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Edited by Steven Long and National News Editor Carrie Gobernatz Send Comments to:

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Famed Paint, Got Country Grip, to Race Sat at Remington

OKLAHOMA CITY, (Remington) – The Grade 1, $30,000 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Stakes features just seven entries this Saturday at Remington Park but the group is loaded with star-power.

Got Country Grip, last year’s winner and Paint racing’s all-time money earner will seek his first win of the season against the ultra-hot Moon Bully and some very talented 3-year-olds.

Moon Bully has won three straight races and seven of his last eight dating to July 2009. The lone Appaloosa in the field, Moon Bully won the Mr. Lewie Memorial Stakes in April and just scored in an allowance event on May 13. The 6-year-old comes right back to the ‘Cowboy’ in nine days. He is owned and trained by Dub Seely of Sallisaw, Okla.

Cutrock and Dodacious, 3-year-olds who have won the two Paint derbies contested this season at Remington Park, will also have a say in the outcome. Bust N Moves has also been entered, among his 11 career victories, is his claim to fame of ending Got Country Grip’s 16-race winning streak in the 2008 Mr. Lewie Memorial.

The field, deep with talent and resume credentials, will make for a great race to handicap and to make wagers. Cutrock, winner of the Graham Paint & Appaloosa Derby in March, has been labeled the slight 2-1 morning-line favorite over Moon Bully at 5-2 odds and the legend, Got Country Grip is 3-1.

“Tough race to put a line on,” admitted Remington Park odds-maker Jerry Shottenkirk. “Cutrock rates a slight edge because he's likely at the top of his class despite losing his last race (a trial for the American Paint Derby). It took a troubled trip to end his five-race winning streak. It's rare when an Eddie Willis trainee isn't favored in a stakes race.”

Cutrock was disqualified for interference in his trial on April 10. He is owned by Jose Granados of Amarillo, Texas.

“It would not be a surprise if Moon Bully got as much play,” Shottenkirk added. “He's won three straight over this strip. Then there's Got Country Grip who, when you look at his entire body of work, is probably the greatest paint in history, given his record of 20 wins in 26 starts and earnings of just more than $350,000.”

Got Country Grip, despite two consecutive third-place efforts this season at Remington Park, has still never finished worse than third in his career, adding four seconds and a pair of thirds to his 20 victories.

The field for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Stakes, in post position order, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
1. Bust N Moves, Dee Keener, Tony Bennett, 8-1
2. Cutrock, Eddie Willis, Jimmy Brooks, 2-1
3. Dodacious, Dee Keener, Adalberto Candanosa, 5-1
4. Jungle Jack, Pete Little, Mario Chavez, 15-1
5. Got Country Grip, Brandon Parum, G.R. Carter, 3-1
6. Moon Bully, Dub Seely, Cody Jensen, 5-2
7. Audit, Steve Davis, Kenny Muntz, 20-1.

The final stakes race for older Paints and Appaloosas this season at Remington Park, the ‘Cowboy’ has been slated as the 10th of 11 on Saturday night’s card with approximate post time of 10:28pm.

Remington Park racing begins at 6:25pm, Thursday thru Sunday, this week. The 2010 American Quarter Horse & Mixed-breed Season has just eight race dates remaining. The season concludes on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

Remington Park is Oklahoma City’s only Racetrack & Casino, located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit

Reed Kessler and Mika Gallop to 1.45m Open Jumper Victory at Kentucky Spring Classic

Lexington, KY - May 19, 2010 - The skies were clear for the first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. In the Main Stadium the top riders competed in the Open Jumper classes, where junior Reed Kessler vaulted to the top of the leader board with Mika in the 1.45m competition. Earlier in the day, Pablo Barrios had another top finish when he scored the first and second place ribbons in the 1.40m Open Jumper class with G & C Leroy and G & C Lepanto.

Conrad Homfeld designed today's course 1.45m course, which featured 14 jumping efforts. For the first round, riders had to show over a double combination, a triple combination and liverpool fence. Six riders advanced to the jump-off after completing a clear round. They began over an unfamiliar stone oxer before making a right turn to a single oxer. Riders then had to make an "S" as they wound their way over an oxer and a vertical, before turning to the double combination near the gate. Finally riders had to jump the liverpool and dash across the finish line as they jumped an oxer coming home.

