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Jim Gartland

Oct 24, 2022

A competitive stake race and a better than expected auction sale highlighted the 2022 NGA fall event.

The NGA offered another stake race at the fall meet following the success of the Sunflower State Sprint this past spring. The race, tabbed The Abilene Shootout, was open to meet eligible pups who had paid up an initial entry fee last July and then made final nomination and entry fee payments the Thursday prior to the meet. When all was said and done, 35 pups were entered for the initial round. First round winners then went head to head in the stake final on Thursday while 2nd and 3rd place finishers from Monday made up the Flite I and Flite II of the second and final round.

Nineteen different ownership interests were represented in the stake. Leading the way were Shannon Henry and Ray Wong each having four spots in the qualifying while Paul Bitterman, Terry Haber and Jaws Racing followed with three each. Vinny Savill, Jill Lashmet, Jason Hess, Steve Sarras, David Hays and Jay Rangel all had two entries while Joe Fusaro, Lynn Bunn, Mike Strickland, Shelby Rangel, Carl Tomblin and Monte Jacobs all had one spot.

Six first round winners made up the final and included TS Frisky and TS Fe Fe owned by Carl Tomblin and Nicholas Sarras, XM Fire Cracker owned by Jason Hess and Mike Carroll, JL's Wise Guy owned by David Strong, Stars Align owned by Cameron, Wildey and Blanchard and WW Midnight Oil owned by Jaws Racing. Ana Mendiola handled the Jaws entry, Tracy Wildey ran Stars Align and David Strong handled the rest of the field off of his farm.

In the end, Jaws Racing swept stake competition with WW Midnight Oil dominating the final in a nine length romp, WW Allstar Ally capturing the Flite I by eleven lengths and WW Dream Path getting up by a nose to win the Flite II. XM Fire Cracker picked up 2nd in the championship with Stars Align finishing 3rd.

Jaws Racing (Julia Ward-Veal) was the top seller at the auction totaling some $213,750 in sales including the meet's top seller, WW Light Spirt, who went for $26,000. Abilene Shootout Stake winners, WW Midnight Oil, WW Allstar Ally and WW Dream Path went for $10,250, $12,500 and $5,500 respectively.

2022 NGA Fall Auction Stats

Pups Consigned: 46

Sold: 40

Buyers: 17

Total: $351,500

Average: $8,787.50

Online purchases totaled $29,550

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