Open Ltd Finals
Rodrigo Taboga rules Open Ltd Finals
The odds for Rodrigo Taboga going into the Abilene Spectacular 4-Year-Old Derby Limited Finals, on Thursday, January 9, could not have been better. With five horses in the 13-horse field, the 2019 NCHA Futurity Open Limited champion had a good shot at going home with another championship trophy, which he did, with 226 points on Sanctus, owned by Scott Durham of Fort Worth.
But Taboga did not stop with the win. The young Brazilian, who moved to Texas in 2018 to work for NCHA Hall of Fame rider Beau Galyean, also placed second, fourth, fifth (tie) and thirteenth, respectively, on Metallic Time, owned by Beau and Ashley Galyean, Fort Worth, Tex.; CR Tuff Lucinderella, owned by JH Nail Ranch, Albany, Tex.; Martini In Style, owned by Dottie St. Clair Hill, Glen Rose, Tex. and Justa Girl Named Sue, owned by Ellen Carter, Dallas, Tex.
Following the Derby Limited Finals, Taboga moved on to the 10-horse Classic Limited Finals, which he won with 224 points on Metallic Royal Mate, owned by Belle Terre Ranch, Corinth, Miss., and also placed as reserve champion with 223 points on Rocky Mountain Blues, owned by Selena Orchard Barbosa, Paso Robles, Calif.
In the Derby Open Limited go-round, champion Sanctus, a High Brow Cat son, who earned his first check in the Limited Finals, tied Justa Girl Named Sue, also shown by Tabogo, and Hesa A Little Guy, ridden by Adrian Mortimer, with the high score of 219 points.
Open Limited reserve champion Metallic Time collected his first money in the Finals, as well, and also received a check as winner of the Open Limited Gelding division. The red roan Metallic Cat son is out of Dual Rey daughter Mamas Time Soon, a half-sister to earners of over $1.1 million, including One Time Pepto LTE $256,244, sire of the earners of over $13 million, including 2007 NCHA Futurity champion One Time Royalty LTE $442,674.
Classic Open Limited champion Metallic Royal Mate, also a Classic Open Finalist (16th), came to Abilene with $66,413 earned with Taboga in 14 limited event divisions, including 2019 wins in the PCCHA Futurity 5/6 Open Intermediate, the West Texas Futurity 5/6 Open Limited, and the Breeders Invitational 5/6 Open Limited. Six-year-old Metallic Royal Mate, by Metallic Cat, is out of a half-sister to Royal Blue Dually, dam of Royal Fletch LTE $235,098, winner of the 2000 NCHA Futurity.
Classic Open Limited reserve champion Rocky Mountain Blues, a 5-year-old son of Smooth As A Cat, also came to Abilene with 2019 Open Limited championships and reserves earned under Taboga, including the Southern Futurity, the Ike Hamilton Derby, and the Bonanza.
The Classic Open Limited third-placed finalist with 218 points, Cheshire The Cat, shown by Dave Stewart for Jeff Neidhart, Farmington, N.M., had previously earned $64,210 under Beau Galyean (2018), and Dave Stewart (2019). The 6-year-old High Brow Cat gelding is half-brother to the sires Im Countin Checks LTE $509,642 and Once In A Blu Boon LTE $318,012, among 32 NCHA earners of $1.9 million out of Autumn Boon LTE $244,470.