Three riders were able to complete the jump-off with all the rails in their cups. Pablo Barrios was the first to do so aboard G & C Napoleon, owned by G & C Farm, Gustavo & Carolina Mirabal. The pair picked up a quick pace to the first fence and was able to maintain it throughout the course. They left all the fences standing and stopped the timers at 38.550 seconds, which held up for the third place honors.

When Reed Kessler entered the ring aboard Mika she was not planning to go for the win, but as they jumped through the first round with ease Kessler decided to pick up the pace. They advanced to jump-off and Kessler stepped-it-up with her talented horse. They flew over each obstacle and galloped across the finish line in an exciting 37.819 seconds to take over the lead and eventually win the class.

"Initially I thought I was going to be schooling because he was kind of fresh, but he ended-up being so good that I just let him go fast," explained Kessler. "During the jump-off, he jumped the first fence and cut really well so I decided I might as well try. He was fantastic!"

Aaron Vale was the final rider to complete a double clear effort during today's class with Ubico- H, owned by Royal Farms, LLC. The duo made an excellent attempt to catch Kessler's time, but they unfortunately lost some ground through the winding course and broke the beam at 38.259 seconds to pick up the second place prize.

Fifteen-year-old Kessler was thrilled with her victory against such a difficult group of competitors during today's class. "I am really excited," she smiled. "Pablo has won basically everything here and he was in the jump-off so I was very concerned he would be faster than me. The course was perfect because it had a lot of long galloping and Mika has a really big stride."

"Mika is amazing, he just gets better and better," Kessler continued. "He is different than my other horses because he does not need me to push him. Mika just wants me to leave him alone and let him jump up. We have kind of been making each other up as we grow together and he is only 10 years old so it is very exciting."

Kessler bought Mika two winters ago and began showing him in the 1.40m jumper classes. The pair has quickly grown together and they have begun competing at the grand prix level. Last week, Kessler had an exciting fourth place finish in the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and they will compete in that class again tomorrow.

Earlier in the day the 1.40m Open Jumper class was held in the Main Stadium with Pablo Barrios taking the top two spots. Barrios was the first rider in the ring with G & C Lepanto, owned by Gustavo & Carolina Mirabal. The class was scored under Table II.1, a time first round. The pair picked up a quick gallop to the first fence and easily cleared the bending portion of the course. They were able to continue their long stride throughout the round without accruing any faults. The duo tripped the timers at 58.528 seconds to set a difficult pace.

Barrios was still in the lead when he entered the arena aboard G & C Leroy, owned by Gustavo & Carolina Mirabal, 22 horses later. The top rider still pushed his mount and they were able to complete a clear round in an even faster time of 57.829 seconds. Their amazing effort garnered them the first place ribbon, while Barrios' earlier attempt took second place.

"This is the fourth class in a row that Leroy has won," said Barrios. "He won the 1.35m Wednesday, the 1.40m Thursday, and he won the eight-year-olds. He's very fast and he's going to be a great speed horse."

Barrios continued, "Lepanto is another speed horse, and Gustavo owned him for a long time in Venezuela before bringing him here. He's very good at this height. It's weird the way he jumps, but he's very careful and very fast."

This year Barrios will represent Venezuela during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, so the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows have offered an excellent opportunity to for his horses to get seasoned at the venue. "I have always had good results here, so I feel like I belong to this place in some way," he noted. "I have won some classes here and been successful so that is going to help because it is going to feel like home. We'll see what the result is, but I hope that is the feeling I'm going to have."

Tomorrow the Kentucky Spring Classic will continue with the second class in the Hagyard Challenge Series, the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. The event will be held at 6:30p.m. in the Main Stadium, and riders will have the opportunity to continue earning points towards the $50,000 Leading Rider Award



Two Trials Per Division to Qualify

By David Hooper, Executive Directior, Texas Thoroughbred Association

AUSTIN, (TTA) - Lone Star Park’s 2010 meet has reached the point where the traditional TTA Sales Futurity Trials are run on Thursday and Friday night this week to determine the 12 qualifiers for the Finals, which will be run on Saturday, June 5, the same day as the Belmont Stakes, the last of this year’s Triple Crown races.

