With big paychecks and a ticket to next year’s Million Dollar Invitational on the line, the stakes were high in the Run For A Million Open Shootout today. But, two half-brothers didn’t let the pressure get them down.
The Las Vegas event, held Friday, Aug. 16, attracted big-name horses and even enticed some out of retirement. PS Mega Shine Chic ran in the arena with Dany Tremblay as draw 20 of 32 to take charge of the competition and clinch the Shootout Championship.
“He was so good,” Tremblay said of the stallion (Shine Chic Shine x Megas Sugar Baby x Marthas Mega Jac). “He knew what he had to do, and I think [the] more people in the crowd, the better he gets.”
“Crush,” who is owned by ADH Mor-Big Luck Ranch, dominated his opponents with break-neck circles and smooth stops that the judges scored a 232.5. It was a run Tremblay, of Overbrook, Oklahoma, won’t soon forget.
“All the maneuvers I did at the beginning were so fun, and I had no penalties in the turn and stuff,” Tremblay said, standing next to the palomino stallion after the class. “He just showed off. That was fun.”
From the 23rd hole, Crush’s younger half-brother did his best to unseat the leaders. Vandorp Inc.’s Spooks Gotta Crush (by Spooks Gotta Whiz) carried Million Dollar Invitational rider Jason Vanlandingham to a 227. They settled for reserve and $16,032.
Crush and Spooks Gotta Crush — both bred by Patsy Schutz, of Pottsboro, Texas — are the only money-earning offspring out of Megas Sugar Baby ($9,366).
Open Shootout Champion: The Background
This win pushed Crush’s Equi-Stat record to more than $193,000. Most of that sum was collected with Tremblay at the reins, starting with a debut season that included a trip to the 2016 NRHA Futurity Levels 4 and 3 Open finals. The following year, the team garnered $82,718.
“We did some great rides, me and him,” Tremblay said. “And, I think it’s not over.”
Crush and Tremblay won the 2017 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Derby Level 3 Open and tied for reserve in Level 4. Duane Latimer briefly took over the ride in late 2018 at the High Roller Reining Classic, where the stallion picked up a Reserve title in the Derby Level 4 Open.
As a 6-year-old, Crush has proven stronger than ever. He kicked off his major aged-event season with a 221.5-scored finals performance at the NRBC, where he topped the Derby Level 3 Open and tied for seventh in Level 4. They went on to the Reining By The Bay, where they marked a 228 to win the Derby Level 3 Open.
“He’s six years old now. He’s showing better and better and better,” Tremblay said. “So proud of him. I love that horse.”
2020 Run For A Million
Along with a $26,338 payday, Tremblay secured his place in the 2020 Run For A Million. The other riders guaranteed a spot after finishing in the top five this afternoon include: Vanlandingham; Cade McCutcheon, who rode Shes Got Good Guns to a 226; Andrea Fappani, who rode Lil Joe Cash to a 226; and Matt Mills, who rode Shiney Workboots to a 225.5.
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