Talmadge Green and the stocky 4-year-old sorrel gelding, Nutin But A Houndog, have been attracting droves of people to the bleachers and arena rails to witness their winning runs. The pair didn’t disappoint at Robin and Pat Hofmann’s XL Enterprises Silver Cup Futurity held March 5-9 in Ardmore, OK.
The million-dollar barrel racer infused his win with some drama as the last runner in the field of 20 Finalists that had been whittled down from 279 original entries. With three decades of futurity competition under his belt, Green performs well under pressure. At the Silver Cup he took a bit of pressure off by earning a fourth place check in the first go. But unlike the majority of the futurities, the pot of gold at the end is based on the lowest time of three runs. There is no tossing out a bad run or overcoming a tipped over barrel. Green breathed a sigh of relief in the second go when he made another solid run with all the barrels standing and he didnï¿½t sweat much when his paycheck dropped to 12th place money. Ranked third going into the Finals, Green let out a shout when he drew chip No. 20 for his position in the Finals.
“That’s my lucky draw!” said Green on Saturday afternoon. “I love to run last in the Finals because it lets me know what I need to do.”
Green proved he knew how to operate from his own playbook when he and Nutin But A Houndog (Dog) clocked their fastest run of the weekend during the Sunday afternoon Futurity Finals to take the lead away from Kassie Mowry aboard Jeanette Nelson’s Speed Ta Fame. Mowry, second out in the Finals, held the lead throughout the Finals with a total on three runs of 48.761 after clocking a time of 16.103. Green and Dog closed out the program with a 16.061 for a total of 48.735.
Of the $270,800 paid out at the 2008 Silver Cup, Green and Dog took home $30,509. Even though they’ve had an incredible year beginning in December of 2007, the Silver Cup goes down as their largest win to date.
“I told Dog before we went in for our run that we needed this win at the Silver Cup if we were going to have a chance at being the high money winners for the year because a couple of the leaders had cashed in for more than we had at the big slot races,” said Green.
Including Non Pro and Pro Incentive money, the Silver Cup paid out $191,636 to 80 futurity check earners. In addition to the Futurity, $38,968 was paid out in the Derby, $17,920 in the Sweepstakes and $22,275 went to Open 4D check earners divided between five individual races.
The dates of March 11-15 are in the Hardy Murphy Coliseum reservations book for the 2009 Silver Cup Futurity with added money of $40,000 in the Futurity and $10,000 in the Derby. A High Roller Sweepstakes, 4D Opens and Non Pro and Pro incentives round out the attractions to enter. Running the Futurity in a 2D format, new definitions for Non Pro and Pro riders and a Rookie Futurity rider are on the table for consideration.
To read the complete story, pick up the May 2008 issue of Barrel Horse News.