“I hate to wait until the last day,” said Tim Smith, following his 218.5-point performance last Friday, aboard Smooth Peanutbutter, by Smooth As A Cat. “I knew she was good, but when you’re sitting around waiting, you see so many bad things happen, you hope it doesn’t happen to you.”
California-based Smith, in town to catch-ride for Smooth Peanutbutter’s trainer, Gary Gonsalves, had also scored 218.5 points on the Smooth As A Cat daughter in the first go-round. Their cumulative score of 437 points leads 80 qualifiers to the Open Semi-Finals on Friday, December 10.
Spookystimetoshine, ridden by Steve Oehlhof for Darol and Karen Rodrock, was second with 436.5 points, followed by First Lookin and Tyler Merrill with 436 points, for Danny Miller.
“She’s a wonderful little mare,” said Smith of Smooth Peanutbutter. “She’s very smart and easy to get along with. The mare that Chris Bates shows has the same dam.”
Chris Bates, also catch-riding for Gary Gonsalves, scored 219 points in the first go-round. and also advanced to the Semi-Finals, on Iron Rose Ranch-bred Grit And Grace, by One Time Pepto. Justa Smart Peanut, 2001 NCHA Horse of the Year and lifetime earner of $353,414, is dam of both horses. Gonsalves qualified for the Open
Semi-Finals with a cumulative score of 433.5 points riding DMAC Big Casino for David and Stacie McDavid of Fort Worth.
Cat Man Blue, shown by Sean Flynn for Lazy M Cattle Company, tallied the fourth-highest cumulative of 435.5 points. The High Brow Cat son, out of major NCHA money earner Quintan Blue, also tied Tazs Dreamgirl and rider Lloyd Cox with the high score — 218.5 points — from Sunday’s final day of second go-round competition.
“We had a decent score (217 points) from the first go-round, but I tried not to safety up on him,” said Flynn. “I don’t seem to do well trying to be safe.”
Cat Man Blue’s half-brother, Blue One Time, also qualified for the Semi-Finals with 433.5 points under Clint Allen.
“He’s tough, but he’s got a good look about him and he’s smart about a cow,” said Allen of Blue One Time. “This last month he’s really come on.”