Colorado trainer finds Super Stakes success
Kenny Platt won the National Cutting Horse Association’s Super Stakes Special 5 Open Show in Ft. Worth last month.
He was riding Dr Sueish, a sorrel gelding owned by Robert Tregemba, and marked 229 points to claim the title and over $50,000 in winnings.
Platt rode Dr Sueish, whose barn name is Toby, in the NCHA Futurity in November of 2019 and was a half-point out of making it to the finals.
Then Covid hit, and the Super Stakes, which would have been held in April of 2020, was canceled.
But the third leg of the “triple crown” in the NHCA world, the Summer Spectacular, took place in July 2020, and once again, Platt, on Toby, was a half-point away from the finals.
This year, the NCHA held an event for the five-year-olds who missed the Super Stakes last April, and Toby competed, winning it.
It was the second Super Stakes win for the Ft. Lupton, Colo. man, who compared it to the horse racing world. “There are very few cutters who have won that event twice,” he said. “It’s like winning the Preakness twice.”
Toby came from Cody Lee to the Platt arena in April of his two-year-old year, getting a late start. Blain Winters, who rides Platt’s two-year-olds, started him, and Kenny took over in the late fall.
Lee didn’t want to geld him, but Platt did. “He didn’t have the mindset to be a stud,” Platt said. So Cody decided to sell him, and Platt said he knew a man who would buy him. Tregamba purchased him in late 2018, and left the horse with Platt. Toby was gelded as a three-year-old.
Platt knew the horse was special. “He’s just super intelligent, really kind, and is a horse that wants to do good. He wants to try hard.”
There’s a cutting horse saying for horses like him, Platt said. “That horse likes money,” which translates to the horse tries hard at the right time, usually winning money.
At the Super Stakes, “when I showed him, that horse has another gear and he found it, and I put together a strong run on him. That’s the kind of run you need at the finals, when it’s anybody’s game at that point.”
Platt was happy for the horse. “I’m glad for him. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s a really, really great horse. I don’t feel like he’s had the opportunities because of Covid and other circumstances. He deserves to be a winner. I knew that horse was really, really good a long time ago and other people finally got to see it.”
But in an ironic twist, the horse wasn’t entered for the Super Stakes till weeks before the contest.
Horses are usually “paid up” – entered – in their two-year-old year, but Lee hadn’t done it. When they are paid up in the days before the contest, the entry is very expensive, and Tregemba decided not to pay up the horse.
Rebecca, Platt’s wife, had other plans.
Tregemba texted Kenny and Rebecca about not paying up the horse. “Before I could get to my phone, my wife texted him and said, we’ll pay to get him entered. I was like, all right, I guess that’s what we’re doing.”
Rebecca had her reasons. “My wife called me and said, we’re not going to drive all the way down there and you not show that horse. All you ever do is work hard, and you finally have a horse that’s good enough. We are not going to leave him in the barn and not show him.”
Platt was even more pleased that Toby had won the Special 5 event, for the five-year-olds who missed last year’s contest due to its cancellation. “To be honest with you, it means a lot to me to win the Special 5. Those horses are a year older and that makes a big difference. They have had a lot more experiences by now than they would have as four-year-olds, and they are way more seasoned and tougher.”
Platt began training horses professionally in 2006 in northern Colorado, far from the epicenter of the cutting world, so success is even more special to him.
“I don’t live in a spot where cutting is huge. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I was lucky enough to gather up customers and horses to show and I’ve won over $2 million doing this.”
He works hard for the people who trust their horses to him. “There’s nothing easy about it. I have some customers that believe in me, but I’ve never felt real comfortable. I’ve always felt like I’ve had to go prove it. There’s never been a time I’ve said, that’s a great customer, I don’t have to do good.”
He is driven to keep showing and doing well. “I’ve always felt the pressure and the heat. I’ve been hungry and really tried to go and show where it’s difficult, and get better.”
He plans on continuing to show Toby. “I’ll keep showing him, trying to win more money on him. Any horse you win those triple crown events on, they hold a special place.”
Platt won the Super Stakes in 2016 on a horse owned by Tregemba, Moms Stylish Player.
“For a guy from Ft. Lupton to win it twice, it means something.”
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