Super Stakes History Spotlight

Dry Doc, ridden by Tom Lyons.

In 1987, Dry Clean , shown by Tom Lyons, earned a record 227 points and became the first gelding to win the NCHA Super Stakes. In addition, reserve champion Oak Mist, shown by Tara Stark, marked 226.5 points. The previous record of 222 points had been established by Docs Okie Quixote in 1984, and it would be 14 years before Dry Clean’s 227-point record was surpassed – by Sunettes Dually and Matt Gaines in 2001.

Owned by Tom and Sue Ryan, Weatherford, Texas, and out of of Snip’s Cherie, by Smoke 49, Dry Clean was sired by Dry Doc, whose full brother, Doc O’Lena, was the leading sire of 1983 NCHA Triple Crown winner Smart Little Lena. Dry Doc, the 1971 NCHA Futurity champion under Buster Welch, had also sired Dry Dot, who had earned over $100,000 in the 1982 NCHA Super Stakes, as Non-Pro champion and third-place Open finalist under J.E. Jumonville, Ventress, La.

At the time of his 1987 Super Stakes win, Tom Lyons was just two years away from NCHA Hall of Fame status, and had a list of accomplishments that included the 1973 NCHA Futurity championship on Doc’s Marmoset; back-to-back World championships on Doc N Willy and Doc’s Marmoset, in 1980 and 1981; the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes reserve championship on Miss Silver Pistol, as well as championship wins in the Gold & Silver Stakes and the NCHA Breeders Cutting. Following the Super Stakes, Dry Clean and Lyons would also claim reserve championships of the 1987 NCHA Derby and the 1987 TQHA National Stakes.

Oak Mist, 1987 NCHA Super Stakes reserve champion, sired by Doc’s Oak and owned by REJ Enterprises, Westlake, Texas, was bred by Boyd Summerhays, Sandy, Utah. Out of Misty Pop, by Pop Up out of Raz Miss Taz, Oak Mist was a three-quarter sister to the Doc O’Lena son Tuff Lena. Tuff Lena, an earner of $9,693, sired 22 NCHA earners of $271,768, including Tuffs Junie. Tuffs Junie is the dam of earners of over $1.2 million, including 2014 NCHA Open Horse of the Year and 2014 Super Stakes champion Junie Wood LTE $525,774, as well as of  of Woody Be Tuff LTE $351,063, the sire of earners of over $4.3 million, including 2012 NCHA Futurity Open co-champion CR Tuff Hearted Cat.

In 1987, the NCHA Super Stakes also marked its seventh anniversary with the addition of the Super Stakes Classic for 5-year-olds, which would segue into the Super Stakes 5 and 6-Year-Old Classic.

The 1987 NCHA Super Stakes Classic featured a stellar field that included 1986 NCHA Super Stakes champion Delta Flyer, with Kenny Patterson; 1986 NCHA Derby champion Peppy Lena San, under Bill Freeman; 1986 NCHA Derby Non-Pro champion Pams Moon Bar (with Tooties Lyons), shown by Tom Lyons; and 1986 NCHA Super Stakes reserve champion, with John Tolbert.

Playboy Olena, sired by Freckles Playboy and shown by Faron Hightower, for Wayne Long, Decatur, Texas, set the standard for future Super Stakes Classic finalists with a winning score of 228.5 points. Pams Moon Bar, by Boon Bar, and Peppy Lena San, by Peppy San, would tie for the reserve championship with 227 points. It would be 31 years before Metallic Rebel, with 229 points, under Beau Galyean in 2017, topped Playboy Olena’s record.