15 straight wins – Got Country Grip sets new racing record
FORT WORTH, TX – Many have dubbed him the world’s fastest racehorse, but Got Country Grip now has a new claim to fame. The two-time World Champion Paint racehorse made his mark in history on Nov. 24, after winning his 15th consecutive race.
Got Country Grip, along with his owner Jimmy Maddux, trainer Brandon Parum, jockey G.R. Carter, Jr., and a large following of fans, waited patiently for the moment when the 4-year-old gelding would earn his 15th straight victory to surpass the Quarter Horse world record of consecutive wins held by Josie’s Bar, Destiny Drummer and Pies Royal Request. All three Quarter Horses won 14 consecutive races, but lost on their 15th trip. The long-awaited moment came during the Olympia Joe Handicap at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, TX.
“We were worried about this race because he has only had two outs this year and he was coming off a lung infection,” said Maddux. “The track was sloppy because of the rain and this was the record-breaking race, so I think there was a lot more apprehension than usual, but he showed us what we does best.”
The newest record holder, sired by Country Quick Dash and out of Got A Grip, finished with a 1 3/4-length lead over the next closest runner despite having somewhat of slow start, while posting a time of 19.90 seconds in the 400-yard race.
“G.R. never uses his whip on this horse,” said Maddux. “He didn’t seem to come out of the gate as fast as usual so G.R. tapped him on the shoulder once. It was like Grip figured out what he was here to do and he took off.”
Grip – as he is known as around the barn – earned $12,200 of the $20,000 purse, increasing his lifetime earnings to $247,500. The bay gelding is also the highest money-earning Paint racehorse.
During the race, Grip was followed by Appaloosas Jess Streakin (20.28 seconds) and CMB A Legacy (20.42 seconds). Horses completing the field included Keep Him, Peewees Pride, Skirt Chasin Kid (ApHC) and Elisa Star (ApHC).
Grip’s story begins long before he ever set hoof on the racetrack. When the now-champion Paint Horse was only a weanling, Jimmy Maddux of Weatherford, TX, acquired him in a trade. Although Maddux wasn’t sure about the trade, his trainer Brandon Parum saw something special in the snotty-nosed bay colt.
Maddux, who has been previously quoted as saying he attributes much of his success to Parum, trusted the champion trainer and success seemed to follow. Grip earned his first victory in a maiden race at Remington Park on April 10, 2005. The gelding continued to win six more races throughout his 2-year-old year, including the Graham Futurity at Lone Star Park where he earned $73,219. For his undefeated season, Grip was named 2-Year-Old Solid Paint-Bred Gelding, 2-Year-Old Solid Paint-Bred Champion and Solid Paint-Bred World Champion.
Got Country Grip’s earnings also helped Maddux to be named as Leading Owner, Parum as Leading Trainer and G.R. Carter, Jr. as leading jockey.
The following year, 2006, wasn’t any different for those associated with Grip. The wins continued to come as G.R. Carter, Jr., guided the bay gelding to five wins in as many starts. The crew’s highlight of 2006 was earning a speed index of 109 during the OHA Paint and Appaloosa Derby RG2 at Fair Meadows in Tulsa, OK. Grip earned the same champion honors as a 3-year-old as he did the prior year – 3-Year-Old Solid Paint-Bred Gelding, 3-Year-Old Solid Paint-Bred Champion and Solid Paint-Bred World Champion.
Grip’s wins again helped name Maddux as Leading Owner and Parum as Leading Trainer. He also attributed to Linda Fox’s Leading Breeder award.
Although “Team Grip” has continued their winning ways in 2007, this year proved more difficult. With limited races for Paint Horses over 3-years-old, Grip’s opportunities to race were slimmed down. But the biggest problem seemed to be getting enough horses entered to hold a race.
“No one wanted to race against him,” said Maddux. “We’d get him entered or word that we were going to enter him would get out and the horses would start dropping out of the races.”
Racing only three times this year and running in the seventh post each time, Grip proved he was still the dominate Paint on the track. His first two victories came April 21 and May 27 at Remington Park in the Mr. Lewie Memorial Handicap and National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Stakes, respectively. After a six-month layoff of racing, Grip earned his latest victory.
“It was a good feeling to win that one,” said Maddux.
The 2007 running champions have yet to be named, but according to the November/December 2007 issue of Paint Racing News, Got Country Grip is the leading Solid Paint-Bred Aged Gelding.
Now that Grip and his faithful crew – the gelding has stayed with the same trainer and been ridden by the same jockey his entire career – have reached their newest and possibly sweetest milestone, they have their sights set on the future.
“It’s time to go for the big one,” said Maddux, referring to the modern day Thoroughbred record of 16 straight victories held by Citation, Cigar and Hallowed Dreams.
Maddux says he has two races in mind for the gelding next year, and he will wait and see where to go from there. Grip’s crew hopes to give him as many opportunities as possible to run.
When asked about his record-setting Paint horse, Maddux replies, “He’s just a good horse. Oh my gosh, he’s just a good horse. That is what he loves to do – just run.”