Edited press release courtesy Remington Park
Photo Credit: Dustin Orona Photography
OKLAHOMA CITY – Painted Turnpike, Paint racing’s all-time leading money earner, continues to add to his amazing legacy, winning Friday’s Grade 1, $32,500 Mister Lewie Memorial at Remington Park. The 5-year-old horse had a perfect start and won the 400-yard event for Paints and Appaloosas by a half-length, using minimal effort.
The victory was the 10th straight for Painted Turnpike who has not lost a race since October 2016. He won his 12th race at Remington Park, extending his record for most career wins in this season. Painted Turnpike also topped the $400,000-mark in career earnings, becoming the first Paint racer to reach that status.
Owned by Nolan Pevehouse of Webbers Falls, Okla., Painted Turnpike is trained by Matt Whitekiller and was handled by jockey Cody Smith who was impressed with his effort.
“Tonight, he got away super. He left on top of the ground, left running. We couldn’t ask to get away much better,” Smith said. “He just opened up on them. Then he gets down to the wire and he went to easing himself up and it was the first time I asked him a little bit in a long time. He was just cruising, I was letting him do it on his own. When he pricked his ears and started easing up, I hit him left-handed a couple of times to get him to go ahead and finish the race.”
Painted Turnpike handled 400 yards over a fast track in :19.755. Despite his stellar career status and achievements, he continues to amaze his trainer with every effort.
“He’s something else, he’s just a God-send. That’s just all there is to it,” Whitekiller said after the trophy presentation. “The consistency that he performs with every time, it’s just unreal. There are plenty of horses out there that are fast, but they don’t do it every time.”
Painted Turnpike was the heavy wagering favorite at 2-5 odds, holding off a solid run by Jess Cuz. Bully Pulpit, a 3-year-old facing older horses for the first time, finished third, a length behind the winner.
Painted Turnpike paid $2.80 to win, $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Jess Cuz returned $7 to place and $5.80 to show. Bully Pulpit paid $2.20 to show.
The 3-time World Champion Paint, Painted Turnpike won the Mister Lewie Memorial for the second straight year. The winner’s share of $19,230 pushes his lifetime earnings to $416,925. Bred in Oklahoma by his owner, Painted Turnpike is by PYC Paint Your Wagon (qh) from the SF Royal Quick Flash mare High Class Turnpike. He has now won 22 of 25 career attempts.
The Mister Lewie Memorial is named in honor of late trainer Lewis Wartchow of Fitzhugh, Okla. Wartchow, an Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame Member, was known as the “King of Paints” for his dominance with Paint horses throughout his career. Equally successful with Appaloosas, Wartchow passed away in 2003.
[This press release was provided by Remington Park; read more at remingtonpark.com.]