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UPHA/American Royal - Tuesday Evening

The Last Don has made a career out of siring big money Futurity winners. His streak continued tonight, as Domenico topped the Missouri Breeders Challenge Weanling Stake. Mayo and Jessie Moctezuma made the winning lead for Hickory Knoll Farm. In 2009, it was Domenico’s full brother, Goodfella, that topped this class. Both are out of Albelarm Impulse. Domenico was third in the Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stake and cashed in the top 10 in the All American Cup earlier this year. Mountjoy’s Money Maker was directed to reserve by Joe T. Smith for David Mountjoy. By Beware Of Black Ice and out of Reedann’s Fine And Fancy, Money Maker was third in the ASR Kentucky Weanling Futurity at Louisville.

The beautiful gray gelding that is always mistaken for a mare, CH Jessie Cole, was the unanimous choice in the Adult Country Pleasure class. Mandy Dellinger just keeps getting better and better as a jockey under the direction of Andy and Lynda Freseth. This was their first Royal win together, having finished reserve in their last three trips to the Kemper Arena show ring. Jessie Cole and Mandy have had a spectacular season, including a qualifier World’s Championship and the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title. The dark golden chestnut trimmed in flaxen, Callaway’s Summer Solstice, picked up reserve with Carissa Marshall making the top ride under the direction of Todd Graham. They were Reserve Champions at Lexington this year, their second season out of junior exhibitor.

She would be the best open gaited mare in the country if it wasn’t for Debbie Foley and Callaway’s Annabel Allison, but that doesn’t stop Walterway’s What About Me from wowing crowds everywhere she goes with Merrill Murray. The Five-Gaited Mare Reserve World’s Champion was the unanimous victor here in the Five-Gaited Mare Stake for Larry Hartsock. Out of his golden cross of Star Material and Yorktown’s Forget-Me-Not, What About Me may be the most naturally gifted of all of her full brothers and sisters. Tammy DeVore had Alexis Landreth’s partner, Kalarama’s Lady Bancroft, up for reserve for Equestrian Investments of Tennessee. By Exalted Effect, Lady Bancroft is out of Mary Jane Bancroft, by CF First Night Out. Alexis was a 13-and-Under Reserve World’s Champion with her just a year ago.

When Peter Fenton was going through and letting the crowd know that Talladega Red won the Mo/Kan Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class a year ago, Sara Baker’s fans let out a yell. The problem there was that he hadn’t yet called out the awards for 2011! Luckily enough, the unanimous choice of the judges was once again Talladega Red. Sara Baker made a strong ride for the blue under the direction of Robert Stezovsky. Owned by Ronald and Lori Baker, Talladega Red earned this win for the second year in a row. Betsy Krutek and CH Nothin’ But Spice were reserve for Kent and Stacey Swalla. This is their first season as a team. They were Novice Rider winners on these grounds in May at UPHA Chapter 5.

It was in this very class a year ago the last time CH With Style And Grace and Tara Grom left the ring with anything but the top prize. They righted that reserve finish with a unanimous victory tonight in the Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under. The two-time defending Amateur World’s Champion of Champions took this qualifier blue back to DeLovely for Bob and Kim Grom. Bob was on hand as always to cheer on his daughter, who always puts on a great show. Tia Margarita made her first show since winning the Amateur Under 2 at Lexington to place reserve with Linda Bowen aboard for Johnny and Linda Bowen. Lionel Ferreira directs this team at Monnington Farm. They were also Under 2 winners at Rock Creek this year.

It was a star-studded field in the Open Road Pony class, with Dr. Robert “Chip” Pugh reprising his 2008 American Royal drives with CH Stat to take top honors. Reserve World’s Grand Champion in 2009 and 2010 with trainer Maureen Campbell at the lines, Stat was dialed in for Chip tonight, as he sped down victory lane. He also drove to the Road Pony tri-color at the NC State Championship, his first show with Stat since the Royal Winter Fair a year ago. Dr. Alan Raun was at the lines of Twin Willow’s McDreamy tonight to finish reserve for Deborah Jahn. National Champions in this division here a year ago, McDreamy and Doc Raun always put on a top notch show. The great CH Calvin Hobbs rounded out the top three with Kevin Ingram driving for James R. Dellinger Jr.

The Ladies Five-Gaited Mare class was top to bottom filled with great lady riders and horses. With the gelding qualifier later in the night, the mares threw down the gauntlet, serving notice that they are ready to take their first ever Pink Ribbon title on Friday night! Andy Freseth was pleased as could be with the results here, as Catalyst’s Work Of Art and Nancy Leigh Fisher topped this grand group of six. It was the best go of the year for this remarkably talented mare, and one of her best ever with Nancy Leigh. By Catalyst and out of a Harrods Burg mare, Work Of Art was the Junior Five-Gaited Mare Reserve World’s Champion with Andy Freseth in 2007. Maria Gilman made a smashing debut with Tango Mango to finish reserve. As bright and shining as her name suggests, Tango Mango is a light chestnut with lots of trimming. She is by Dorian Warriors Song (SA) and out of a CH Caramac mare.

Corie Jean Allen’s mount for the fall semester at William Woods, Harlem’s Irish Dancer was the winner from a field of 13 in the Missouri-Kansas Adult Show Pleasure class. Undefeated in three trips to the ring together, Corie and Irish Dancer work extremely well together. The hingy bay gelding was in top form tonight for the blue. William Woods swept the top two spots, as Allison Strash and Charm’s Top Cat were reserve. This one is by Santana’s Charm and out of a Catalyst mare. The Stephens College entry, Hillcroft Rare Heir, was third with Kristin Panos.

