15 in a Row! Champion Paint Got Country Grip Remains Unbeaten with Victory in Grade 1, $20,000 Olympia Joe Paint & Appaloosa Handicap at Lone Star

(Saturday, November 24, 2007) - Two-time World Champion Solid Paint-Bred Got Country Grip won his 15th race in as many starts with a comfortable 1 ¾-length victory Saturday night in the Grade 1, $20,000 Olympia Joe Paint & Appaloosa Handicap at Lone Star Park.

In rainy conditions, Got Country Grip, touting champion jockey G.R. Carter Jr. and 130 pounds, ran 350 yards in :19.90 over a track rated "sloppy." Jess Streakin finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Cmb a Legacy in third. Keep Him, Peewees Pride, Skirt Chasin Kid and Elisa Star completed the order of finish.

"He's one helluva horse and I'm awfully proud of him," said owner Jimmy Maddux of Weatherford, Texas.

Got Country Grip, a 4-year-old bay solid Paint-bred gelding trained by Brandon Parum of Jones, Okla., became the first Paint Horse or Quarter Horse to begin his career with 15 consecutive wins. Quarter Horses Josie's Bar, Destiny Drummer and Pies Royal Request each began their careers with 14 wins in a row but lost in their 15th start.

"He ran a really good race," Carter said. "He broke pretty good, but didn't really blast into the race. It's been a long time since he ran."

Got Country Grip hadn't raced since his dominating three-length victory in the $25,000 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Stakes at Remington Park on May 27.

"Halfway down the stretch, I turned my whip over onto his shoulder and he just took off," Carter said. "He just destroys these Paints. He's run some kind of races that it would take one of those champion Quarter Horses to beat him."

Carter, a six-time AQHA champion jockey, marveled at the 15 straight wins.

"The variables are against you," he said. "In horse racing, you know something is bound to happen - that's just the way it is. I don't care what the competition is, this streak is one of the greatest things I've ever seen."

Said Maddux: "I've had a lot of good horses and most of the time they'll beat themselves sooner or later. But 'The Grip' has overcome adversity and still won. Believe it or not, he's had a bad race or two. In the [2006] Speedhorse [Derby at Fair Meadows], a horse stepped on his rear foot and pulled his shoe off and half of his foot with it. It knocked him around sideways and he still won by daylight."

Got Country Grip paid $2.80 to win as the odds-on 2-5 favorite.

The $12,200 winner's share of the purse increased his Paint Horse racing earnings record to $247,500. Nine of Got Country Grip's 15 victories have come in stakes races. He's won twice in the slop and over three different racetracks in Texas and Oklahoma.

This was his second stakes triumph at Lone Star Park. In addition to the 11th running of the Olympia Joe, the Oklahoma-bred son of Country Quick Dash out of the Super de Kas mare Got a Grip won the 2005 Graham Paint Futurity.

"He does what he's supposed to do," said Maddux, who acquired Got Country Grip as a weanling in a trade that included one his stakes-winning mares. "I was worried tonight because he'd been sick - he had a lung infection - and hadn't run since May. We couldn't get other races to fill for him and he needed this race. We appreciate Lone Star Park for putting it on. We were glad to bring him over here because we had a lot of local folks come here to see him.

"We wanted to send him to Los Alamitos to race against Quarter Horses but it got complicated and it wasn't going to happen. We wanted to race him in some of their big races to see what he can do. We might have got him beat but that's where the money is at.

"It's a shame to run a horse like this just three times a year; it's not good for the horse. I guess we'll take him back to Remington Park and try to break the big record."

Maddux was referring to Thoroughbred racing's North American modern day record of 16 consecutive wins held by Citation, Cigar and Hallowed Dreams.

"That's our goal," Maddux said. "We've had a lot of people try to buy him and pay an awful lot of money for him. I've priced him, but if anyone buys him, it'll be a record price. We think a lot of this horse.

"It's a shame that we can't find a place to run him. We'll do whatever. We discussed some match races, but the circumstances are going to have to be right. I'm not going to put him at a disadvantage and get the horse beat through my stupidity. If he gets beat, I want a horse to beat him and not me."

In addition to his remarkable unbeaten record, Got Country Grip holds the Paint Horse world record for 350 (:17.23 on June 9, 2006 at Fair Meadows) and 400 (:19.55 on April 30, 2006 at Remington Park) yards.

After the Olympia Joe victory in what was the second race of the night (7:02 p.m. CT), Carter dashed from the winner's circle to catch a flight from Dallas to Southern California to ride in Saturday night's Z Wayne Griffin Directors Trials at Los Alamitos in Cypress, Calif.

Carter said he was due to land at 11:05 p.m. CT and was scheduled to ride LDS Dash for Dylan in Race 8 (11:48 p.m. CT) and Be a Bono in Race 10 (12:36 a.m. CT). Both Quarter Horses hope to land berths in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 15.

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