RF LIVIES LIVEWIRE RANKS NEAR OR AT TOP OF TRAINER KEENER’S SIX WINNERS OF AMERICAN PAINT CLASSIC FUTURITY
Trainer Dee Keener said RF Livies Livewire could easily be undefeated after four starts, but nothing has been normal about the latest of his six winners in the Grade 1 American Paint Classic Futurity.
Here are some of the oddities tied to this 2-year-old Paint gelding that won this year’s edition Saturday that had a purse of $164,200. RF Livies Livewire is a gelded son of CRM Livewire, out of the Desirio (QH) mare RF Livies Special:
He lost his career debut by a nose in the Oklahoma Paint & Appaloosa Futurity trials. Keener believes he would have won that race had he not missed training races due to severe winter weather that forced cancellations in February.
The gelding then ran fifth in the $198,100 Oklahoma Paint & Appaloosa Futurity final, another race Keener believes he would have won if not for problems. “The header grabbed him up and he took a step back as the gate opened,” Keener said. “He was a length and a half behind before we even started and closed to get fifth.”
He is owned by a mom-and-pop shop of horse racing – Marvin and Pam Wilcox of Kingfisher, Okla., who also bred the horse in Oklahoma. They own one mare and it’s the mother of this speedball. He is the first baby of hers to make it to the racetrack. “I’m so excited, I don’t know what to say,” Marvin Wilcox said in the winner’s circle.
RF Livies Livewire had run two races before Keener had even met the owners. Friends of Keener’s directed the Wilcoxes to him. “The first time I’d met them in person was at the trials for this futurity,” Keener said with a laugh.
The final oddity is that Keener, the all-time winningest trainer in the history of Paint racing, is in a tight battle to keep that title ahead of Matt Whitekiller. This win puts Keener at 330 career Paint wins, while Whitekiller stands at 328. The two of them have been doing battle since they were young cowboys on the rodeo circuit. “We grew up together in the rodeo,” Keener said. “We roped calves together as juniors. Who was the best? Um…I don’t want to say.”
It is a spirited racing battle between the two horsemen. Keener wrapped it up succinctly.
“I might only be two wins ahead of him, but in all-time money earned, I’ve got him by a lot,” he said.
RF Livie’s Livewire earned $63,610 for first place in this futurity and the Paints that Keener entered Saturday night in the three stakes pocketed a total of $118,791. That boosted Keener’s lifetime Paint horses’ earnings to $5,189,564. Whitekiller’s Paints on Saturday earned $28,128 and he resides in second all-time with a healthy wallet of $4,531,482, according to paintracing.com statistics.
The win for RF Livie’s Livewire, with leading rider Juan Pulido aboard him, was the first for Pulido and the owners, but sixth for Keener in this stakes race. Keener also won with WF Turnpike Candy last year, PHQ Goodbye Earl in 2016, Texas Silk in 2014, Lajollas Mr Big Stuff in 2012 and Speed Bandit in 2008.
It was a huge night for Pulido as he also won the Victoria Ennis Stakes aboard Shez Wired Up.
“He has a lot of heart,” Pulido said of RF Livies Livewire. “Those other horses came up to him and he just took off.”
RF Livies Livewire stopped the timer for 350 yards in :17.766 over a fast track, good for an 83 speed index. He was the 6-5 wagering favorite at post-time and finished a head in front of runner-up PFR Snowpike (28-1), also trained by Keener. The third place finisher was RP Reckless Wire (5-1) another half-length behind. RF Livies Livewire paid $4.40 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show.
“I knew he could run the first time I saw him work at home,” Keener said. “Comparing him to my other five winners in this race, he’s right up there, near or at the top.”
The remaining order of finish in the American Paint Classic Futurity included Cheyennenews (4th), Smithworks (5th), PFR Beth Dutton (6th), CRM Tommy Boy (7th), DTL Hot Lips (8th), Splasher (9th) and La Totuga (10th).
Keener said RF Livies Livewire is not paid up for the Speedhorse Graham Paint & Appaloosa Futurity which will be run on closing day of this Remington Park season, May 29, but he thinks supplementing him for the race might be a good idea.
“Yes, that would be money well spent I believe,” he laughed.
RF Livies Livewire has won two straight races and now has a four-race career bankroll of $80,038
Remington Park racing continues Sunday, April 25 with the first race at 6pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 165,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $260 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 is home to the $1 million Heritage Place Futurity on May 29. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.