Baby Talk, owned by Barker Ranch Cutting Horses, Madill, Okla., and shown by Lloyd Cox, won the 86-horse first go-round of The 2021 Ike Open Derby with 223 points, on Saturday, January 30, in West Monroe, La. While NCHA Futurity Open champion All Spice, owned by Hills/Holmes Partnership, Glen Rose, Tex., and Fancy Deville, owned by Billy Wolf, Whitesboro, Tex., tied for second with 222 points, under Adan Banuelos and Austin Shepard, respectively.

Smooth Lookin Style daughter Baby Talk, already a top 4-year-old with $99,037 earned for fourth place with Cox in the 2020 NCHA Futurity, is a half sister to the Smooth As A Cat gelding Smooth Nu Cat LTE $193,816, shown as a 2015 NCHA Futurity Open finalist by Matt Gaines and as a multiple Amateur and Non-Pro limited age event finalist by Gary Barker.

Baby Talk is also a half-sister to 6-year-old Metallic Cat daughter Ms Baby Cakes LTE $159,758, also shown by Cox. Baby Talk’s dam, Special Nu Baby $481,197, by Dual Rey, has produced nine NCHA earners of $539,845. Trained and shown by Matt Gaines, following an outstanding limited age event career, Special Nu Baby won the 2015 NCHA Open World Championship.

In addition to Baby Talk, Lloyd Cox, the NCHA Hall of Fame all-time leading earner of over $9.7 million, qualified four other horses for the second go-round, including Side Chic LTE $31,415, with 221 points, a Smooth Talkin Style daughter bred by the Hills/Holmes Partnership and owned by Pat and Lisa Taylor, Pilot Point, Tex. Side Chic and Cox won the 2020 Cotton Stakes Futurity and claimed reserve in the West Texas Futurity, as well.

Cox also won the 2018 Ike Derby riding Blackish LTE $201,938, owned by Julie Jarma, Ardmore, Okla. Sired by Hottish, Blackish is out of SS Blacks Kitty LTE $187,137, a three-quarter sister, by Blue Bayou Boon, to 2020 NCHA Futurity champion and 2021 The Ike contender All Spice.

All Spice LTE $246,880, bred by Roger Stallcup, Seymour, Tex., and sired by Once In A Blu Boon out of Show Biz Kitty, a leading producer of earners of over $1.2 million, is a full sister to Badboonarising LTE $318,279, who was shown by Adan Banuelos as reserve champion of the 2018 NCHA Futurity. Her half-brother, Rollz Royce LTE $348,383, by Dual Smart Rey, was reserve champion of the 2018 Ike Derby under Beau Galyean.

Adan Banuelos is the NCHA Hall of Fame earner of more than $3.7 million. From 52-horses who qualified with 215 points or higher for the 2021 Ike Derby second go-round, seven were shown by Banuelos, including four of the top seven, with scores of 221 or higher.

Dreamy Martini LTE $37,500, winner with Banuelos of the 2020 El Rancho Futurity, scored 221.5 in The Ike first round. The Smooth Talkin Style daughter was bred and is owned by Dottie St. Clair Hill of the Hill/Holmes Partnership, out of Stylish Martini LTE $361,920, winner of three major NCHA events and dam of five NCHA money earners.

Fancy Deville LTE $9,757, sired by Once In A Blu Boon and bred by Lenis Fitzsimons, Pepin, Wisc., was an NCHA Futurity Open semi-finalist under Austin Shepard and is the first money earner out of the High Brow Cat daughter Louella Deville. Louella Deville herself is one of 14 money earners of over $1.7 million out of Louella Again LTE $77,853, by Dual Pep.

Austin Shepard, the NCHA Hall of Fame earner of over $8.5 million, won last year’s The Ike Derby showing Countess Catrina LTE $115,664, by Im Countin Checks, for Amanda and Rhein Standish, Baton Rouge, La.

In addition to Fancy Deville, Shepard qualified four other horses for the second go-round, including his own horse Flawless LTE $31,279, a finalist in the NCHA Open Futurity and a half-brother, by One Time Pepto, to Bamacat LTE $351,360, by High Brow Cat, and Christy Hughes LTE $177,834, by Thomas E Hughes.

The Ike continues through February 7, 2021 with the Derby second go-round on Monday, February 1.