SOUTHERN ELECTRIC SETS TRACK RECORD AT 350 YARDS FOR PAINTS, WINNING $20,000 PAUL HARBER MEMORIAL STAKES
It doesn’t matter who owners Dan and Kaye Jones send out in the Paul Harber Memorial Stakes at Remington Park each year; they know how to win this race.
On Friday night, it was Southern Electric, and all he did was set the track record for Paints at 350 yards in the race.
For the second year in a row, jockey Andrew Samaniego was aboard for the Joneses of Kemp, Texas, and for trainer Matt Whitekiller. Oddly enough, the horse Samaniego won this race with last year, Live Moonshine, also trained by Whitekiller, was in this year’s field and the jock beat him with Southern Electric. On Friday, Southern Electric, a 4-year-old gelded son of Crm Livewire, out of the Southern Cartel (QH) mare Ze Southern Girl (QH), stopped the timer at 350 yards in :17.185 seconds. That dusted the old record of :17.232 set by The Cock of the Walk in 2010. It was Whitekiller’s fourth win in the stakes and second consecutive year for the Joneses and Samaniego.
“Southern Electric ran the best race of his life,” said Whitekiller. “Just a huge race. I think Live Moonshine needed a race. Sometimes older horses just need an out when they’ve been off that long.”
Live Moonshine hadn’t run since Nov. 14 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore last year, the last race that Southern Electric ran in before Friday. Southern Electric is 4 years old and Live Moonshine is 5 years old.
Southern Electric was no less than electric, hitting the wire 1-3/4 lengths in front. He earned a 101 speed index with the track record. The longshot Snow Advisory (16-1) got up for second for a 92 SI and Live Moonshine, the 2-1 favorite, ran third another half-length behind. Southern Electric had only gone off higher than 5-2 odds once in his last 10 races, but on Friday, he was a generous 3-1 price at the windows. He paid $8, $4.40 and $2.60 across the board. The winner earned $11,850 from the $20,450 purse and improved his career record to 20 starts, 12 wins, three seconds and two thirds for a total bankroll of $246,821. Southern Electric was bred in Texas by the owners.
At the end of the night, Dee Keener, the all-time winningest trainer in Paint history, had 329 career victories to Whitekiller’s 327. Keener and Whitekiller were both chasing the late, great King of Paints, Lew Wartchow, for years and finally passed him in 2020. Wartchow finished his career with 321 wins. He hit his mark and held onto it for quite a while before the two pups finally caught him. Wartchow had passed the 300-win mark starting only 1,485 horses in his career. That’s some 500 fewer horses than Keener and 700 fewer than Whitekiller.
PAINT RACING’S TOP ALL-TIME WINNING TRAINER DEE KEENER QUALIFIES HALF OF FIELD FOR FINALS OF AMERICAN PAINT CLASSIC FUTURITY
He only won one of five trials on Friday night at Remington Park for the finals of the Grade 1 American Paint Classic Futurity, but Keener still qualified half the field of 10 that will race for an estimated $129,000 purse on Saturday, April 24.
Keener got to the winner’s circle with Rf Livies Livewire in the third trial of the night (Race 4). The 2-year-old gelded son of Crm Livewire, out of the Desirio (QH) mare Rf Livies Special (QH), pulled off the biggest upset of the meet for this breed, scoring the fastest time of the night in the five Paint trials. His finish in the 350 yards was :17.442 seconds, for an impressive 93 speed index. None of the other nine qualifiers was higher than an 88.
With leading rider Juan Pulido up, Rf Livies Livewire drove to the front out of the gate and was never threatened, winning by a full length with an ambitious tailwind of 28 mph on the gusty night. The night began with a 20 mph tailwind and got stronger throughout the trials. Rf Livies Livewire upset the 3-5 favorite in the race, Smithworks, who had won his trial for the Grade 1 $196,100 Oklahoma Paint and App Futurity and then moved on to win the final on March 20 by a half-length. Rf Livies Livewire paid $5.80, $2.40 and $2.10 to show.
Rf Livies Livewire was the first of four wins for Pulido, who started the night with a one-win lead over Francisco Calderon in the jockeys’ race and now leads by four (21-17 wins). Calderon won one race Friday. Rf Livies Livewire pulled off the shocker as the second-favorite at 9-5. He was another neck ahead of third-place finisher in that trial, Pfr Beth Dutton (9-1). The top four in that trial finished in the top seven of the 10 qualifiers. Rf Livies Livewire is owned and was bred in Oklahoma by Marvin and Pam Wilcox of Kingfisher, Okla. The sorrel gelding earned $3,384 for his maiden win in the trial and adds that to his lifetime bankroll for a total of $16,428.
Here are the 10 qualifiers from Friday (with their jockey, trainer, trial number, times and speed index):
· Rf Livies Livewire, Juan Pulido, Dee Keener, trial three, :17.442 seconds, 93
· Smithworks, Cody Smith, Matt Whitekiller, trial three, :17.616, 88
· Rp Reckless Wire, Cody Wainscott, Ray Enlow, trial five, :17.624, 87
· La Totuga, Josh Romero, Ray Enlow, trial two, :17.652, 87
· Pfr Beth Dutton, Rolando Raudales, Dee Keener, trial three, :17.676, 86
· Crm Tommy Boy, James Flores, Dee Keener, trial five, :17.718, 85
· Dtl Hot Lips, Francisco Calderon, Matt Whitekiller, trial three, :17.727, 84
· Pfr Snowpike, Juan Pulido, Dee Keener, trial five, :17.744, 84
· Cheyennenews, Jorge Torres, Randall Read, trial one, :17.763, 83
· Splasher, Juan Pulido, Dee Keener, trial one, :17.773, 83
Tracked by more than 165,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $258 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 open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.