Garys Stray Cat and Casey Carson Win BI Derby Limited Open

CaseyCrossCarsonCasey Carson with son, Cross

Garys Stray Cat and Casey Carson parlayed a win at a small show last weekend into a championship at the Breeder’s Invitational (BI) in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday. After a win in Ada, Okla., Carson told the horse’s owner and his boss, Dan Churchill, Moline, Ill, the horse might have a chance at a respectable showing at the BI.

Churchill promptly paid the pair’s entry fee, and Carson and Garys Stray Cat (High Brow Cat x Royal Red Pepto x Peptoboonsmal) posted consecutive 218.5 runs Monday and Tuesday at their first major show to win the Derby Limited Open with a 437 composite. They also advanced to the finals in the $10,000 Limited Derby Open and the Derby Open. They earned $9,366 as Derby Limited Open Champions.

Carson, 41, has been the resident trainer at Churchill’s Circle C Ranch in Wayne, Okla., for eight years. Bred by Clay McCullar, Baird, Texas, and bought early on by her namesake, Gary Benton, Arkansas City, Kan., Garys Stray Cat ended up in Carson’s hands when Churchill bought her in August of her 2-year-old season. The now 4-year-old mare was being pointed for the NCHA Futurity when she injured a hind leg about one month before the big event.

“We just started her back about a month ago,” Carson said. “I had a good feeling about her,” he added.

Walton’s Rockin W Ranch’s Boon San Spoon (Hes A Peptospoonful x RW Sallycat x High Brow Cat) and Jesse Lennox, Millsap, Texas, were Derby Open Limited Open Reserve Champions with a two-go 436.5 composite to earn $8,028. They also qualified for Saturday’s Derby Open finals, and a shot at earning a top check estimated at close to $100,000.

The Breeders Invitational continues through Saturday.