Got Country Grip
Year Inducted: 2012
Remington Park expanded its core business model in 2005, incorporating casino gaming into its entertainment offering alongside horse racing. While guests would not begin hitting jackpots in the casino until late in the year, the ‘Super Paint’ Got Country Grip began his career during the spring, starting a run of big jackpot-like wins in the process.
Got Country Grip made his career debut at the age of 2 on April 10, 2005, in a Remington Park maiden event at 250 yards. He won that race like he would win most of his races, by a wide margin of 2-3/4 lengths. Trainer Brandon Parum thought he had a special talent on his hands when he entered Got Country Grip into that first race. His belief would be proven true in the vast majority of races the gelding would compete in throughout his career.
After his first race and victory, Got Country Grip went on a legendary streak. He would not taste his initial career defeat until his fourth year of competition, only after equaling a then North American record of 16 consecutive wins. Throughout the streak, Got Country Grip’s average margin of victory was an astounding two lengths. He won the American Paint Derby in 2006 by an astonishing 5-1/2 lengths, utilizing a lightning-quick start and acceleration throughout the 400-yard event that left spectators in awe. At that time he was believed by many to be the fastest horse on the planet. However, a proposed high-stakes match race with an American Quarter Horse champion never transpired that season.
As the consecutive wins began to pile up for Got Country Grip, so did the accolades and money. The gelding was voted the World Champion Paint over five consecutive years, 2005-2009. Owned by Jimmy Maddux of Weatherford, Texas, Got Country Grip was the first Paint racer to amass more than $300,000 in career earnings, doing so while on his hot streak. He is still the only Paint to top that money plateau.
The legendary undefeated streak came to an end for Got Country Grip in the 2008 Mr. Lewie Memorial Handicap for Paints and Appaloosas at Remington Park. The race is held in honor of the late Lewis Wartchow who was a dominant trainer in the Paint and Appaloosa ranks and an Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee. As a 5-year-old, Got Country Grip finally failed to visit the winner’s circle, finishing second in the race, by a scant margin, to Bust N Moves. A crowd of nearly 13,000 was left saddened by the near-miss as they had come to witness racing history.
At Remington Park, Got Country Grip scorched the earth nearly every time he made a start. Through racing of 2009, he held three track records for Paints at Remington Park at 350, 400 and 440 yards with all three of those marks standing as Paint-racing World Records at the time. Through 2011, he is still the holder of the 400 and 440-yard Paint marks at Remington Park with his 440 time of :21.476 remaining a World Record for Paints.
Got Country Grip won 17 of his 21 career races in Oklahoma with nine scores at Remington Park and another eight at Fair Meadows in Tulsa. The remaining four victories came in his only four races at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Throughout 30 career races, Got Country Grip never started for a claiming price. After his maiden win, all of his outs were trials for stakes races and their finals, stand-alone stakes events or allowance races. An Oklahoma-bred gelding by Country Quick Dash from the Super De Kas mare Got A Grip, Got Country Grip would finish a race out of the top three positions only three times.
After a ninth-place finish in a stakes race at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. in October 2010, the connections of Got Country Grip decided to retire the greatest Paint racer in history. Got Country Grip closed a storybook career on the track with $361,863 in earnings, holding the title of Paint racing’s all-time money leader.