However, this year’s 5-furlong Trials have drawn the slimmest number of entrants in their history with only 17 2-year-old fillies entered in the second and fourth races on Thursday night. Friday night’s Trials, which will also go as the second and fourth races, drew only 16 colts and geldings. With declines in the number of original nominees from past years coupled with the drop off in Trial entries, the projected gross of the Filly Division is $67,590 and it is $60,280 for the Colt/Gelding Division.

Trainer Bret Calhoun will saddle five fillies for the two Trials including favored Pink October, runner-up in her debut, in the second race, and the fast-working debut runner Gold Belle in the fourth race. Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s $42,000 Texas-bred 2-year-old sales acquisition Fastation, second in her bow, also drew into the second race. Markpoint Stable’s Manor Downs Thoroughbred Futurity winner Lady Primal returns to competition in the fourth race.

Caroline Dodwell’s speedy Aces N Kings, the only foal by Jet Phone, will try to emulate his debut on April 16 when he drew off to win easily by 6 ¾ lengths as he heads Friday’s first Trial. In the fourth race, Calhoun will send out Valid Promise, Jerry Durant’s $100,000 sales-topping 2-year-old from the Fasig-Tipton Texas auction this spring, for his first start. Trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle two rivals in the promising Midway Road colt Jazz Party along with Ominous Thomas, owned in partnership by Bill Wilks and Richard Hessee.

Preakness Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky and the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales-topping 2-year-old Medaglia d’Oro filly both have strong Texas breeding ties.

Lookin At Lucky’s dam, Private Feeling, is a half-sister to the 1995 Texas Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Grand Charmer, as both were out of Lookin At Lucky’s granddam, Regal Feeling. Grand Charmer was bred in partnership by Will Farish and Temple Webber and proved to be a gem of consistency. She ran in the money in 15 of 17 starts winning six times including Arlington Park’s Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes.

The Medaglia d’Oro filly was hammered down to Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, for $650,000, a record price for a filly at the sale, after zipping an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 to equal the fastest time of two other sales horses during the under tack show. Her dam, the Valid Expectations mare Chit Chat Pam, was bred in Texas by two-time TTA President Joe Archer and became a two-time stakes winner racing for former TTA Director Ken Murphy, who sold her privately. 

Fast furlongs...Accredited Texas-Bred Incentive Program awards checks will be in the mail by the end of the week for the Sam Houston Race Park and Manor Downs meets that ended in April...Writing in the Daily Racing Form, columnist Dan Illman tabbed Texas-bred Chief of Affairs with the performance of the week for his stakes win at Indiana Downs very close to track record time while earning a 106 Beyer Speed Figure, his fifth triple-digit Beyer in 10 lifetime starts...Conduct of the Belmont Park and Saratoga race meets may will be in jeopardy because of New York Racing Association’s budget woes, but the repetitive carping by NYRA brass over finances reminds me of the little boy who kept on crying wolf and when the wolf really showed up, no one paid attention...Surprise 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will have D. Wayne Lukas as his trainer when he returns to the races later this summer...Magna Entertainment Corporation emerged from bankruptcy court two weeks ago, but the turmoil surrounding Frank Stronach-run tracks has started anew with Ron Charles resigning as president of Santa Anita, MI Developments dissolving partnership ties with Churchill Downs in TrackNet, and then voiding its lease with the highly respected non-profit Oak Tree Racing Association, an entity that has run fall meets at Santa Anita for 41 years...Greyhound racing in New England used to be second only to greyhound racing Florida, but its demise in the Northeast was completed last Friday when Rhode Island’s governor signed legislation that no longer required Twin River, the former Lincoln Downs horse track, to run dogs... The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. has unveiled a Pedigree Analysis Program on enabling customers to research and analyze the effects of specific crosses and inbreeding patterns through queries of the TJCIS database...Correction: In last week’s Update, I referred to Cocalero as a “her” but he is definitely a colt.