Metallics MVP & Tim Smith • Photo by Seth Petit

In the Blood—Metallics MVP and a Famous Magic Cross

Metallics MVP and his trainer EquiStat Elite $6 Million Rider Tim Smith spent much of 2022 in pursuit of the NCHA Open World Championship. The year ended in their reaching their goal with the 2022 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open World Championship.

During their quest, they earned $107,992, garnering 100 checks in 150 shows. Besides winning the title, the part of their journey that made it so rewarding was that this 2015 red roan stallion became a crowd favorite wherever he went.  

The crowd-pleasing Metallics MVP (Metallic Cat x My Lizzy Babe x Lizzys Gotta Player) is owned by David Kratzer, Susan Levisay and Tom DeGret in their partnership Metallics MVP LLC. He was bred by Cows & Horses Etc.

A look at the pedigree of Metallics MVP shows that it is made up of horses that showed their prowess as crowd-pleasing cutting horses. This includes a number of horses that are a part of the Magic Cross that was made possible by Freckles Playboy, two Doc O’ Lena mares named Lenaette and Lizzielena — and their dam, Bar Socks Babe.

The Magic Cross

The history of how this Magic Cross came together begins with legendary trainer Shorty Freeman who trained and showed Doc O’Lena to the championship of the 1970 NCHA Futurity Open. This win would mark the beginning of the Doc O’Lena/Freeman partnership that would eventually end up with the syndication of Doc O’Lena and his success as a sire with Equi-Stat earnings of more than $15 million.

After the big win, Freeman needed mares to breed to Doc O’Lena. Bar Socks Babe (Bar El Do x Dusty Socks x Gold King Bailey) was one of those mares. She was a granddaughter of Sugar Bars through her sire. This mating became a Magic Cross for Doc O’Lena and Bars Socks Babe when they produced foals with EquiStat earnings of $392,178. Their foals would include Bar O’Lena NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Co-Champion, Travalena NCHA Super Stakes Open Classic Reserve Champion, Bonanza Cutting 4-Year-Old Champion Quanah O Lena and NCHA Derby Non-Pro Reserve Champion Tamborlena.

Lenaette (Doc O’Lena x Bar Socks Babe x Bar El Do) was the 1972 daughter from this cross that was bred by Shorty Freeman and owned by his son-in-law, Terry Riddle. This mare would carry Shorty Freeman to the 1975 NCHA Futurity Open Championship. The next year Terry Riddle would win the 1976 NCHA Futurity Open Co-Reserve Championship on Freckles Playboy (Jewel’s Leo Bar x Gay Jay x Rey Jay).

Riddle would breed Lenaette to Freckles Playboy and their foals have EquiStat earnings of $546,686 forming their own Magic Cross. Their foals include Bonanza 4-Year-Old Open Champion Young Gun, NCHA Super Stakes Classic Reserve Champion Playboys Angela and also Freckles Merada, the sire of 3-time NCHA Open World Champion Meradas Little Sue.

Metallics MVP’s Paternal Line

Now let’s see how the Freckles Playboy/Doc O’Lena Magic Cross works in the pedigree of Metallics MVP.

His sire Metallic Cat (High Brow Cat x Chers Shadow x Peptoboonsmal) was the 2008 NCHA FuturityOpen Champion and the 2009 NCHA Horse of the Year. He is the sire of horses that have earned $56,811,890.68 including the NCHA Futurity Open champions Stevie Rey Von and Metallic Rey Mink. In reined cow horse, Metallic Cat is the sport’s all-time leadings ire with progeny earnings of more than $5 million. His leading money-winning reined cow horse is Call Me Mitch, winner of $264,161.

Metallic Cat’s mother, Chers Shadow, was an Abilene Spectacular Derby Open finalists. She only produced three foals — with her big money winner being Metallic Cat. The dam of Chers Shadow was Shesa Smarty Lena, a daughter of Smart Little Lena who had earnings of $224,004 including a win in the NCHA Open World Finals. This mare is the dam of horses that have earned $265,423. The dam of Shesa Smarty Lena was NCHA Derby Open Champion Shesa Playmate (Freckles Playboy x Lenaette x Doc O’Lena). In the broodmare barn, Shesa Smarty Lena produced only four money earners recorded in EquiStat with Shesa Smarty Lena serving as her leading earner. As you can see, Shesa Playmate is our first dose of the magic cross of Freckles Playboy on a Doc O’Lena mare from the family of Metallics MVP.

