|Undefeated Got Country Grip Rolls
Again in $209,197 Graham Paint Futurity at Lone Star Park
(Saturday, October 29, 2005) - The flashy 2-year-old gelding
Got Country Grip remained unbeaten in seven career starts with a
powerful 1 ½-length victory over Really Special in Saturday's
Grade 1, $209,197 Graham Paint Futurity - the richest race ever
run for an American Paint Horse - before a crowd of 7,486 at Lone
Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Owned by Jimmy Maddox of Garner, Texas and trained by Oklahoma
City's Brandon Parum, Got Country Grip covered 350 yards under in
a blistering :17.56 -- a track and stakes record.
"Without a doubt, he's one of the Paint Horses ever,"
said winning rider G.R. Carter Jr., who performed his trademark
backflip dismount following the victory. "Just look at his
performances and the money he's earned. He's run under :17.60 three
times. It takes a good Quarter Horse to do that."
Got Country Grip, by Paint stud Country Quick Dash out of the breeding
stock Paint mare Got a Grip, earned $73,219 in the triumph and doubled
his earnings to $146,454. In July, the Oklahoma-bred flash scored
by a length in the restricted Grade 1, $100,000 Speedhorse Futurity
at Fair Meadows at Tulsa, and in May, he took the PSBA American
Paint Classic Futurity at Remington Park by three lengths.
"I hadn't won this one yet and I've won almost every other
Paint futurity, so it's a relief to get this one," Parum said.
"I sure wanted it bad and I knew I had the horse to do it.
When he reared up in the gate before the start, I started to worry.
My heart just dropped. But he's a good horse...a really, really
good horse. Really, he's one of a kind."
Really Special, a California invader, shot quick to the front from
the inside, but Got Country Grip, who broke from the nine-hole in
the 10-horse field, soon got control and powered home. The official
Equibase chart referred to the victory as a "dominating performance."
"He won the PSBA at Remington just like that," Parum
said. "In the Speedhorse final, he stumbled away from there
and got knocked around at the same time - whack! He was about three-quarters
of a length back, but G.R. hit him twice and he just rolled. This
horse is something else."
Parum plans to give Got Country Grip a rest until March where the
horse will be pointed to lucrative derbies at Remington Park.
Two other stakes races were run Saturday at Lone Star.
In the restricted Grade 3, $30,000 Classic Chevrolet Heartbeat
of America Handicap for Texas-breds, Grupo Lopez Interprises' Fredricksburg
powered home to an eye-popping 1 ¾-length win in :17.44 for
350 yards - the second-fastest clocking in eight runnings of the
race. Showtimeaspeeding prevailed in a tight photo for second over
Sir Chickaroid. Jack Zee Quick, the 9-5 favorite, finished seventh
For Fredericksburg, it was the 4-year-old colt's fifth win in 20
starts. Previously, he was third in the B.F. Phillips Handicap on
"Man, what a nice horse," said Larry Payne, who rode
the winner for trainer Heath Taylor. "Very seldom do I ride
a horse that's that big and can really motor away from the gates
like that. As a rule, it takes a big horse like him to really get
going in about three or so jumps. But when they said 'Go,' this
guy was gone. I couldn't believe it. I've been doing this for 33
years and I've never been on a big horse that's gotten away like
that. That was nice!"
The $17,100 winner's share of the purse boosted Fredericksburg's
career earnings to $150,804. He paid $14.20 to win as the 6-1 fourth
One race later, Tiz Me overcame a slow start and rallied to nail
Modan Motengator by a nose at the wire in the $15,000 Grand Prairie
Classic, an 870-yard marathon for 3-year-olds. Dewey Smith rode
the Texas-bred winner to victory in :45.34 for owner A.D. Maddox
and trainer James Gerhards, who claimed the horse for just $2,500
"I was begging to wonder if I could find a hole," Smith
said of traffic troubles down the stretch. "I didn't get away
good at all and had to fish for some holes. When I found them, that
critter really came running. He's a nice horse."
The victory was the third win in a row for Tiz Me and fourth overall
in 12 starts (note: he's now 4-for-6 at the 870-yard distance).
He pocketed $8,850 in his first stakes win and boosted his bankroll
BREEDERS' CUP WAGERING AT LONE STAR -
As of 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Lone Star Park's on-track handle for
the day totaled more than $2.28 million and simulcast wagering was
to continue past midnight. The handle on Belmont Park's 10-race
card by the 7,486 patrons totaled $1,473,466 Saturday, including
$362,706 on the Breeders' Cup Classic. Drive Thru and Advance Wagering
on the Breeders' Cup were up significantly from 2003. A total of
664 cars used the free Drive Thru service and bet $95,920 versus
561 cars and $58,905 in 2003. Friday's advance wagers totaled $176,408
compared to $116,856 in 2003.
BREEDERS' CUP WRAP - Folkore ($6.70),
the 2-1 favorite, defeated 7-1 fourth choice Wild Fit by 1 ¼
lengths in the Juvenile Fillies and gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas
his record fifth win in the race and 18th Breeders' Cup victory
overall...Merv Griffin's Stevie Wonderboy ($11) shot past Henny
Hughes by 1 ¼ lengths to win the Juvenile. First Samurai,
the 7-5 favorite, was third...Intercontinental ($32.20), the full-sister
to 2001 Filly & Mare Turf winner at Belmont Banks Hill, held
off defending champ Ouija Board, the 2-1 choice, by 1 ¼ lengths
in the Filly & Mare Turf...Silver Train ($25.80) headed Taste
of Paradise and survived a claim of foul in the Sprint. Lost in
the Fog, the 3-5 favorite, was seventh - the first loss in his 11-race
career...New York-based Artie Schiller ($13.20), 12th as the Mile
favorite a year ago, snapped 7-5 favorite Leroidesanimaux's eight-race
win streak with a three-quarter-length triumph in this year's renewal.
