shown by Lloyd Cox in the 1998 Super Stakes. Don Shugart photo.

Dual Rey, cutting’s #3 all-time leading sire, with NCHA earners of nearly $36 million, was euthanized on Monday at the Longmont, Colorado home of his owner and breeder, Linda Holmes.

Dual Rey’s impact on the sport of cutting was well captured in the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Open Finals, where nine of the Top 20 finalists were either sired by Dual Rey or one of his sons, or were out of one of his daughters. The list includes reserve champion Rollz Royce, by Dual Smart Rey, by Dual Rey; third-placed Rey Good Lookin, by Dual Rey; and fourth-placed Duramax Dually, by Dual Rey.

In addition, Dual Reyish, out of Dual Rey daughter A Little Reylena, was the 2017 NCHA Futurity Open champion.

By Dual Pep out of Nurse Rey ($65,587), by Wyoming Doc, Dual Rey was shown by Lloyd Cox, who also showed Nurse Rey, as well as many of her offspring for Linda Holmes and her sister, Gail Holmes.

From his first crop (32 AQHA foals of 1999), Dual Rey lit the boards with TR Dual Rey, shown by Lloyd Cox to earn $291,111 and reserve championships of the NCHA Super Stakes and the NCHA Derby. TR Dual Rey would become a sire in his own right with NCHA earners of more than $3.7 million.

Dual Rey’s second crop of foals included Horse of the Year Reys Dual Badger LTE $312,179 and A Smart Little Rey LTE $204,868, two out of 26 of his lifetime performers that have each earned over $200,000. From that crop on there was no stopping the Dual Reys, as performers and producers. His top earners include Special Nu Baby LTE $481,197 and Rey Down Sally LTE $404,170, and his 1,144 NCHA money earners have a near record average of $31,292.

Dual Rey’s leading siring sons, in addition to TR Dual Rey, include Dual Smart Rey with over $4.3 million in offspring earnings; Reys Dual Badger with $3.3 million; and Halreycious with $2.2 million. And his prolific daughters include Miss Ella Rey, dam of nine NCHA money earners of $929,458 ($103,273 average).

Dual Rey’s Top 10 NCHA Money Earners
SPECIAL NU BABY, 2006 m Dam: Nu I Wood, by Zack T Wood $481,197
REY DOWN SALLY, 2004 m Dam: Solano Sally, by Doc’s Solano $404,170
REYS DESIRE, 2006 m Dam: Playguns Desire, by Playgun $393,766
MISS ELLA REY, 2005 m Dam: Huggs Olena, by Smart Chic Olena $375,842
CR SUN REYS, 2008 m Dam: Play Peek A Boon, by Freckles Playboy $369,323
DONT STOPP BELIEVIN, 2011 s Dam: Dont Look Twice, by High Brow Cat $354,205
LIL RATTLER, 2009 m Dam: Highbrow Supercat, by High Brow Cat $338,873
ROCKIN W, 2006 s Dam: Boon San Kitty, by High Brow Cat $329,722
REYANN HICKORY, 2002 m Dam: Hickorys Tachita, by Doc’s Hickory $313,457
REYS DUAL BADGER, 2000 s Dam: Lipshy, by Haidas Little Pep $312,179

Cool N Hot sears field with Super Stakes Open win

April 22nd, 2018

Cool N Hot, ridden by Kobie Wood. Hart Photography.

2018 Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes – April 22, 2018 – Fort Worth, Tex.

Cool N Hot, by Hottish, scored 227 points to claim the 2018 Super Stakes Open championship under Kobie Wood. It was the first NCHA Triple Crown event win for Wood, ranked eighth, with $5,254,419, among all-time NCHA money earners, since 1988.

Rollz Royce, sired by Dual Smart Rey and shown by Beau Galyean for Thomas Guinn, Philadelphia, Miss., was reserve champion with 222.5 points, while the Dual Rey gelding Rey Good Looking, shown by Chris Johnsrud for Ken Hanson, Weatherford, Tex., placed third with 219.5 points.

Cool N Hot LTE $189,284 was also shown by Paula Wood, Kobie’s wife and the colt’s owner and breeder, as a finalist in the Super Stakes Non-Pro Finals, which immediately preceded the Open Finals. Paula had shown Cool N Hot as a finalist (5th) in the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro, and she and Kobie won dual titles riding him to Bonanza Open and Non-Pro championships.

Cool N Hot is out of Donas Cool Cat LTE $315,104, by High Brow Cat, shown by Paula, Kobie and Jeremy Barwick, and dam of NCHA earners of $895,589, including Donas Suen Boon LTE $422,455, by Boon Too Suen, who Paula bred and rode to win the 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro championship, and Kobie showed as 2016 NCHA Open World Champion Mare.

Kobie Wood, a five-times NCHA Open World Champion, NCHA Horse of the Year Rider, and 1993 NCHA Hall of Fame Rider Inductee, first realized a Triple Crown events win in the 1988 NCHA Classic (when the 5-year-old and 6-year-old were separate events) aboard Cash Quixote Rio LTE $520,583, who Wood also showed to two NCHA Open World Championship wins.

Rollz Royce, ridden by Beau Galyean. Hart Photography.

Rollz Royce LTE $51,975, shown exclusively by Beau Galyean, was reserve champion of the 2018 Ike Hamilton 4-Year-Old Open and the Cattlemen’s Derby Open, as well as a finalist (10th) in the Arbuckle Mountain Derby Open. Galyean, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider, an NCHA Open Horse of the Year Rider, and the NCHA earner of $3,389,924, was reserve champion of the 2009 NCHA Super Stakes aboard Metallic Cat LTE $574,494, who he showed as Open champion of the 2008 NCHA Futurity.

Beau Galyean, his brother Wesley (Duramax Dually, 4th), and dad, Jody (AB Smoothlee, 17th, and Desiresomemetallic, 17th), earned more than $134,000 in the Open finals.

Rey Good Lookin LTE $111,140, shown by Johnsrud in Open competition, as well as by Ken Hanson in Amateur, hit his stride as an Open Limited finalist (4th) in the NCHA Futurity Open Limited and as an Open finalist (4th) in the 2018 Bonanza. Chris Johnsrud is the NCHA earner of $653,143.