Hal Keene, Weatherford, Tex., riding Kat Play, by Kit Kat Sugar, won his second 2021 NCHA Kit Kat Sugar Super Stakes championship on Friday, April 9, with 219.5 points in the Rios of Mercedes 5-Year-Old Intermediate Amateur Finals. On April 8, Keene and his gelding scored 220 points to win the 5-Year–Old Amateur Limited championship.
Steven Sodrel, Labelle, Fla., scored 219 points on Hott N Heavy, by Hottish, for the Rios of Mercedes 5-Year-Old Intermediate Amateur reserve championship, and Marcelle LeBlanc, Fort Worth, Tex., showing Martini In Style, by Metallic Cat, placed third with 217.5 points. Marcelle and Martini In Style had claimed reserve in the 5-Year–Old Amateur Limited Finals on April 8, as well.
Keene, Sodrel and Marcelle earned $5,461; $5,295; and $5,128 for their respective high scores in the 28-rider Rios of Mercedes 5-Year–Old Intermediate Amateur Finals. Keene claimed an additional $2,807 for first place in the Amateur Intermediate Gelding class.
Hal Keene, the NCHA earner of $12,624 prior to the Super Stakes, showed Kat Play LTE $69,570 to win the Waco Texas Amateur Futurity and to place fourth in the Amateur Unlimited. He also claimed the 2020 PCCHA Futurity Intermediate Amateur reserve championship on Kat Play, while Hayden Upton showed the Cowan Select Horses-bred gelding as 2020 PCCHA Futurity 4-year-old Open reserve champion, and to place third in the 2020 West Texas Open and Open Intermediate finals.
The 2021 reserve championship represents Steven Sodrel’s first NCHA Super Stakes finals showing. The NCHA earner of $34,056, Sodrel was a 2019 NCHA Futurity Amateur Semi-Finalist on Spoonin In Sturgis, by Cats Of Many Colors. In 2020, he was a finalist in the NCHA World Finals $50,000 Amateur riding Cross City City LTE $26,075, by Mississippi Cat, and was an Amateur, Intermediate Amateur and Limited Amateur finalist in the Southern 4-Year-Old Futurity with S Peregrino LTE $$11,963, by Dual Rey.
Hott N Heavy LTE $7,487 was bred by Dustin Adams and is the first money earner out of Our Special Kitten LTE $140,206, who Adams showed as both an NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro finalist. Out of Boonsmal Doctress LTE $211,007, Our Special Kitten is a half-sister to the Dual Rey daughter The Doctress Orders LTE $150,752, who Adams showed as reserve champion of the 2009 NCHA Futurity.
Marcelle LeBlanc, the NCHA earner of $27,577, was a 2020 NCHA Classic Challenge Amateur Intermediate and Amateur Limited finalist aboard the High Brow Cat daughter Twiced Bet LTE $$36,384, who she also showed as reserve champion of the Waco Texas Futurity 5/6 Amateur.
Thursday’s 5-Year–Old Amateur Limited reserve championship marked LeBlanc’s first NCHA payday aboard Martini In Style LTE $35,829. Bred by Dottie St. Clair Hill, Martini In Style is out of Stylish Martini LTE $361,920, who won the 2011 NCHA Open Derby, the 2013 NCHA Open Super Stakes Classic, and the 2013 NCHA Classic Challenge under Roger Wagner. Stylish Martini, by Docs Stylish Oak, is a half-sister to 2007 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Copaspepto LTE $417.440, winner of the 2007 NCHA Super Stakes.
The 2021 NCHA Kit Kat Sugar Super Stakes continues through Saturday, April 17.
To read more from Sally Harrison, visit her blog at sallyharrison.com.