SMITHWORKS, AN ORPHAN, REMAINS UNDEFEATED AFTER TWO STARTS, TAKING GRADE 1, $198,100 OKLAHOMA PAINT & APPALOOSA FUTURITY
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – March 21, 2021 – Smithworks, a son of three-time World Champion Paint, Painted Turnpike, is looking a lot like his daddy every time he comes to the racetrack.
Smithworks, a 2-year-old sorrel Paint colt by Painted Turnpike, out of the Mighty Invictus (QH) mare Shesa Mighty Chick, won the Grade 1, $198,100 Oklahoma Paint & Appaloosa Futurity on Saturday night, the richest this race has been since it has been at Remington Park. He is now two-for-two in his career, winning the fastest trial for this race on March 7. The Paint colt also won his training race on Feb. 24 at Remington Park. When the wire hits, his nose is always on it first. He has done all this despite being orphaned at birth.
“He was so big when he was being foaled that we had to get him out of there and we lost the mare in the process,” said trainer Matt Whitekiller, who conditions him for owner Bryan Hawk of Shawnee, Okla. “He was foaled on a Saturday and that Sunday (former jockey) Debbie Freeman took him to her place (in Sallisaw, Okla.) and got him a nurse mare. She practically raised him. He doesn’t act like he even knows he is an orphan.”
Francisco Calderon rode to victory for Whitekiller, who moved one more win closer to Dee Keener, the all-time leading Paint trainer in the sport. Keener, in late 2020 finally passed the late, great Lewis Wartchow, who had held that position for years with 321 wins. Keener now has 326 and Whitekiller moved to 323 with the Smithworks’ win. Both Keener and Whitekiller have made more than 2,000 starts with Paints in their careers while Wartchow finished with 1,485. This win was the fourth for Whitekiller in the Oklahoma Paint & Appaloosa Futurity and the first for Calderon and Hawk.
“There will only be one “King of Paints” in my eyes ever,” said Whitekiller of the race between him and Keener. “And that’s big Lew. He was like a daddy to me and a nicer man never walked the earth.”
Smithworks got his odd name in a fashion that would make Oklahomans proud.
“Last year there was a horse running named Codigo,” said Whitekiller. “That was the name of George Strait’s tequila. Well, I’m a Blake Shelton fan, so I named this one Smithworks after Blake’s vodka.”
Smithworks is certainly on fire like the 80-proof vodka and definitely has shown the same kind of talent that may put him in the same category with his sire Painted Turnpike. All his sire did was win 26 of 31 starts lifetime and is the all-time winningest Paint by money earned with $465,442.
“Oh, I don’t know about him being another Painted Turnpike,” said Whitekiller. “That’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax. There will never be another like that.”
Smithworks was sent off as the even-money betting favorite and hit the wire a half-length ahead of runner-up De Quick Capo (23-1), who was another neck in front of Turnpikes Judy (5-1). Smithworks’ winning time of :15.594 for the 300 yards over a fast track was worthy of an 83-speed index.
“He didn’t break too great tonight,” said Calderon, a multiple graded stakes-winning jockey with 23 such wins under his belt. “But when I tapped him about the third step, he went to running. He’s going to make a great story.”
Smithworks made $74,518 for his first stakes victory, pushing his 2-race career total to $77,848.
Live racing continues Sunday, March 21 with first post time of 6pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 165,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $258 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. The 2021 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through May 29. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.