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Louisville - Thursday Daytime

The aptly named Special Dark started off the Thursday morning session with a stunning blue ribbon performance in the ASR Kentucky Amateur Weanling Futurity. With Wade Fairey on the lead and Max Ciampoli assisting from over the rail, Special Dark put on a show for the sparse Thursday morning crowd. By Gypsy Santana, Special Dark is out of Phancy Jamas, a mare shown all over the Carolinas by Special Dark’s owner, Kaitlin Heisey. She is by Phi Slama Jama and out of a walk-trot mare from the Minnesota area, CH My Shadow Dancer. After placing reserve in the ASR Kentucky Weanling Futurity on Sunday, this jet black colt with not a spot of white on him was up for the blue today. Mr. Nutcracker himself took on the exhibiting duties with the Reserve Champion, as it was David Jampsa on the lead for Foxcroft Fortunut Times. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, Fortunut Times is out of So Endearing, a daughter of CH The Talk Of The Town and Jean McLean Davis’ Ladies Three-Gaited World’s Champion, Oh Dear!. Oh Dear! was out of CH Oak Hill’s Dear One, another horse ridden to a walk-trot World’s Championship by Jean McLean Davis . However, it was Tom Moore aboard in 1973 and 1974 when she was crowned Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion. Bright chestnut with a white blaze, Fortunut Times looked every bit of his royal pedigree in reserve. Third in the Open Futurity and third again here today, Rockband is by The Wish Card and out of Callaway’s Campaign Party, by Callaway’s The Gipper. Last year’s "Triple Crown" winners of all three amateur in-hand futurities, Kenny Wheeler and Brad Noel were the handlers.

Belle Owen picked up her second win of the week, winning the Kentucky Equitation 13-and-Under class for the second year in a row aboard Chanti’s Prayer. In her final year in the Junior ranks, the DeLovely rider looks ready to take on all comers in any age group. Alexa Stumler was reserve under the direction of the Zubrod team. She was reserve in her Pleasure Equitation qualifier at Lexington.

With that signature Sir William Robert stripe, wider at the top and narrowing down toward the nose, Sir Radiant Knight was another absolute stunner to win the ASR Kentucky Amateur Two-Year-Old Futurity for Dave, Dena and Alyssa Lopez by the unanimous acclaim of the judges. Third in the ASR Kentucky Weanling Futurity in 2007, Radiant Knight is a slightly darker than average chestnut with a blonde mane. The park trot performance that he put on with Dave Lopez on the lead will translate to whatever division he wants to go into. Perfectly put together and prancing, he is by Sir William Robert and out of Radiant Dianna, a half sister to Designed and a full sister to CH Fatal Charm. The people who skipped this session to get a few extra hours of sleep after last night’s 2 a.m. fire drill at the old Executive West should be sorry to have missed this one.

Oddly enough, the second and third-place handlers in this one were the same as in the weanling class. David Jampsa was back with the top Nutcracker colt in this one, as he led Front Row Frankie to the red ribbon for Hallston Manor and Willowbank. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, this one gets his bright chestnut color and lots of chrome from his dam, Heir Spray, a Supreme Heir daughter out of My Pretty Kitty. Heir Spray is a top producer, the dam of In Hand star Line Of Thunder, winner of over $50,000 as a weanling in 2002, as well as Safecracker, the ASR Kentucky Weanling Futurity winner on Sunday night. Add to that last year’s Yearling Breeders Open World’s Champion Nutorious, and you have a rather spectacular producer. Kenny Wheeler and Brad Noel were back for third again in this one with Make Mine Black. Owned by J.C. Pierce and Ceil Wheeler, the obviously black colt is by CH Harlem Town and out of Wind Fantasy, a half sister to Leatherwood’s Starlight.

Roar Of Thunder roared down victory lane for the second year in a row with Ali DeGray in the Youth Roadster to Bike class. In a big field of 10, Ali’s white and red silks were a blur as she cruised through the traffic to take the blue. Jim Tom Galbreath was at the lines of the red ribbon winner, The Quiet Man. In his red silks, Jim Tom put on a fast and furious performance for reserve. Rebekah Cloninger kept to her usual routine, blowing past everyone at speed. She was third in this one with Royal Count.

In the ASR Kentucky Amateur Yearling Futurity, it was a sure bet for Mountjoy’s Sure Bet and Bobby Dunn, showing for David Mountjoy. A bay gelding by Santana Hosanna, Sure Bet is out of Bailey’s Dancer, by The Manipulator. Fine yet bold, Sure Bet was sporting tri-color braids to go along with his blue ribbon. Earning his third, yes third Reserve World’s Championship, I Am The Storm was second for Kathy Capsuto Walker. By Sir William Robert, he is out of Kathy’s grand harness mare, CH Dancing Up A Storm LCC. He was the World’s Champion in the Open Futurity on Monday night. Kenny Wheeler and Brad Noel had another triple crown today, but it was the triple triple crown, as they handled all three third-place finishers today. Owned by Sue Nifong, who is a veteran of winning big in these in-hand futurities, Diamond Market is by The Wish Card and out of a full sister to another of Nifong’s World’s Champions, Golden Market. Winner of the Amateur Weanling Futurity last year, Walterway’s Watch Me was fourth today for Kenny and Brad and owners Larry Hartsock and J.C. Pierce Equine LLC. He is also by Sir William Robert.

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