Brothers Stoney River and Cantchaco look to make some more memories on Oregon Championship Day

Brothers Stoney River and Cantchaco look to make some more memories on Oregon Championship Day

Stoney River will be making his career debut on Oregon Championship Day at Portland Meadows in the $15,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes for two year-old colts and geldings on November 17, 2013. Starting a horse’s career in a stakes race isn’t generally a winning proposition, but Stoney River is trying to make it a family tradition. Just last year, his half-brother Cantchaco scored a 32/1 upset in winning the Bill Wineberg in his career debut.

Both horses are owned and were bred by Larry and Gay Welliver, who also bred and owned their mother, Cant Woman.

“Cant Woman had a lot of talent,” said Gay Welliver. “She started here career down at Santa Anita and was working so brilliantly. But she chipped her knee so we brought her home. She had a lot of talent but always seemed to just want to stay in the middle of the pack. So we decided we wanted to breed her to someone aggressive.”

The Welliver’s chose to go to the sire Bagshot and that mating produced Hot Shot Gal. A year later they bred Cant Woman to Ochoco and that mating produced Cantchaco. Cantchaco (Pictured above and below in Winner's Circle) scored his Bill Wineberg win on October 20, 2012 as a two year-old. Just three weeks later, Hot Shot Gal won her career debut at age three on November 14, 2012. Two starts and two winners for Cant Woman’s offspring.

The Welliver’s knew that Cantchaco had some talent and were pleasantly surprised when he took the lead and drew off to win the Bill Wineberg. He was well beaten when he stretched out to a mile in the Don Jackson Futurity last year, and came back with a solid third against allowance runners in his first try this season on October 23, 2013.

“He’s still learning,” said Gay Welliver. “He didn’t change leads last start. We’ve cross entered him in the Lethal Grande Sprint Championship and the Oregon His Stakes. My husband thinks he’s a sprinter. But there’s some distance in his pedigree as well. We’re really torn.”

Trainer Debbie Van Horne likes what she sees with Cantchaco as Oregon Championship Day gets closer.

“His last workout was a monster,” said Van Horne. “I think we’re probably leaning towards the Lethal Grande Sprint, but we’re still undecided.”

One entry the Welliver’s aren’t torn on is with Stoney River, who was nominated to the $15,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes, a six furlong event. Stoney River is Cant Woman’s third offspring and Stoney River is a son of Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone. He’s trained, like his brother Cantchaco, by Debbie Van Horne.

“Stoney has been just very solid so far,” said Van Horne. “He trains like he’s an older horse. I’m really pleased with everything he’s been showing me, so I’m not worried about his mental state like you are with some horses making their debut.”

Fans can see both Cantchaco and Stoney River on Oregon Championship Day at Portland Meadows which will be run on Sunday November 17th. First post time is 12pm (Pacific).