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FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD
MICHAEL MAHAFFEY

Fortune Favors the Bold Jimmy Cagle and Dash D Hefe capture the Fortune 5 1D Average title in Harriman, Tenn.

Mention the name Fortune 5 to barrel racers around the country, and you’ll get an instant reaction. With a reputation for putting on excellent shows with some of the best payouts in the industry, Fortune 5 events always draw a crowd, and when the production unloaded at Roane College in Harriman, Tenn., June 26-28, nearly 1,000 entries turned out to run for more than $41,000 in cold, hard cash.

At the end of the weekend, trainer and jockey Jimmy Cagle, of Fayetteville, Tenn., walked away with not only the 1D Average championship, but also the lion’s share of the Harriman payout.

Championship Duo
By the end of the first round of racing on Friday night, Jimmy Cagle was the odds on favorite to win the average title in Harriman. He placed three horses in the top 10 of the Day 1 standings, riding Dashin Live Rockette to the 1D championship, TWR Perks Streaket to the reserve title, and TWR Dash D Hefe to a 10th place finish, and looked nearly unbeatable.

It wasn’t until Dash D Hefe (“Hefe”), a 9-year-old sorrel gelding owned by Ed Wright, ran an event best 14.612 to win Saturday’s 1D championship that it became clear exactly which horse Cagle would ride to the overall title

“He just made about a perfect run,” Cagle said. “I didn’t have to do anything. I was just there for the ride. He does that sometimes. He just puts everything together and makes a good, good run. When he does that, he’s pretty tough.”

Ed Wright, the owner of Hefe and Perks Streaket, attributes the success of his horses to Cagle’s ability to connect with and understand them in a way that brings out their best.

“Jimmy just seems to understand them well and be able to ride them well,” Wright said. “Jimmy is a very good jockey. He’s real trustworthy and just rides his heart out, so I think he does a great job. I have to give him just a big part of the credit with all the horses because he’s really just done a great job for us. Plus, he and I are real good friends, also. He’s really a great person.”

He also credits Cagle for enhancing Hefe’s raw, natural ability.

“Jimmy took Hefe and made him better,” he said. “The more time he has spent on him, the better he has gotten. He’s done really great for us.”

Wright bought Hefe, who is by Pure D Dash and out of Tri N Pine, at 10 days old. He was looking for a Pure D Dash that he could turn into a stud, and with the genetics of Pure D Dash’s 121 Speed Index flowing through Hefe’s veins, Wright thought he would be a great base to start his own breeding program. While plans to make Hefe a stud evaporated when he was gelded, Wright and trainer Barry Stubblefield quickly realized Hefe had the goods to make an outstanding barrel horse.

“Hefe has a real good mind,” Wright said, “and he just strives to do everything right. He’s just a natural barrel horse, and he’s done really great for Jimmy and myself.”

Hefe wrapped up their weekend in Harriman with a final round run of 14.987. Although the time was only good for a ninth place 1D finish, it was just fast enough to outrun Open Average reserve champions Steven Forshee and Heavens Special Go and to claim the 1D Average championship.

“He made a really good run the second go and outrun them a couple of tenths,” Cagle said. “I just wanted to make a good, smooth run that last go because I knew he was ahead a little bit. I didn’t want to make any mistakes and miss the average.”

Hefe is very low maintenance and requires very little practice on the pattern to stay sharp. He’s happy to simply follow Cagle around and bask in all the attention he can get.

“He’s just a good solid horse,” he said. “He always tries hard and gives 110 percent every time you run him.”

Cagle rode home from Harriman with his pockets full of checks that totaled $3,674 for his rides aboard his top trio of mounts. He cleared $1,807 with Hefe, another $1,037 riding Perks Streaket, and still another $830 for his Day 1 win riding Dashin Live Rockette.

The humble jockey and trainer considers himself fortunate to be able to ride such quality horses, giving them more credit than he would ever claim for himself.

“They all work hard and try hard,” Cagle said. “They all ride around good and are good minded.” If you’re a horseman and a trainer, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Bound To Be A Winner
Barrel racing trainer Bobby Stivers knows what it takes to make a good barrel horse, and in his latest charge, Bound To Be Howie, he is seeing the fruits of his labor begin to pay off.

Howie was sent to Stivers two years ago as a 3-year-old by his owner, Shawn Howard, who wanted him to take his time with Howie and make him into a good Open horse.

“I just take my time and bring them through the ranks,” he said of his training style. “That’s what the 4Ds were made for, to have something for you to run in when you’re training your horses, and you’ve always got a spot you can run in and keep building them up. You don’t have to ask them for everything they’ve got every time you run them. I try to let them run smooth and consistent and let them run where they may.”

He described the 16.1 hand, 5-year-old bay gelding who is out of Lady Haven as a typical Honor Bound.

“All you have to do is send him in there and holler ‘ho’ and here he comes, no problem, nice and easy,” he said. “He’s got a ‘want to’ style is what I call it. He wants to run barrels.”

Howie had been running 3D and 4D times at shows, but lately he has begun to take the next step in his development, running in the 2D on occasion.

“He just keeps getting better,” Stivers said.

Howie’s weekend started slowly in Harriman. He ran a 16.066-second pattern in the first go to land deep in the 3D standings. He shaved two tenths off of that time in the second go to record a 15.837; however, he and Stivers still remained mired in the middle of the 3D.

They put forward their best effort of the weekend in the third go on Sunday, posting a time of 15.787, which landed them in perfect position to claim the 3D Average championship.

“They were all the same,” Stivers said of their runs. “I just eased him in there and hollered at him, and he went around and just turned three barrels as pretty as a picture. I never asked him for more than I knew he could handle.

“The ground was a little heavy,” he said. “You know if you run last in the drag it’s a little heavy, and if you’re first, you can go at it a little harder, and he’s the kind of horse you can do that on. Just three smooth consistent runs.”

They earned $560 for their Average win, a fact that was not lost on an appreciative Stivers.

“Fortune 5 events are the best game in town,” he said. “They charge you a fair entry fee. They give you three runs. You’ve got four chances to draw a check. Their checks always cash, and they do the best with the ground that the ground will let them.

Given a choice, he would rather attend one of their three-day shows than any three one-day jackpots because it ends up being cheaper, and he can make more money.

“To me, they’re good people, and they try to put on a good horse show,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best organization that puts on horse shows because they try to do about the same thing every time.

“You just can’t hardly beat it.”

Other Winners
Roger Jones and Glowing Firewater won the 2D Open Average championship, after recording a top 10 2D run in each go round, to leave Harriman with a total payday of $988. Amy Davis, of Maryville, Tenn., won the 4D Average title aboard her 17-year-old mare, Diamond Dust Bar, to earn a $420 check.
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