The DaVinci Code made her best show of the year on her comeback trail, winning the Fine Harness Mare class, just as she did in 2009. Kathy Capsuto Walker made the top drive for Paula Schmidt and the Kathy Capsuto Trust. Geof Dixon was heading them up for the round of honor. This exquisite mare had her edge back tonight, giving one of those crawling, squatting, strutting performances that made her famous as the 2009 Reserve World’s Grand Champion and National Champion. She was her spectacular self once again tonight, getting the loudest ovation of the night. Melinda Moore drove Lady O’Lydia to reserve for Joellen Fisher Blount. By Worthy’s Prodigy and out of Lite Switch, by Supreme Hi-Lite, Lady O’Lydia has done well in her first year back in harness.

Eight entries answered Vern Serex’s call for the Mo/Kan Amateur Three-Gaited class. Abby Mutrux has made good catch rides all year long aboard Sea Side for trainer Kent Swalla and the Jacqueline Bulgin Trust. Junior Exhibitor Champions at Mid-America Mane Event, this team won the blue ribbon here as well. Sired by The Mac Attack, Sea Side is out of a Sultan’s Starmaker mare. All three judges agreed upon the winner, who was turned out to the nines, as all of Kent Swalla’s entries seem to be. Robert Stezovsky had another good ribbon heading back to his stalls here, as Hot Couture was reserve with Samantha Baker for Ronald and Lori Baker.

In what was possibly the best class of the day, the Amateur Roadster to Bike went seven deep with some of the best horses in the country smoking through the in-gate. With all this talent in the ring, it was still a unanimous decision that sent Mr’s Bones and Charlie Jones down victory lane and back to celebrate at Lukens Stables. They hung back first way before cranking it up once they were headed the right direction of the ring. Few road horses in history could wear a bridle like Bones, and he puts that together with good top-end speed to really get rolling. The defending Open National Champion and reigning Amateur World’s Champion of Champions was in top form tonight. Debra Clark and Iamnotacow are enjoying a phenomenal campaign under the direction of Jon Walker. This second place finish matched their Amateur Reserve World’s Champion of Champions finish in Freedom Hall. They qualified there as Amateur Ladies World’s Champions. About as long-necked as a Standardbred has ever been, Iamnotacow has been spectacular all year long. Reserve World’s Grand Champion this year with Sam Stafford, Trio Bolero G was third tonight with Misdee Wrigley Miller for Hillcroft Farm.

The second half of qualifying for the UPHA Pink Ribbon Ladies Five-Gaited National Championship brought the geldings in for their split. In yet another phenomenally deep class, it was Fox Grape’s Dauntless taking the blue prize with Dr. Owen Weaver up for owner and breeder, Fox Grape Farms. Undefeated since Bonnie Blue this year, Owen and Dauntless have now run off seven straight wins under the Autumn Hills banner. Steve and Tiffany Wheeler greeted them in the winner’s circle, jst as they twice did in Freedom Hall. The reigning Ladies World’s Champion of Champions is by Dorian Wild Temper and out of World’s Grand Champion Garland’s Dream. The jet black beauty, CH The Decisive Moment, was reserve here with Annika Bruggeworth. Directed now by Melinda Moore, Decisive Moment was Lexington’s Ladies Gelding winner. He has enjoyed perhaps his finest season yet in 2011, his first with Annika. The only horse to ever win the UPHA Pink Ribbon National Championship, CH Callaway’s Born To Win, finished in third with Gayle Lampe up.

Bob Wolf and Elmer Fields were honored as the American Royal Horsepeople of the Year before the Open Hackney Pony class came to the ring. The reigning World’s Grand Champion defended his crown, as Nabucco took the last pass with Gib Marcucci driving for Mary Campbell. Also the winner of this class a year ago, Nabucco was then making his first show in three years, also taking the National Championship. Night Train LF and Michelle LeGrotte Barcus were reserve under the direction of Cheryl Manahan.

The Open Three-Gaited Park class came blasting through the gate 10 deep, with Callaway’s Blaire debuting in her new division with her new trainer for a blue ribbon ride. Robert Gardiner has recently taken over training duties at Anna Marie Knipp’s High Spirits Farm, and his first ride at his new job was a winning one, taking the Callaway’s Main Man daughter to a well-deserved victory pass. Blaire is out of a Callaway’s Blue Norther mare. The 2009 and 2010 Three-Gaited Park Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion Master And Commander was reserve here with Maria Gilman riding for Barbara Woods. Also the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions the past two seasons, Master And Commander has been showing with Cheryl Sotrop up for much of this campaign. Annika Bruggeworth went in against the trainers to come away with third aboard He’s A Royal Pepper. The DeLovely-trained entry was a top contender to round out the top three.

With a number of blue ribbon rides to their credit already this year, Elisabeth Goth and Fort Chiswell’s Royal Kiss took on the Will Shriver Five-Gaited Stallion Stake and came away as the winners. This was fitting, as Royal Kiss is by Callaway’s Northern Kiss, a grandson of the great Will Shriver. Royal Kiss is out of the phenomenal gaited mare, Royal Memories, herself a Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion and one of those horses that always set the crowd ablaze. Royal Kiss did the same tonight in victory. Winner of this class the last three years, It’s Double O Deuce was reserve tonight for SGF Winning Ways Farm. Sired by It’s Hammertime and out of a Man Of York mare, this chestnut stud was shown by Melissa Moore. 

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