RUBBER MATCH IS SET UP FOR $159,500 AMERICAN PAINT CLASSIC FUTURITY ON SATURDAY NIGHT, RF LIVIES LIVEWIRE VS. SMITHWORKS, ROUND 3
Smithworks, the miracle Paint baby owned by Bryan Hawk, had never been beaten, until last time out in the PSBA American Paint Classic Futurity trials.
On that trial day of April 9, Smithworks, a son of World Champion Paint, Painted Turnpike, was bested by RF Livies Livewire by one full length as the fastest qualifier for the Grade 1, $159,500 American Paint Classic Futurity final this Saturday night.
Smithworks previously won a March 7 trial race as the fastest qualifier for the $196,100 Oklahoma Paint and Appaloosa Futurity, which he also went on to win on March 20. All of this came after a miracle birth in which Smithworks almost didn’t make it as he was orphaned at birth. His dam (mother), Shesa Mighty Chick, didn’t survive the birth of her large foal.
Trainer Matt Whitekiller said he and Hawk of Shawnee, Okla., were fortunate to have such a great horsewoman as Debbie Freeman of Sallisaw, Okla., in the right place at the right time to make sure Smithworks was saved.
“He couldn’t stand for three days (after he was born),” said Freeman, a former jockey, who has her own farm in Sallisaw. “I fed him milk replacement from a Cool Whip bowl every couple of hours.”
Freeman said she had never seen a baby as big as Smithworks and had to devise a way to lift him in a harness to try to get him to stand and take a few steps. After several hand feedings, and several days, he finally met Freeman at the barn door one morning.
“A true miracle,” she said. “We got a nurse mare for him and I thought he’d never learn to drink from her. Three vets and four or five of us helped him to survive. He did it all on desire. And orphans never run (well).”
Smithworks is proving that axiom to be wrong. He is now two-for-three officially with $78,976 in earnings. He wasn’t supposed to lose on April 9 as he went off the 3-5 favorite. However, RF Livies Livewire, a 2-year-old gelded Paint son of CRM Livewire, broke from the gate at 9-5 odds under leading rider Juan Pulido and pulled off the upset. He never was headed in the trial and had beaten Smithworks who really didn’t have much excuse for the loss.
RF Livies Livewire, the fastest qualifier for the American Paint Classic, is owned by Marvin and Pam Wilcox of Kingfisher, Okla., and trained by the all-time winningest trainer in Paint racing, Dee Keener.
Keener and Whitekiller are in a personal battle themselves. They stand Nos. 1 and 2 respectively on the all-time victories list for Paints, having passed the late, great Lewis Wartchow late last year. As of April 22, Keener had 329 wins lifetime to Whitekiller’s 328. Wartchow had 321 wins lifetime in about half as many starts as the other two. Chances are pretty good one of the top two will add to their totals as Keener (5) and Whitekiller (2) qualified 7-of-the-10 finalists. Trainer Ray Enlow has two in the race and Randall Read the other.
RF Livies Livewire had not won in two starts before the trials for this Saturday’s finals, running second in the Oklahoma Paint and Appaloosa trials in March. He then lost to Smithworks in the final when he missed the break but showed heart in getting up for fifth in a late surge. He has earned $16,428 in three starts.
Here’s a look at the horses in the finals from the rail out, including post position, jockey, trainer, and odds:
PFR Snowpike, Benito Baca, Dee Keener, 10-1
La Totuga, Josh Romero, Ray Enlow, 8-1
Splasher, Raul Valenzuela, Dee Keener, 15-1
RF Livies Livewire, Juan Pulido, Dee Keener, 5-2
Smithworks, Cody Smith, Matt Whitekiller, 3-1
Cheyennenews, Jorge Torres, Randall Read, 12-1
DTL Hot Lips, Francisco Calderon, Matt Whitekiller, 15-1
PFR Beth Dutton, Rolando Raudales, Dee Keener, 10-1
CRM Tommy Boy, James Flores, Dee Keener, 10-1
RP Reckless Wire, Cody Wainscott, Ray Enlow, 6-1
Remington Park racing continues Friday-Sunday, April 23-25, with the first race nightly 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.