Edited Press Release courtesy Remington Park
Image: Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park
After winning the $254,300 Speedhorse Graham Futurity for Paints and Appaloosas at Remington Park in 2018, Memories of Lil Hero had been delegated to runner-up and third-place status in stakes races here.
That is over.
Memories of Lil Hero ran second and third in 2019 in Remington Park stakes company and then was Live Moonshine’s best man in his last effort here, the Paul Harber Stakes on April 10 this year. In fact, he had run second to Live Moonshine also at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma, last fall in the Don Drake Memorial Stakes. Memories of Lil Hero finally got his revenge Friday night and returned to stakes glory, getting his picture taken in the Grade 1 Mister Lewie Memorial Stakes for Paints and Appaloosas.
Memories of Lil Hero and Live Moonshine are two of the top 4-year-old Paints in training at Remington Park and have seen their share of each other on the Oklahoma circuit. This 4-year-old gelded son of Little PYC, out of the Texas Hero mare Memories of Texas, was roughed up at the beginning of the Paul Harber last time out and still only lost to Live Moonshine by three-quarters of a length.
Coming into this race, Live Moonshine was five-for-nine in trips to the Remington Park winner’s circle and Southern Electric (third-place in Mister Lewis) was five-for-eight. With the win, Memories of Lil Hero is now four-for-nine in Oklahoma City.
“James (Flores) is such a champion jockey,” said trainer Monty Arrossa. “To be able to get him up for second in that race after he didn’t get away from the gate well is a tribute to his riding ability. Tonight he broke a little better and if he stays with them early, he really gets rolling at the end.”
Memories of Lil Hero broke on top Friday and was never headed in the 400-yard race. He beat Live Moonshine by a neck, who was another three-quarters of a length ahead of the 7-5 wagering favorite Southern Electric, the top 3-year-old in the race. Memories of Lil Hero went off as the third favorite at 5-2 odds. He returned $7, $3, $2.10 across the board.
“I just love this horse,” Monty said. “He’s such a cool barn horse, great disposition and fun. He’s ultra-consistent on the track.”
In 15 starts, Memories of Lil Hero has never run worse than third. He improved his record tonight to 15 starts, seven wins, five seconds and three thirds for a total bankroll of $194,144. He won $12,852 from the total purse of $20,268.
Running time for the Mister Lewie was 20.062 seconds for a speed index of 81. It was the first stakes win in this event for all connections, including owner Levings Racing of Edmond, Oklahoma. The horse was bred in Oklahoma by Buddy Albin.
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.