Trainer Dee Keener sounded apologetic, but that doesn't mean he also wasn't completely thrilled.
Keener's 4-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding Bust N Moves upset Got Country Grip by a head in the Mr. Lewie Memorial Handicap at Remington Park on Saturday night, ending his rival's bid for a record-setting 17th straight win.
Keener realized that most people who came to Remington Park did so to see a historic victory, not to see his horse win.
"Got Country Grip is a heck of a horse, a super horse, an awesome horse," Keener said. "I just hate it that we had to beat him. I wish he had broke the record. I sure do. But that's horse racing."
Got Country Grip went off at 1-9 odds in the four-horse field and led halfway through, but Bust N Moves, under jockey Adalberto Candanosa, kept coming, passed Got Country Grip and held off his rival by a head in the 400-yard race on a fast track.
"It had to happen sooner or later," said Got Country Grip's owner, Jimmy Maddux of Weatherford, Texas. "That's a nice horse that beat us."
Maddux's 5-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding, ridden by G.R. Carter and trained by Brandon Parum, was seeking to set the modern North American record for consecutive wins by a racehorse with a saddled jockey.
Got Country Grip remained tied with four thoroughbreds _ including racing greats Citation and Cigar _ with 16 straight victories.
In his record-tying 16th straight win three weeks earlier, Got Country Grip beat Bust N Moves by three-quarters of a length in a 350-yard race. But Keener said he thought his horse might be able to upset Got Country Grip at a longer distance.
Carter said he'd ridden Bust N Moves before and knew the horse had a "big kick at the end," so he kept pressure on Got Country Grip, to no avail.
"He got outrun," Carter said. "You saw it just like it happened. He stumbled just a little bit but he opened up and got the lead. Give the other horse all the credit. He was coming out running. I had him beat and he beat me down the racetrack."
Carter said he enjoyed having a small part in horse racing history, but "it don't take the sting out of getting beat in the big one."
Bust N Moves, off at 7-2 odds, finished the $29,250 race in 19.995 seconds. He carried 120 pounds, 10 less than Got Country Grip, who carried the most weight among the four-horse field.
Tisa Arrow C finished third, with Wheels Quick Flash fourth. A fifth horse that had been entered in the race, Blue Oyster Cult, was scratched.
An ownership group from Inola that calls itself Cowboys and Indians owns Bust N Moves and received the winning purse of $17,500. Bust N Moves has $160,913 in earnings and is 10-for-18 lifetime.
Got Country Grip, now 16-for-17 lifetime, won $6,500 for Maddux, raising the horse's career earnings to 264,078, tops among paint horses.
Bust N Moves paid $8.80 and $2.10, while Got Country Grip paid $2.10. There was no show wagering.
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