Austin Shepard leads the 11-horse MillionHeir Classic field going into Saturday’s finals in Las Vegas with go-round leaders MH San Tules Dually and San Tule Uno. Shepard scored a double last year with a win in the MillionHeir Derby on San Tule Uno, owned by Mike and Libby Bowman, and in the MillionHeir Classic on MH Quixote Plays, owned by Elizabeth Brumbaugh.

Shepard’s greatest triumph last year, however, was the 2007 NCHA Futurity win on High Brow CD (he was also an NCHA Futurity finalist on Playware).

In the 52 days from December 16, 2007 and February 5, 2008, Shepard earned $401,000. So far this year, he has ridden an undefeated High Brow CD as champion of the Augusta Futurity and the Tunica Futurity.

The odds are good that someone named Phil will win the 16-horse finals of the South Point Classic/Challenge, also held on Saturday in Las Vegas. Phil Rapp had the highest go-round score (220) on Autumn Acre and tied with Russ Miller on Kittens for the high cumulative of 436.5. Rapp also qualified Miss Reycine and Tootsie Rey.

Phil Hanson qualified for the finals on four mounts: LHR Smart Time; Sophisticated Catt; Little Silver Belles; and Rey Jay Play. He also qualified BNL Iron Will for the 11-horse finals of the MillionHeir Classic on Saturday.