Love at the Challenge

Love at the Challenge

PYC Lovestruck represents her breeder in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship.

text size

By Andrea Caudill

With bright, attentive eyes, the 2-year-old bay filly PYC Lovestruck looks out from her stall. 

Her crooked blaze melts down the left side of her face, pooling on her upper lip. She has been groomed to a gleam, mane neatly trimmed, and wears a light blanket to keep out the crisp morning air. She takes a bite of hay and lets out a relaxed snort.

She watches the morning activities as she chews, and glances toward the racetrack where in a few days she will contest the John Deere Juvenile Challenge (G2). 

“She’s a pretty nice filly,” says trainer Robbie Overturf. “She’s nice to be around, does everything, tries hard.”

The filly represents Copper Spring Ranch, an operation owned by the Gilhousen family that is dedicated to breeding quality speed horses for both racing and timed events. The ranch, originally based in Montana, is moving to New Mexico. 

PYC Lovestruck represents the top-flight bloodlines the ranch is working with. She is sired by leading stallion PYC Paint Your Wagon, and is out of the Grade 1-winning mare Lovethewayyoulie, who has seen both her freshman foals be stakes runners this year. 

In addition to PYC Lovestruck, she has Love The Way You Fly, who qualified to the $369,405 Laddie Futurity (RG2) earlier this year.  

PYC Lovestruck has lit the board 75% of the times she has started. She qualified to the $254,070 Harrah’s Futurity (G3), then over the summer headed to the Intermountain region to earn black type in the Wyoming Downs Futurity and, most recently, finish third in the John Deere Pocatello Downs Juvenile Challenge. 

“She fell on her head in the finals, and still came back to run third,” Overturf said. “So she ran a big race. She’s had a lot of back luck.”

Copper Springs Ranch purchased Jet Black Patriot, who now stands at Double LL Farm at Bosque, New Mexico, and is moving their broodmares to the state as well. 

This weekend, they look to improve the black-type on their homebred filly in their new home state. 

PYC Lovestruck is ready. 

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit