LIVE MOONSHINE PREVAILS IN PAUL HARBER STAKES, UPSETTING TWO WORLD CHAMPIONS
Live Moonshine was not impressed with all the hardware jangling in the gate around him as he defeated two Paint World Champions, taking the $13,440 Paul Harber Stakes at Remington Park on Friday night.
Live Moonshine beat three-time World Champion, and the all-time richest racing Paint, Painted Turnpike, and DTL Samureye, the 2019 Running Paint World Champion to get this year’s Paul Harber trophy. Painted Turnpike, who had won 26-of-30 lifetime races, finished third behind the winner and runner-up Memories of Lil Hero. It was an off night for DTL Samureye, last year’s Champion Paint at Remington Park, finishing off the board, beating only two horses in the field of nine.
It was the third win in this race for trainer Matt Whitekiller, who also won with Painted Turnpike in 2018 and 2016. The race is named after a founding member of the American Paint Horse Association. Harber helped guide the organization for over four decades.
“They all want to win,” said Whitekiller, speaking of one horse from his barn beating the world champs. “Live Moonshine was sick at Remington last year and wasn’t right. We cleaned his knee up with a little surgery and he’s won two stakes at Claremore and now this one.”
Jockey Cody Smith had the unfortunate task of choosing between Painted Turnpike and Live Moonshine. Who could blame him for staying with a three-time world champ? That left Live Moonshine for jockey Andrew Samaniego and he led gate to wire in this 350-yard stakes race. It was his first win in this stakes race.
“My getting this mount had everything to do with Cody Smith,” Samaniego said. “He is a good friend of mine and we work hard together on the backside. He recommended me for this horse.”
Smith was aboard for Live Moonshine’s win in two stakes races in a row last fall at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., leading up to this race.
“As soon as I came in the (jocks’) room after the race tonight, he was the first one to yell, ‘Congratulations!’,” said Samaniego. “He’s a class act, sure is.”
Live Moonshine is a 4-year-old gelded son of CRM Livewire, out of the Awesome Chrome mare PRP Sedona Sunset, and is owned by Dan and Kaye Jones of Kemp, Texas, who also bred him in that state. He went off at 5-1 odds even though this was his ninth win in only 16 tries and his third stakes victory in a row, dating to October 2019.
Live Moonshine earned $6,600 from the purse and improved his career record to 16 starts, nine wins, one second and a pair of thirds for earnings of $164,955.
Live Moonshine stopped the timer in :17.527 over the fast track for a 90 speed index. He beat Memories of Lil Hero by three-quarters of a length. Painted Turnpike was another nose back in third.
“Painted Turnpike, you know, he’s seven years old now and we’ve been breeding him to a lot of mares,” Whitekiller said. “They lose a step.”
WF TURNPIKE CANDY FASTEST QUALIFIER FOR AMERICAN PAINT CLASSIC FUTURITY FINALS
A total of 30 Paints went to post in three trials Friday night at Remington Park, trying to qualify for the finals of the Grade 1, $103,200 American Paint Classic Futurity finals on Saturday, April 25. WF Turnpike Candy proved to be the fastest.
The 2-year-old gelded son of Painted Turnpike, out of the Country Chicks Man mare SW Eye Candy, stopped the timer for 350 yards in :17.876 for a speed index of 80, the fastest of the top 10 qualifiers. He also became the answer of a trivia question: What 2-year-old won on the same day that his (sire) father raced at the same track? Painted Turnpike finished third in the Paul Harber Stakes after WF Turnpike Candy had won the third race of the night.
Jockey James Flores had guided WF Turnpike Candy to a tie for the fastest qualifying time in the Oklahoma Paint and Appaloosa Futurity trials on opening night March 6 at Remington Park with the eventual winner of the finals, Captain Capi. WF Turnpike Candy ran third in those finals.
WF Turnpike Candy earned $3,330 for winning his trial Friday. He has won two of three lifetime starts for total earnings of $27,129. He is owned by Painted Faith Racing of Inola, Okla., and was bred in Oklahoma by Steve Wright and trainer Dee Keener.
The three trials for the American Paint Classic were conducted into a southerly headwind ranging from 10-13mph.
The following were the 10 fastest qualifiers, moving on to the American Paint Classic Futurity finals with running time, speed index, trial number, trainer and jockey:
· 1) WF Turnpike Candy, :17.876, 80, trial two, Dee Keener, James Flores.
· 2) WB Stevie Nix, :17.984, 77, trial one, Gary Jacobs, Daniel Torres.
· 3) RP Live Wire Kent, :18.037, 75, trial two, Ray Enlow, Gonzalo Gutierrez.
· 4) Mammy Jammer, :18.049, 75, trial three, Ray Enlow, Daniel Torres.
· 5) This Wire is Hot, :18.082, 74, trial two, Matt Whitekiller, Andrew Samaniego.
· 6) JS Shezaquickchick, :18.124, 73, trial one, Dee Keener, Raul Valenzuela.
· 7) Copper Wire, :18.134, 73, trial one, Matt Whitekiller, Cody Smith.
· 8) Sparkling Moondust, :18.145, 72, trial one, Matt Whitekiller, Cristian Esqueda.
· 9) Power Fade, :18.163, 72, trial one, Dee Keener, Juan Pulido.
· 10) Codigo, :18.311, 67, trial two, Matt Whitekiller, Cody Smith.
Racing is scheduled to continue with Saturday’s 10-race card on tap, and there will be a $35,144.78 carryover in the Sooner 6ix. The first event is set, with no public spectators, at 6pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 163,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,200 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. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park presents the 2020 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season through May 30. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.