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 of nine.

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 opening night.

"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 wagering choice.

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 in May.

"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 to $27,290.

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 $90,325.

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.

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