Metallics MVP’s Maternal Family

Metallic MVP’s mother, My Lizzy Babe, is a daughter of Lizzys Gotta Player and out of Moms Stylish Babe (by Docs Stylish Oak). She earned $176,514 with multiple aged event wins including the 2011 PCCHA Fall Four-Year-Old Open Futurity. her foals have earned more than $441,249, with Metallics MVP being her leading earner.

Metallic MVP’s maternal grandsire, Lizzys Gotta Player, is by Freckles Playboy and out of Lizzielena (by Doc O’Lena). He earned $107,605 including a win in the 1999 Bonanza Futurity 4-Old Open and was the 2004 NCHA Open World Champion Stallion. Although Lizzys Gotta Player died at age 10 and had a limited breeding career, he was still able to sire foals who earned nearly $2 million in EquiStat. In addition to My Lizzy Babe, major winners for Lizzys Gotta Player include Dizzy Lizzy Girl ($158,008) and Sir Stylish Lizzy ($134,008).

Lizzielena (Doc O’Lena x Bar Socks Babe x Bar El Do) earned $46,021 and was the winner of the 1984 NCHA Open Challenge. She is the dam of foals that have won $327,294, including two-time NCHA Open Reserve World Champion. As a full sister to Lenaette on the sire side of Metallics MVPs pedigree, the mare Lizzielena gives us our second dose of the Freckles Playboy/Doc O’Lena magic cross in the pedigree of Metallics MVP.

The dam of My Lizzy Babe was Moms Stylish Babe (Docs Stylish Oak x Playboys Mom x Freckles Playboy), a multiple aged-event finalist who won more than $37,565. She is the dam of horses that earned $1,423,826 and four foals that have earned more than $100,000. Her offspring are led by Moms Stylish Player, the winner of the 2016 NCHA Open Derby, NCHA Open Super Stakes, the 2017 Bonanza 5/6-Year-Old Open and the Breeder’s Invitational 5/6-Year-Old Open. The other three who earned more than $100,000 are Cat Mom Do ($200,771), Card Trick ($191,514) and, of course, the mother of Metallic MVP —  My Lizzy Babe.

When we step back and check pedigrees, we find that My Lizzy Babe, Moms Stylish Player and Card Trick are full brothers and sister sired by Lizzys Gotta Player and out of Moms Stylish Babe.

Playboys Mom (Freckles Playboy x Lenaette x Doc O’Lena) the dam of Moms Stylish Babe was an unshown mare but the producer of horses that earned $1,145,436. Her foals include two-time NCHA World Champion Gelding Mr Mom DNA and 1999 NCHA Horse of the Year Playin Stylish. Playboys Mom is the third dose of the Freckles Playboy/Doc O’Lena magic cross in the family of Metallics MVP.

Genetic Patterns

The pedigree of Metallics MVP brings into focus not only the significance of the Magic Cross in our efforts to breed outstanding horses. But it also shows how line-breeding to these special crosses can be used to pass on the traits we see in these crosses to the next generation. This is the role of line-breeding using the blood of horses that have worked well together to produce the next generation.

It also provides an example of line-breeding to collateral relatives that can often be found. This is the line-breeding to full siblings such as full sisters Lenaette and Lizzielena. By using siblings in the line-breeding process, the breeder can take advantage of putting more of the genes together in the individual being produced as siblings are closely related but do carry different genes from the common ancestor. This enhances our opportunity to recycle the desired genes from the common ancestor and in this case common ancestors.  

Metallics MVP is another sterling example of The Formula One Breeding Pattern as his sire and dam both trace in the tail female line to the taproot mare Bar Socks Babe. In this case his dam is also the product of The Formula One Breeding Pattern as her sire and dam also trace in the tail female line to Bar Socks Babe. When we add My Lizzy Babe, Moms Stylish Player and Card Trick we see that they are the product of The Formula One Breeding Pattern. We can also add Young Guns Babe to the mix as she is sired by Young Gun (Freckles Playboy x Lenaette x Doc O’Lena) giving her The Formula One Breeding Pattern.

The Formula One Breeding Pattern allows us to maintain or continue the influence of the tail female line that is found in Metallic Cat. This is instrumental as we inherit our mitochondrial DNA from the dam and not the sire, so we maintain that tail female line in the pedigree of Metallics MVP. We also line-breed to that taproot mare, increasing her influence on the pedigree of Metallics MVP. Then, we note that we have three crosses to the taproot mare Bar Socks Babe that further increase our opportunity to recycle the desired genes from the common ancestors.