Wiley Cat and Dirk Blakesley, with 212 points from the first go-round, “came a’cluckin” yesterday, in the second round of Open competition in the Borden Milk NCHA Futurity, and left the arena with something to crow about.
“You never know in this deal. You just show with all you’ve got and hope you cut good cows,” said Blakesley, who scored 221 points on the High Brow Cat son, owned by the Wiley Cat Partnership.
“I feel bad for Michael (Cooper), but I’m glad he let me show him. He’s a super horse and I think there’s still more there.”
Wiley Cat was trained by Michael Cooper, who is recuperating from surgery for a knee injury sustained two months ago. His full brother, Woodys Wildest Cat, ridden by Darren Simpkins for breeder/owner Cinder Lakes Ranch, is also a top contender with a cumulative score of 434.5 points.
“He was really good in the first go-round, but I think I held him too long on my first cut and had to drag him back,” Blakesley added. “Then I had a miss, when the first cow threw him a ‘bad-dirty.’ Even though he covered it well, it was still a miss.”
Wiley Cat made his bid deep in the first set of cattle. The day’s second-highest score came late in the second set, where Spookystimetoshine marked 220.5 points with Steve Oehlhof.
Spookystimetoshine also had the second-highest cumulative score — 436.5 points.
“He always has his ears up and he’s always bright,” said Oehlhof, who is catch-riding the One Time Pepto son, owned by Darol and Karen Rodrock, for Gary Gonsalves.
“He can be standing still in front of a cow and still have that presence. But he’s also a big, pretty stopper.”
Spookystimetoshine, consigned by Jeff Barnes’ McGlaughlin Ranch, was the high-selling 2-year-old, at $125,000, during last year’s NCHA Futurity Sales.
His dam, San Starlight, has produced 12 NCHA money earners of $977,292, for an average of $81,444, including Spookys Cash, Spookys Smarty Pants, Spookys Catmando and Spookys Cat Deville, all with $100,000 or more, and all trained and ridden in open competition by Gary Gonsalves.
Spookystimetoshine’s yearling full brother, Spookys Roan Rolex, is consigned to the Invitational Yearling Sale on December 7, in John Justin Arena.