Sly Playgirl needed to win Tuesday’s Classic/Challenge Open finals with trainer Jaime Snider to become the Breeder’s Invitational All-Time Top Earning Horse and that’s what she did. A first-set 221 by the 6-year-old mare (That Sly Cat x Taquitas Playgirl x Freckles Playboy) and Snider, 33, Lipan, Texas, held up for a victory worth $22,826.
“That’s something to be proud of,” said De Armas, who also marked a 215.5 with Sly Playgirl later Tuesday to make Thursday’s Classic/Challenge Non-Pro second round. “This is at the top of the list of the great shows and many great horses have competed here.”
Like all BI-eligible horses born in 2007, Sly Playgirl did not compete at the BI as a 4-year-old, as the show was cancelled amid nationwide EHV-1 concerns. Last year’s show included many events open exclusively to 5-year-old horses.
“We were very lucky last year. She wasn’t mine the year the show was cancelled,” De Armas said. “It was kind of lucky to have the opportunity that we had.”
Sly Playgirl headed into the arena Tuesday $17,905 behind prior all-time leader Aristo Katz (Smart Aristocrat x Katz x High Brow Cat).
Reserve Champion Thundercat, a stallion sired by High Brow Cat and out of standout cutting mare Desire Some Freckles, carried Claremore, Okla., trainer Wes Galyean to a 219 finish. The pair’s $16,887 check added to the horse’s $154,701 prior earnings total. Galyean also tied for sixth in the same finals with a 217.5 riding High Classed Hottie to earn $6,382 with the gelding owned by Norda and Jim Berger, Simonton, Texas, and he tied for 17th to earn $3,376 riding Some Like It Hot, a mare he and his wife, Kristen, co-own. Overall, he earned $26,645 as a rider.