Unproven Pair Rise to Occasion in Super Stakes Gelding Open Finals

mitchells-tudorsSmooth Mitch’s connections: co-owners Jo Ann and Tom Tudor, and trainer John Mitchell with wife, Hope, and children Jade and Jack.Two horses with limited prior records, Smooth Mitch and Playin Fancy Lights, tied as Co-Champions during Tuesday’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Gelding Open finals with 218 runs to earn identical $11,375 checks.

Smooth Mitch, ridden by John Mitchell, Weatherford, Texas, had no money earnings prior to the ongoing NCHA Super Stakes, which concludes with Saturday’s Open and Non-Pro finals in Fort Worth, Texas. Playin Fancy Lights, ridden by Winston Hansma, Weatherford, Texas had previously earned $346, according to NCHA and Equi-Stat records.

Smooth Mitch (Smooth As A Cat x Wahine Dually x Dual Pep), bred and owned by Lois Hastings, Temecula, Calif., and her parents, Tom and Jo Ann Tudor, Granbury, Texas, competes again with Mitchell during Friday’s Super Stakes Open semifinals. It was Mitchell who originally recommended they breed Wahine Dually to Smooth As A Cat. Smooth Mitch is the first horse he has trained for them.

Playin Fancy Lights (CD Lights x Playin N Fancy Peppy x Freckles Peppy), bred and owned by Slate River Ranch, Weatherford, Texas, missed the Open semifinals by one point. He will try to earn big money again with Hansma during Open competition at May’s Breeder’s Invitational in Tulsa, Okla.

Slate River Ranch owner Glade Knight and the ranch’s lead cutting trainer, Darren Simpkins, send horses to various trainers based on who they think might do best with each horse. They sent Playin Fancy Lights to Hansma as a 2-year-old. Playin Fancy Lights’ sire, 1999 stallion CD Lights, earned $233,383 and the 2007 NCHA Open World Champion title with Hansma as his trainer and rider.

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