ALL-TIME WINNINGEST PAINT TRAINER DEE KEENER WINS AMERICAN PAINT CLASSIC FUTURITY FOR SEVENTH TIME, THIS TIME WITH TRIPLE L XPRESS
Triple L Xpress put Dee Keener into the winner’s circle for the seventh time in the Grade 1 Paint Stallion Breeders’ Association American Paint Classic Futurity with a huge run from the outside on Saturday night.
The 2-year-old Paint colt by CRM Livewire, out of the Wave Carver (QH) mare Maggie Redmond (QH), won this futurity, taking $61,406 from the $158,700 purse for owner Planefun LLC (Carl Duggins) of Broken Arrow, Okla. Triple L Xpress has now won his last two in a row in four career starts and has earned a total of $72,823.
It was the first time jockey Ricky Ramirez had been in the saddle for this winner, taking over for Bryan Candanosa, who had ridden him the first three times in his career.
“I talked to Bryan last night and he helped me get to know the horse,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez was just happy to break the voodoo spell that he felt had been placed on him.
“For every blessing there is a curse,” he said. “It’s been three years since I won the All American Futurity (with Whistle Stop Café in 2020). I’m just glad to get rid of the curse. It feels good to win a big race again.”
The winner was one of four Paints that Keener qualified for the finals and he also ran second with Pevs Wire to Wire (11-1 odds). Triple L Xpress went off at 3-1 odds and paid $8.80 to win, $4.60 to place and $3.60 to show. He won by a neck and stopped the timer in :16.799 for a 90 speed-index. He was bred in Oklahoma by Nancy Yearsley and Garvan Kelly.
Keener also won this race in 2008 (Speed Bandit), 2012 (Lajollas Mr Big Stuff), 2014 (Texas Silk), 2016 (PHQ Goodbye Earl), 2020 (WF Turnpike Candy) and 2021 (RF Livies Livewire).
Ramirez also won this race in 2011 with Flashthechicks for trainer Luis Villafranco.
THE BIG CHIEF PULLS OFF MAJOR UPSET IN $27,825 PSBA AMERICAN PAINT STAKES, BEATING HEAVY FAVORITE, LIVEWIRES TURNPIKE
The heavy 1-5 favorite in the Grade 1, $27,825 PSBA American Paint Stakes, Livewires Turnpike, broke a couple of lengths behind the field when the gate opened and that opened the race up for an upset. The Big Chief took advantage of that and held on to beat the hard-charging favorite with a nod at the wire.
Livewires Turnpike had won 8-of-11 starts before this race, including his last five in a row, and looked like a sure thing on paper. There is an old adage in racing, however, that says, “The only sure thing is there are no sure things.”
The Big Chief’s trainer, Everardo Escamilla-Gonzalez, knew that and also knew that he would need some racing luck to beat this monster of a Paint.
“The big horse made a mistake and we had to capitalize on it,” he said in the winner’s circle.
“Today, he was ready,” Cruz said of The Big Chief. “He was gone from the gate.”
The Big Chief, a 3-year-old gelded son of CRM Livewire, out of the Okey Dokey Dale (QH) mare No Pokey Okey (QH), won by the shortest of necks as Livewires Turnpike was flying up the rail, madly trying to make up the ground he lost at the start. Salt Wire ran third, 1-1/4 length back of the runner-up.
The winner went off at 8-1 odds and paid $18.20 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.20 to show. He earned $16,650 for owner Paola Gonzalez of Wichita, Kan., and improved lifetime to 12 starts, five wins, and one third for a lifetime bankroll of $59,946. He was bred in Oklahoma by Brent and Amy Page.
It was the first win in this race for all connections. Running time for the winner was :17.483 for a speed index of 95.
R COWGIRL WINS $24,450 VICTORIA ENNIS MEMORIAL STAKES AS JOCKEY JAMES FLORES MOVES TO TOP OF RIDER STANDINGS
R Cowgirl remained undefeated after two starts, taking the $24,450 Victoria Ennis Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old Paints and Appaloosas under jockey James Flores. It was the third win on the card for the reigning American Quarter Horse Association Champion Jockey, an honor he has won three times.
Flores guided R Cowgirl, one of only two Appaloosas in the race, from the 8-hole and she came out on top in this 330-yard stakes. The 2-year-old daughter of Flying Cowboy 123 (QH), out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon (QH) mare Paint This Kitty, broke her maiden at Remington Park on March 23 and one race later, she is a stakes winner.
The winner, owned by Jeff Adams of Durant, Okla., earned $14,838 from the purse and now has $26,305 in earnings after two starts. She was bred in Oklahoma by her owner. R Cowgirl paid $11.20 to win, $3.20 to place and $4 to show. The place price was shorter than the show price because the place pool had to be divided with three horses since The OSC Jefa and Jessa Livewire dead-heated for second. Running time for the winner was :17.036 for a speed index of 83.
It was the third win in this series for Keener, who also won the Victoria Ennis in 2016 with KC Texas Lady and 2013 with Corporal Cash. It was the first win in this series for Flores and Adams.
The race is named for horsewoman Ennis, an Oklahoman who was a member of the Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame and a prominent breeder and owner for many years before her passing in 2009.
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