to the top

Miles Baker’s Flag Ranch 4-year-old Wins Ardmore Oil Can Classic
Miles Baker and Nala top 2024 Oil Can Classic Heading Pre-Futurity.
Miles Baker and "Nala." | Elite Equine Promotions

Last week, Miles Baker and 4-year-old Relentless PYC, “Nala,” blanked the 4-year-olds in the Heading Pre-Futurity in the ARHFA Oil Can Classic in Ardmore to earn $7,456. They’d won the same contest in Scottsdale in March, and he thinks she’s earned about $25,000 already this season.

“She’s a freak,” he said of the bay mare he co-owns with Trevor Brazile, Ty and Melanie Smith, and Bob Tonkin. “The coolest thing is that I literally just let her cruise in the first and second rounds and still placed. Then guys were making some good runs in the short round, so I asked her for a little more. Most of these colts are being asked to max out every time, because guys are trying to win. She’s been able to win going mostly about 75 percent.”

Watch a practice session with Nala on

What’s more, Baker placed fifth on 4-year-old Relentless Honor, another Flag Ranch product by One Time Honor out of All Time Smooth Cat. The brown mare now owned by Jeffrey Williams won the Royal Crown 4-year-old futurity in February.

“It’s pretty cool to have two mares that good at one time,” Baker said.

Nala is by the race-bred stallion First Prize Diver and out of the Playgun daughter Chars Gun. After Baker bought her from Larry Rice, Smith had watched her go and told Baker, “That’s a one-in-a-thousand mare, and I want to own part of her.” More recently, Relentless Remuda and Solo Select were joined as owners by Bob Tonkin of west Texas.

Pedigree for Relentless PYC, aka "Nala."
Relentless PYC, aka “Nala.”

Tonkin also owns Stylin Bill, the 5-year-old gelding that Baker rode into the Heading Futurity short round just behind Joseph Harrison’s Air Force 1 with a 10-point lead on the rest of the pack.

“Bob got to watching futurities and raising horses, and he owns half of Queen [futurity standout Big Time Movie Star],” Baker said. “He wanted to be told if we ever found another great mare. I told him when this mare was 3, she was as good as anything I’ve ever ridden. Trevor rode Nala’s sire and said she runs the same as him. It feels like the cantle of your saddle is pushing you from behind.”

Nala is likely to “stay in the circle” around the Relentless camp, making babies and eventually getting the call at jackpots that demand talent and speed, such as the BFI. Her dam, and also Nala, are expected to put 2025 babies on the ground by The Darkk Side, their stallion that placed fifth in heading at Ardmore with a leg penalty.

Find all the upcoming rope horse futurities HERE.

Baker, who earned $17,700 on the weekend aboard various horses on both ends, said Nala is so good-minded at 4 that, a few days after Ardmore, he saddled her up and ran three steers. She was perfect on all of them, so he put her up. 

Related Articles
Joseph Harrison heading on Air Force 1.
Joseph Harrison Sweeps Both Ends for $42K in Ardmore Oil Can Classic
The Ultimate Facing Masterclass
Nala shines
Miles Baker and Relentless PYC Cash in at ARHFA Sun Circuit
Pride And Joyy Jeremy Buhler
Can't Stop Won't Stop
Pride And Joyy & Jeremy Buhler Make It Look Easy with ARHFA Houston Heeling Win
Miles Baker and The Darkk Side
Use the Force Luke
The Darkk Side & Miles Baker Reign Supreme in Heading at Houston ARHFA