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Louisville - Thursday Daytime

The World’s Championship Horse Show is headed for home. The long daytime sessions are in the history books now, and the focus turns to the championship rounds. Inside the ring there have been plenty of highlights to read about, but it seems that the new North Wing has been the biggest highlight outside the ring. The new stabling area is clean and cool, with a nice space for the vendors. The addition of the Saddlebred Café, an eating option that does not involve fried dough or any other type of fair food, has also been a hugely popular thing, packing in the customers during the half hour lunch breaks.

Thursday is the traditional “day of rest” at Louisville, with a short morning schedule of five classes. This is a recent change to the Louisville schedule, as there used to be no classes held on Thursday morning. Having the Amateur Futurities today takes them out of another day’s schedule, preventing any daytime sessions from threatening to run into the evening sessions. It is a solid change that works out well for everyone involved.

The weanlings made the 9 am gate call to open Thursday’s morning session. Using an absolutely perfect lead to vault him to the top of the class, Walterway’s Watch Me was the unanimous World’s Champion in the ASR Amateur Weanling Futurity. A big, regal chestnut colt with a beautiful star right in the middle of his forehead, Watch Me is by Sir William Robert and out of Oak Hill’s Watch Me. His dam is out of a Supreme Sultan mare and by the Sky Watch stallion, I’m A Girlwatcher. This gorgeous colt was led to the winner’s circle by Kenny Wheeler, with Brad Noel tailing. While Wheeler and Noel showed a couple other entries, co-owner Larry Hartsock took over as the tailer, beaming with pride. Watch Me is a full sister to Pascale, owned by Watch Me‘s co-owner, J.C. Pierce, the ASR Kentucky Weanling Futurity World’s Champion from 2006. Obviously this is a cross that produces beauty and talent.

Second in the class of 17 babies was I Am The Storm. Completing the Sir William Robert sweep of the top two places, this one is out of the grand show mare, CH Dancing Up A Storm LCC, a Reserve World’s Champion as a three year old in harness with owner Kathy Capsuto. Kathy owns this one as well. Picking up a nice futurity paycheck in third, Brunello and owner Sue Worzalla made a nice show. Brunello is by Trust Fund, the son of Attache’s Liquid Asset out of CH Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover. This pretty colt parks out and basks in the attention. His dam, Stolen Beauty, is by Farr’s Thunder Road. She had a long show record for the owner/trainer Worzalla family and has produced their several nice babies for them, including the up and coming pleasure horse, The Bourne Supremacy.

While the amateur handlers hustled back to the barn to get their two year olds ready, Belle Owen took her second victory pass of the week, this time in Kentucky Equitation 13 and Under. Aboard Chanti’s Prayer, Owen has really seemed to hit her stride this year, making every step look easy. Mollie Kregor made her first Equitation appearance since her Walk and Trot days to pick up the reserve tie. Since switching to canter classes, Kregor has become a star with her country pleasure mount, The Petite Princess, taking a Reserve World’s Championship in Tuesday’s 13 and Under qualifier.

Kenny Wheeler and Brad Noel might as well just go by “Team Midas” here on Thursday morning, as they grabbed another futurity blue, this time in the ASR Amateur Two Year Old Futurity with Showsteeler. When you think of a bay horse, the picture in your head will be this colt. He is by I’m A New Yorker and out of the General Steel mare, Special Steel, hence the beautiful bay coloring. Special Steel brings to mind the great Bryant Beltle, who rode the punchy mare to so many Equitation titles in the 1990’s. Showsteeler is owned and bred by Robert and Lynn Keys. He was an All American Cup entry in 2006, earning a $1,500 check in that one out of a field of 43. Facing 12 here today, this impressive colt took home another nice paycheck along with his blue ribbon.

Crystal Harmon put on a nice show with the flashy Excellent Sultan to take the red ribbon. Excellent Sultan is by the Zovoorbij Commander In Chief (SA) son, Commander In The colt is out of Sultan’s Excellence, a Radiant Sultan mare. Third went to Night Of Fun and Julia Patton. Night Of Fun is by First Night In, a CF First Night Out stud out of a Supreme Sultan mare. Night Of Fun is out of Dispel, by CH Foxfire’s Prophet. Fourth went back to Wisconsin with Royal Crest’s Rhinestone Cowboy and Kurt Antonacci, showing for Bruce and Rusty Rademann. Rhinestone Cowboy is by Seaheart, by CH Buck Rogers. He is out of a Kalarama Cabernet mare. So it was the old veteran of the bunch siring the winner, and the next generation studs siring the next three spots.

Youth Roadster to Bike raced down the chute next, as Ali DeGray made her show ring debut with Roar Of Thunder in blue ribbon style. With her white trimmed in red silks blazing by, DeGray won this class for the second year in a row. Last year, it was Imagine That taking the blue. Roar Of Thunder is also the title of the latest book by celebrated author and Ali’s mom, Helen Rosburg. It is set to be released within the month! Renegade and Mike Bacon got lots of cheers and support from friends and family along the rail, picking up the red ribbon. Renegade was the Reserve National Champion in 2006, with Mike’s grandpa Larry at the lines.

Three-peat! Three-peat! Team Midas struck again in the ASR Amateur Yearling Futurity, as Kenny Wheeler and Brad Noel brought Diamonds and Orchids to the winner’s circle for Sue Nifong. Second in the ASR Kentucky Weanling Futurity last year, Diamonds and Orchids is by Nureyev, the I’m A New Yorker son being promoted in syndication by Fred Sarver. Diamonds and Orchids is out of The Irish Orchid, a daughter of The Irish Connection. Irish Connection was the sire of some other Nifong futurity champions including Golden Market and Silver Harbor. It was an amazing day for Kenny and Brad, as nobody can recall a sweep of all three Amateur In-Hand Futurities prior to today. If it’s been done before, feel free to chime in!

Second in the class went to Mountjoy’s Watermark, a sporty colt by Santana Hosanna, shown to the red ribbon by owner and breeder David Mountjoy. Watermark is out of a Clover Hill’s In Command mare. The third-place horse, Royal Crest’s Stone Crystals, presents an interesting cross. She is by Seaheart, the Buck Rogers stud, and out of a Valley’s Desdemona Denmark x CH Nan Sea mare. Nan Sea was a Reserve World’s Champion in the harness division in the 60s. Seaheart is a full brother to CH X’s and O’s and CH Black Mountain Buck. Stone Crystals is out of a CH Santana’s Charm x CH Kourageous Kalu cross. Seaheart also sired the white ribbon winner, Royal Crest’s A Stone In The Dark, a black filly out of a King Of Highpoint x Harlem Globetrotter cross.

The yearlings closed out this short session, in which Kenny Wheeler and Brad Noel took three of a possible five victory passes. The other two classes were for young riders and drivers, so they had an excuse not to show in those.

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