Skip a Smile

Skip a Smile

Reed Palmer Photography

Skip a Smile Honored As Tops in Texas

Son of Skip Away is Texas Horse of the Year and top older male.

Rose Mary Chandler, the owner and breeder of 2011 Texas Horse of the Year and champion older male` Skip a Smile, and the owners and breeders of five other Texas-bred divisional champions, were honored at the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s annual awards luncheon at Lone Star Park on June 16.

Skip a Smile, a son of Horse of the Year Skip Away, won two open stakes, two restricted stakes, and finished second in another open stakes to earn $262,401 in his 13 starts in 2011 to garner his Texas Horse of the Year honors. His dam, the Strawberry Road mare Strawberry Smile, was named Broodmare of the Year.

The other Texas-bred divisional champions honored included Taptam and Tamtastic, respective champion 3-year-old colt/gelding and champion older filly/mare bred by Wayne Sanders and raced in partnership with Larry Hirsch; Tom Durant’s homebred Im a Bear, champion 2-year-old filly; Clarence Scharbauer’s homebred Sword Trick, champion 2-year-old colt/gelding; Brian Cleveland’s homebred Princess Turandot, champion 3-year-old filly; and, Deliverer, owned in partnership by Kathy Stephens and Frank Nieschwietz and bred by Carol Luttrall, as Texas-bred claimer of the year.

In addition to the Texas-bred champions, the TTA honored Danny Shifflett, manager of Will Farish’s Lane’s End Texas nursery near Hempstead, as the T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award recipient for Lifetime Achievement and Jacquelyn Rich, D.V.M., as TTA Member of the Year with the Allen Bogan Memorial Award.

Shifflett has managed Lane’s End Texas for more than 35 years. Since the inception of Class 1 racing in Texas in 1995, Lane’s End Texas has been directly connected to the ownership, breeding and/or selling of no less than 13 Texas divisional champions, including Bridesmaid, Forrest G., Grand Charmer, Lady Mallory, Native Annie, Open Meadows, Political Whit, Upstream, Valid Lilly, Valid Message, Valid Stripes, and two-time divisional champion Mocha Express, the 1999 Texas Horse of the Year. Shifflett has also managed the career of Valid Expectations, Texas’ perennial leading sire since moving to the state in 2001 as the property of Farish and six other prominent Texans. The progeny earnings of Valid Expectations will surpass $30,000,000 in 2012.

Dr. Rich, former four-time TTA president and owner of Deer Haven Farm with her husband, Gerald, was honored as a founding member of TTA’s Paddock Foundation, for being a prime mover with Shifflett in the establishment of the Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes to further the development of scholarships for TTA members and their children through the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund, and for her unselfish support of TTA with initiatives of Texas HORSE, which she serves as president.

The inaugural running of the restricted 7 1/2-furlong $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes for older Texas-bred fillies and mares served as a supporting feature for the TTA Sales Futurity Divisions with Ox Creek Farms Inc.’s Circustown Rose providing a front-running effort in her first turf start. The race was created after Will Farish made a $150,000 commitment to the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund.

The two divisions of the TTA Sales Futurity were won by Wesley Melcher’s Worldventurer, who bought the Wimbledon gelding for $14,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearling Sale, and Will Farish’s homebred filly Falling Star.