Smoothe Bye Design
Phil Rapp with Smoothe Bye Design.

Smoothe Bye Design and Phil Rapp carved out a special niche on Monday, as winners of of the second go-round of the NCHA Open Derby with 221 points, in addition to claiming the high cumulative score of 437 points.

“I had three cows that I wanted to cut and we went in there and got it done,” said Rapp, who showed Smoothe Bye Design midway through the second of nine sets of cattle.

“He was spot on. The first day, we didn’t get him quite as tired as we needed to before I showed him. He’d been off since the Super Stakes, what with the BI being canceled, and when you give him some time off, he likes to buck and play

“But we got his mental focus right today. He’s a very good horse and today we got to see some of that in this pen.

Smoothe Bye Design, a stallion sired by Smooth As a Cat out of Absolutely Stunning, is owned by a partnership consisting of Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, Louis and Corliss Baldwin, Tommy and Chris Manion, and Lynn Leedy. He was an NCHA Futurity finalist with Rapp, won the Augusta Futurity championship, and placed third in Tunica, as well as sixth in the Abilene Spectacular.

“He’s quick and light on his feet and really fast-footed,” said Rapp. “He’s the kind of horse that can put it all together and have a run like he did today.”

Rapp showed Dont Look Twice, owned by Louis and Corliss Baldwin, to place third in the Classic Challenge  last week. The payout elevated the High Brow Cat daughter to the celebrated ranks of the winners of $500,000 or more in NCHA earnings.

“Smoothe Bye Design and Dont Look Twice are the happiest and most cow fresh horses, when you go to (show), that I’ve ever ridden,” said Rapp, the sport’s all-time leading money earner with $7.3 million.

“I just work him once every day, but I start on Monday and it’s Thursday or Friday before he’s relaxed and tired. And Dont Look Twice is just like that, too.”

SVR Reyl Smart, by Dual Rey, and  ridden by Beau Galyean for breeder Strawn Valley Ranch, earned the second-highest second go-round cumulative of 436.5 points.