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Live Moonshine upsets world champs to win Paul Harber Stakes

Edited press release courtesy Remington Park
Image: Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park

Live Moonshine was not impressed with all the hardware jangling in the gate around him as he defeated two Paint World Champions, taking the $13,440 Paul Harber Stakes at Remington Park on Friday night.

Live Moonshine beat three-time world champion Painted Turnpike—and the all-time richest racing Paint—and DTL Samureye, the 2019 running Paint world champion, to get this year’s Paul Harber trophy. Painted Turnpike, who had won 26-of-30 lifetime races, finished third behind the winner and runner-up Memories of Lil Hero. It was an off night for DTL Samureye, last year’s Champion Paint at Remington Park, finishing off the board, beating only two horses in the field of nine.

It was the third win in this race for trainer Matt Whitekiller, who also won with Painted Turnpike in 2018 and 2016. The race is named after a founding member of the American Paint Horse Association. Harber helped guide the organization for over four decades.

“They all want to win,” said Matt, speaking of one horse from his barn beating the world champs. “Live Moonshine was sick at Remington last year and wasn’t right. We cleaned his knee up with a little surgery and he’s won two stakes at Claremore and now this one.”

Jockey Cody Smith had the unfortunate task of choosing between Painted Turnpike and Live Moonshine. Who could blame him for staying with a three-time world champ? That left Live Moonshine for jockey Andrew Samaniego and he led gate to wire in this 350-yard stakes race. It was his first win in this stakes race.

“My getting this mount had everything to do with Cody Smith,” Andrew said. “He is a good friend of mine and we work hard together on the backside. He recommended me for this horse.”

Cody was aboard for Live Moonshine’s win in two stakes races in a row last fall at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma, leading up to this race.

“As soon as I came in the (jocks’) room after the race tonight, he was the first one to yell, ‘Congratulations!’,” said Andrew. “He’s a class act, sure is.”

Live Moonshine is a 4-year-old gelded son of CRM Livewire, out of the Awesome Chrome mare PRP Sedona Sunset, and is owned by Dan and Kaye Jones of Kemp, Texas, who also bred him in that state. He went off at 5-1 odds even though this was his ninth win in only 16 tries and his third stakes victory in a row, dating to October 2019.

Live Moonshine earned $6,600 from the purse and improved his career record to 16 starts, nine wins, one second and a pair of thirds for earnings of $164,955.

Live Moonshine stopped the timer in :17.527 over the fast track for a 90 speed index. He beat Memories of Lil Hero by three-quarters of a length. Painted Turnpike was another nose back in third.

[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.