Two-time world champion Paint running horse Got Country Grip broke an all-time record for consecutive wins from starts with his 1 ľ-length victory Saturday, November 24 in the G1 Olympia Joe Paint & Appaloosa Handicap at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, TX. Quarter racing’s Josie’s Bar, Destiny Drummer and Pies Royal Request each earned 14 wins in a row but lost in their fifteenth start. Thoroughbred champions Citation, Cigar and Hallowed Dreams are tied with the North American record of 16 consecutive wins.
“He’s one helluva horse and I’m awfully proud of him,” said owner Jimmy Maddux of Weatherford, TX, of the 4-year-old solid bay Paint gelding trained by Brandon Parum of Jones, OK. “It’s been a long time since he ran.”
Got Country Grip’s last previous start was in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Stakes at Remington Park on May 27, where he scored a 3-length victory. “He just destroys these Paints,” said rider G.R. Carter. “He’s run some races that it would take one of those champion Quarter Horses to beat him.”
Carter, a six-time AQHA champion jockey, marveled at the 15 straight wins. “The variables are against you,” he said. “In horse racing, you know something is bound to happen – that’s just the way it is. I don’t care what the competition is, this streak is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.”
Said Maddux: “I’ve had a lot of good horses and most of the time they’ll beat themselves sooner or later. But ‘The Grip’ has overcome adversity and still won. Believe it or not, he’s had a bad race or two. In the Speedhorse Derby, a horse stepped on his rear foot and pulled his shoe off and half of his foot with it. It knocked him around sideways and he still won by daylight.”
Nine of Got Country Grip’s 15 victories have come in stakes races and he has earnings of $247,500. “He does what he’s supposed to do,” said Maddux, who acquired the Country Quick Dash son as a weanling. “I was worried tonight because he’d been sick – he had a lung infection – and hadn’t run since May.
“We wanted to send him to Los Alamitos to race against Quarter Horses, but it got complicated and it wasn’t going to happen. We might have gotten him beat but that’s where the money is. It’s a shame to run a horse like this just three times a year; it’s not good for the horse. I guess we’ll take him back to Remington Park and try to break the big record (of Citation, Cigar and Hallowed Dreams). That’s our goal. We’ve had a lot of people try to buy him and pay a lot of money for him. But if anyone buys him, it’ll be a record price. We think a lot of this horse.”
In addition to his unbeaten record, Got Country Grip holds the Paint Horse world record for 350 (:17.23 on June 9, 2006 at Fair Meadows) and 400 (:19.55 on April 30, 2006 at Remington Park) yards.
Following the Olympia Joe victory, Carter dashed from the winner’s circle to catch a flight from Dallas to Southern California to ride to horses in Saturday night’s Z Wayne Griffin Directors trials at Los Alamitos in Cypress, CA. Both Quarter Horses are contending for berths in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on December 15.