When the gates opened for the fourth running of the Masterpiece Challenge on October 30 at Lone Star Park, there was no chance of Camo Cowgirl getting lost in the crowd. Jostled a little on the start but still breaking well, the 3-year-old sorrel tobiano mare soon found herself at the front of the pack, charging down the track in impressive fashion.
“I know if she breaks, she’s going to be there somewhere. If she breaks, she’ll run,” owner Sandra Garnett Tatom said. “I’m a person who doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but when she got out in front real quick, I got so excited I couldn’t stand myself, screaming and hollering. I thought they might catch her at the end, but they didn’t.”
Camo Cowgirl was first across the finish line, clocking a 19.953 in the 400-yard race to take home the winner’s share of the $20,000+ purse—$7,448—and a set of beautiful Gist Silversmith trophy buckles for her owner, trainer and jockey. Her connections include trainer R. L. Rick Robinson and jockey Luis Ramirez.
A homebred mare, “Cowgirl” is by Awesome Chrome and out of Dial Judy, a stakes-win producing daughter of Texas Hero—in fact, both Cowgirl and her fellow Masterpiece contender Cowboy Mafia descend from Sandra’s Quarter Horse mare Dial A Jet Oak. Cowgirl’s really come on in her 3-year-old season, Sandra says, capturing three wins and three seconds in nine starts in 2015, bringing her lifetime earnings to $31,203.
“She’s won on three different tracks with three different jockeys and three different trainers. I think that alone makes her pretty special,” Sandra said. “She’s always been pretty determined—that whole family is. That whole family just loves to run. She loves the mud.”
That trait came in handy during the Masterpiece—the track was sloppy, thanks to earlier rain showers, and a drizzle quickly swelled into a monsoon-like storm as soon as the horses crossed the finish line.
Second in the Masterpiece went to BP Baileys Success, a 2012 sorrel overo mare by Cartel Success (QH) and out of Baileys N Sunsets. Owned and bred by Bill Price of Thackerville, Oklahoma, and trained by Luis Villafranco, the mare clocked a time of 20.141 a little over a length behind the winner with jockey Juan Garcia Jr. up. She earned $3,422 for the finish, which brings her lifetime totals to more than $40,000.
Sis B Grand finished just behind in third place, with a time of 20.165. She took home just over $2,000 for owner/breeder Francisco Villarreal of McAllen, Texas; the mare’s lifetime earnings are now $10,867. A 2012 sorrel solid mare, Sis B Grand is by Sis B Gol (QH) and out of Shawnee Point; she was trained by Luis Villafranco and ridden by Mario Delgado.
Others in the field were Wagon On Turnpike, Gitter Dun Turnpike, Cowboy Mafia, Maddies Rare Corona, Ivory King (ApHC) and Star Spangled Banner.
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