JOCKEY CODY SMITH, TRAINER MATT WHITEKILLER CONTINUE THEIR DOMINANCE IN NATIONAL COWBOY & WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM STAKES
For the fourth time in the past five years, jockey Cody Smith and trainer Matt Whitekiller won the Grade 1, $19,700 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Stakes on Saturday, taking this year’s edition with Live Moonshine.
The stakes race is for older Paints and Appaloosas, at 440 yards. This year, all six participants were Paint racers.
If not for a neck loss to Memories of Lil Hero in the Mister Lewie Memorial on May 15, Live Moonshine would be a winner in his last five stakes races. The 4-year-old gelded son of CRM Livewire, out of the Awesome Chrome mare PRP Sedona Sunset, won two stakes events at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., last fall, and then was victorious in the Paul Harber Stakes on April 10 in his 2020 debut at Remington Park.
Smith and Whitekiller moved to the top of the list for most wins in this race with five and four, respectively. Smith’s five victories moved him ahead of G.R. Carter’s four wins in this race. Whitekiller’s four times to the winner’s circle is now one better than the legendary Lewis Wartchow and Brandon Parum, who each had three triumphs. Whitekiller also won this race from 2016-18, all three years with the all-time winningest Paint in racing history, Painted Turnpike, with Smith up each time. Smith also gave a victorious ride to Major Tom, aboard for trainer Eddie Willis in 2014.
Once again, Saturday, it was Live Moonshine and Memories of Lil Hero battling to the wire and they finished first and second again, respectively, in their rivalry. Live Moonshine improved to 18 starts, 10 wins, two seconds and two thirds for a bankroll of $179,265. He gained $10,746 for the win, going to owners Dan and Kaye Jones of Kemp, Texas.
The top two finished a neck apart. PHQ Apollitical Jess ran third, another half-length behind the runner-up. Last year’s winner of this race, DTL Samureye, finished dead last this year at 6-1 odds.
Live Moonshine was sent off at 9-5 odds by the public and paid $5.80, $2.80 and $2.20 across the board. Memories of Lil Hero was the wagering favorite at 6-5 odds. The winner hit the wire in 21.467 seconds, over a fast track, for a speed index of 96. He was bred in Texas by the owners.
The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Stakes is named in honor of the famous anchor attraction in the Oklahoma City Adventure District, located just a little more than a mile from Remington Park.
Tracked by more than 163,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $242 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Remington Park is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District.