TRAINER MATT WHITEKILLER GETS EMOTIONAL WHEN LIVEWIRES TURNPIKE GIVES HIM WITH FOURTH VICTORY IN MISTER LEWIE MEMORIAL STAKES
Back when Lewis Wartchow was the all-time winningest trainer among the Paint set, he took Matt Whitekiller under his wing. It’s no wonder that Whitekiller got choked up when Livewires Turnpike won the Grade 1, $34,450 Mister Lewie Memorial Stakes on Saturday at Remington Park, a race named for the late, great Wartchow.
Wartchow’s career concluded with 352 wins and $2,515,285 in earnings in a game where the mixed breeds didn’t run for huge purses during his career. His top horses – Miss Super Dee, Texas Hero and Texas Wildcat – barely topped $100,000 in their bankrolls. Miss Super Dee was a Grade 1 winner for Wartchow.
“He was a good one,” Whitekiller said, fighting back tears. “A real good one. I’m just glad Curtis (Wartchow, Lew’s grandson) was here with his family.”
The win for Livewires Turnpike gave Whitekiller his fourth victory in this stakes series. He also won with Live Moonshine (Paint) in 2021, and twice with World Champion Paint Painted Turnpike (P) in 2018 and 2017. It was the first win in the Mister Lewie for jockey Francisco Calderon and owner Bryan Hawk of Shawnee, Okla.
The 3-year-old gelded son of CRM Livewire, out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon (QH) mare Wagon on Turnpike, has now won six of his last seven starts and realistically, it should have been seven in a row. In the American Paint Stakes on April 29, he broke dead last in a field of five, giving his rivals a two-length head start before still managing a second-place effort, beaten only a neck by The Big Chief.
Calderon said Whitekiller’s instructions to get back on the winning track Saturday were simple.
“It’s like Matt said, ‘just find a hole and don’t fall off,’” said Calderon. “I just sat down on him and he did it on his own.”
What Livewires Turnpike did was draw off to win the Mister Lewie Memorial Stakes by 1-3/4 lengths, leaving his competition in the dust.
“It’s definitely a blast to own this kind of horse,” said Hawk. “I was really happy to see this win for Matt. He was so close with Lew.”
Livewires Turnpike, the winning Paint, earned $20,784 from the purse and improved his record to 13 starts, nine wins, one second and two thirds for $174,036 earned. It was his fifth win in nine Remington Park tries. He stopped the timer in :19.504 for 400 yards on the fast track.
RP Reckless Wire (4-1 second favorite in the race) got up for second, a head in front of third-place Paint Em a Vision (23-1). Livewires Turnpike was sent off the heavy betting favorite at 2-5 odds and paid $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. He was bred in Oklahoma by Nolan Pevehouse.
KEENER SADDLES FIVE WINNERS
Trainer Dee Keener had a spectacular Saturday at Remington Park, saddling five winners during the 12-race program.
The five wins catapulted Keener to the top of the trainer standings with 31 wins, one better than Jason Olmstead who has 30 wins in the second position.
Keener won four of the five trials for the Grade 1 Speedhorse Graham Paint & Appaloosa Futurity, then added his fifth score of the card in the final race. The five wins started with WF Candy Tellin Tales ($9.40 to win) in race four and continued with Railway Café ($21.60) in race five, R Cowgirl ($6.20) in race six and Triple L Xpress ($6.80) in race eight. The 12th and final race on the card saw Pevs Hello Darlin ($4) win number five for Keener.
This was the second time this Remington Park season that Keener had five winners on one card. He also posted five scores on April 14 during trials for the American Paint Classic Futurity.
Remington Park racing continues Sunday, May 21 at 4pm.
Tracked by more than 175,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $320 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 features the 2023 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season through June 3. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.