Got Country Zip Stays Unbeaten, Runs Fastest in Graham Paint Futurity Trials at Lone Star Park

(Friday, October 14, 2005) - Got Country Zip, ridden by G.R. Carter Jr., remained undefeated and was the fastest qualifier to the Grade 1, $200,000-estimated Graham Paint Futurity when he posted a clocking of :17.601 for 350 yards on Friday night at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The 2-year-old gelding, owned by Jimmy Maddux and trained by Brandon Parum, was the fastest of 34 Paint Horses in four trial races. The 10 fastest times advanced to the final, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29 - one of three stakes races scheduled that night.

The finalists are Got Country Zip (:17.601), Heros Strawberry (:17.820), MCM Aggie Rose (:17.958), Really Special (:17.970), Zoom N La Ree (:17.971), Osage Ram (:18.009), Hope For Me Too (:18.023), Wink Jackson (:18.025), Della and the Dealer (:18.056) and Concho Special (:18.073).

Got Country Zip is now perfect in six starts. Last July, the Oklahoma-bred flash scored by a length in the restricted Grade 1, $100,000 Speedhorse Futurity at Fair Meadows at Tulsa. Friday, he bested Tulsa State Fair Stakes champ Heros Strawbaby by a length in the fourth and final trial. Oklahoma Paint Futurity winner Zoom N La Rae was another three-quarters of a length behind in third.

Heros Strawbaby was one of four horses qualified by trainer Eddie Willis. Three of those - Heros Strawbaby, Wink Jackson and Concho Special - were owned and bred by legendary Paint horseman Herbert Graham, a two-time winner of the final.

In the second trial of the night, La Bella Rena crossed the finish line first in :17.636, which would have been the second-fastest time of the night. However, the filly was disqualified to fifth by Texas Racing Commission stewards for interference shortly after the start. By rule, she received a time of :18.629, a tick behind the fourth-place finisher of that race and not good enough for the final.

The ruling prevented owners Sammy Hester and Charles Trochta from an attempt at their third straight Graham Paint Futurity victory. They won the race with Bold Bucephalus in 2003 and Calista Corona last year.

Because of the disqualification, Really Special was promoted from second to first. In mid-July, the Real Easy Cash filly crossed the wire first in the restricted Grade 2, $61,500 California Paint Futurity at Los Alamitos, but was disqualified to seventh for impeding a foe.

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