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When Hottish Metal and Adan Banuelos walk into a finals herd, it’s pedal to the metal for the entire two minutes and 30 seconds they’re in the pen, whether the pair is the first to work or the last in the evening. On May 28 at the Breeder’s Invitational (BI), where they drew up first in the Derby Open finals, their score of 226 set the standard for the rest of the group to chase. In the end, they took home the win, with Banuelos also coming in Reserve on Brumbaugh Ranches’ A Regal Royal.

“The horse has been feeling good with very little adjustments needed through the rounds. His throttle stays mashed down,” Banuelos said. “We were first out, so you’re going to try to put up the biggest score you can because you don’t have anything to go off of. We just tried to be as aggressive and under control as we could be.

“I’m expecting everyone to try to beat me, and they’re expecting the same from me,” Banuelos added. “It’s just a respectful and competitive mentality to have. A lot of those guys in the finals have respect for each other, the game and the horses. We’re just trying to see who can put the best run together. Today it was me; tomorrow it could be somebody else.”

Hottish Metal, a 4-year-old stallion, was bred by Terri Brown, of Nocona, Texas, and is by Equi-Stat Elite $8 Million Dollar Sire Hottish and out of Snow Me The Rey (by Metallic Cat). He is owned by Jim Good, who collected a $48,098 paycheck.

Banuelos and Hottish Metal shared more than a win together at the BI. After Banuelos returned from showing one of his other three finalists, he was taking a drink of water from a bottle when Ali Good, who assists him in preparing Hottish Metal for shows, stopped him.

“I went to take a drink and Ali said, ‘Now that you’re in a good mood, I have to tell you that you’re drinking some of his backwash,’” Banuelos recalled with a laugh. “That horse has a personality through the roof.”

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