Jockey Garrett Gomez, subbing for the injured Richard Migliore,
collected his second B.C. win on the day. He also piloted Stevie
Wonderboy...Pleasant Home ($63.50) shocked onlookers with a 9 ¼-length
score in the Distaff over Society Selection. Ashado, the 2-1 choice,
was third. The victory by Pleasant Home was the third homebred Distaff
winner for the Phipps family and trainer Shug McGaughey (the other
two were Personal Ensign in 1988 and Inside Information in 1995)...Europeans
ran 1-2-3-4 in the Turf when Shirocco ($19.60) edged clear of Ace
by 1 ¾ lengths. Azamour, the 7-2 favorite, was third and
Bago was fourth...Saint Liam ($6.80), the 2-1 favorite, gave jockey
Jerry Bailey his fifth victory in the Classic with a one-length
advantage over Flower Alley. It was the second B.C. win on the day
for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., who also conditioned Silver Train.
The victory by Saint Liam virtually secured Horse of the Year honors
for the 5-year-old son of Saint Ballado...Total wagering on the
Breeders' Cup was a record $122.1 million and that doesn't include
figures from Italy, Sweden, Norway and the Caribbean nations. It
breaks the mark of $120.8 million set last year at Lone Star Park.
Total wagering on the eight Breeders' Cup races was also a record
with $112.8 million bet. On-track wagering at Belmont for the 10-race
card totaled $14.7 million...In the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6,
the pool swelled to $4.8 million and no one had a ticket with all
six winners. There were 40 tickets with five of six, each worth
CALDER SIMULCASTS BACK SUNDAY - After
forced cancellations of three programs due to damage sustained from
Hurricane Wilma, Calder Race Course will re-open Sunday and Monday
with limited racing programs on the turf course only. On Sunday,
they'll only run Races 3, 6, 7, 9 and 12 starting at 11:25 a.m.
CT (the other races were cancelled). On Monday, they have a five-race
program that begins at 11:25 a.m. CT.
MELBOURNE CUP SIMULCAST MONDAY NIGHT; MAKYBE DIVA GOES
FOR HISTORIC RUN - The Breeders' Cup wasn't the only
international racing event this weekend. Lone Star Park will import
the 144th Melbourne Cup and nine other races from Australia on Monday
at 5:20 p.m. CT. The field for the historic two-mile turf event
(post time 10 p.m. CT) will include Makybe Diva, the two-time Melbourne
Cup champ who posted a brilliant win in last Friday's Cox Plate.
No horse has ever won the Melbourne Cup three times. Her presence
is expected to draw a crowd of more than 140,000 to Flemington Race
Course. Also in the field is last year's runner-up Vinnie Roe, the
Dermot Weld trainee who is also back for a third try in the race.
For those that can't make it to Lone Star on Monday, advance wagering
on the Melbourne Cup will be available all day Sunday.
MBNA AMERICA CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIPS SIMULCAST, FIVE
STAKES HIGHLIGHT WEEK - A simulcast of the 13th MBNA
America Challenge Championships from Los Alamitos Race Course on
Saturday (American Quarter Horse racing's equivalent to the Breeders'
Cup), plus five stakes races on track, highlight next week's action
at Lone Star Park. The Grade 1, $10,000-added Olympia Joe Paint
and Appaloosa Handicap at 400 yards tops Friday's card at Lone Star.
Saturday's stakes quartet is headed by the $20,000 JEH Stallion
Station Handicap, a 550-yard test for 3-year-olds and up. Also scheduled
is one of the most popular races of the meet - the $15,000 Gridiron
Gallop, a 100-yard dash run in a little more than six seconds. Divisions
of the $15,000-added Mandolynn Hill Farm Stallion Stakes, seven-furlong
races for Arabians, also will be run...The MBNA America Challenge
Championships - featuring six championship events, including five
Grade 1 races, and seven undercard races totaling $1.1 million in
purses - will showcase appearances by 440-yard world record holder
A Long Goodbye, multiple graded stakes winners Catchmeinyourdreams
and Mini Rock, and MBNA America Challenge Championship defending
champ SLM Snowman. The first simulcast race from Los Alamitos on
Saturday is 8:25 p.m. CT.
DOWN THE STRETCH - Tram Telg was transported
to Methodist Hospital in Dallas on Saturday night when the 39-year-old
jockey was dumped from his mount Eye Can Zoom during the sixth race
at Lone Star Park. Telg, who was unseated when the 2-year-old gelding
suddenly fell with 110 yards to go in the 400-yard race, was briefly
knocked unconscious, suffered a lacerated left ear and chin and
complained of pain in the rib area. Eye Can Zoom apparently broke
his back and had to be euthanized...Carl Clawson, known to many
as "The Grand Prairie Arts Council Husband" will be honored
between races Wednesday night as the Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation
for Grand Prairie "Volunteer of the Week." Clawson often
donates his time, hauling theatre and arts pieces throughout Grand
Prairie, putting up signs and setting up events for the Arts Council.