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Jess Good Wine Wins Horse Of The Meeting, Captures Two Other Categories For Remington Park Season
Jess Good Wine (3), shown winning the $100,000 Dee Raper Sooner State Stakes on April 29, was voted the Horse of the Meeting for the recently completed 2024 Remington Park American Quarter Horse Season.

Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park
Jess Good Wine Wins Horse Of The Meeting, Captures Two Other Categories For Remington Park Season

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK–JUNE 5, 2024–The battle for Horse of the Meeting came down to two horses that had gone three-for-three in their 2024 Remington Park campaigns. In the end, voters opted for the older seasoned horse in Jess Good Wine as the winner over Heritage Place Futurity winner Kempton.

Kempton, a 2-year-old son of Kiss My Hocks, may have won the richest race in the state of Oklahoma in the Grade 1, $1,081,820 Heritage Place Futurity, but Jess Good Wine trumped that by winning the top race for older American Quarter Horses in the state – the Grade 1, $256,400 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship - and two other stakes races during the meet. Jess Good Wine, a 4-year-old gelding by Good Reason SA, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Mr Perrys Wine, earlier in the season won the Sooner State Stakes and the Mr Jet Moore Stakes, both for Oklahoma-breds.

Kempton’s other two trips to the winner’s circle came in futurity trial races.

Jess Good Wine, trained by Toby Keeton and ridden by Bryan Candanosa, sealed the deal by beating a field in the Debbie Schauf that included the Champion of Champions winner from 2023 – Flash Bak. Had Jess Good Wine lost to that champion, he might not have been Horse of the Meeting and that nearly happened.

Flash Bak broke poorly in the Debbie Schauf and was gobbling up ground on the front-running Jess Good Wine with every stride in the 440-yard classic distance race. When the two hit the wire, Jess Good Wine was still in front by a head. Little did the connections know that the Horse of the Meeting voted depended on that head.

Jess Good Wine is owned by Guns Up Racing of Lubbock, Texas. Jess Good Wine improved to 17 starts, nine wins, five seconds and one third for earnings of $579,413. The amazing success story doesn’t end with this gelding there. The most incredible note about Jess Good Wine may be that he was a purchased for a mere $35,000 at the Heritage Place Mixed Sale in 2021.

Jess Good Wine was bred in Oklahoma by Flag Ranch. He was also voted the season’s top Older Male and top Oklahoma-bred.

Kempton – Champion 2-Year-Old
It was a tough loss in the Horse of the Meeting vote for this colt, but there was no doubt that he was the top juvenile Quarter Horse on the grounds after winning the Heritage Place Futurity and two trial races. The champion in this category was one of a couple of meet champions who were near-unanimous winners in the voting. The colt, owned by Mario Lozano-Cantu of Mission, Texas, remained undefeated after three starts with earnings of $468,986 in his short career. Jockey James Flores gave trainer James “JJ” Gonzalez III a third consecutive win aboard Kempton and said he may be the best horse he has ever ridden. That’s saying a lot for this 2-year-old, considering Flores has been aboard two All American Futurity winners, the top race in the country for juvenile Quarter Horses every year. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kempton at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico this summer, trying to give Flores a third score in the All American.

Kempton was bred in Texas by Tyler Graham and Namgis QHs.

RJ Having Fun – Champion 3-Year-Old Male
This 3-year-old gray gelded son of PYC Fun N Fancy, out of the This Snow is Royal mare Snow Clouds, was another near-unanimous choice in his category. He won the Grade 1 (restricted), $169,000 Remington Park Derby and the Grade 3 (restricted) Jack Brooks Stakes against Oklahoma-bred company in both races. His only losses came in his Derby trial and against tough allowance horses. He was, however, the only horse on the ballot in his category with more than one win at the meet. RJ Having Fun is owned and trained by Keeton and was ridden to his victories by Juan Pulido. The gelding has now won 6-of-11 starts and bankrolled $362,536. Keeton purchased him for $40,000 at the Heritage Place September Yearling Sale in 2022.

RJ Having Fun was bred in Oklahoma by Rito Sosa.

Deep Blue – Champion 3-Year-Old Female

Another near-unanimous vote in her category, this 3-year-old filly by A Revenant, out of the Corona Cartel mare Blues Girl Too, went three-for-three at this meet, winning the Grade 2, $296,940 Heritage Place Oaks, her Oaks trial and a tough allowance race. She figured to be one of the top horses at the meet after running second, beaten less than a length as a 2-year-old, to San Lencho in the $1.2 million Heritage Place Futurity last year. This filly is owned by RDS Legacy Racing of Manchester, Iowa, trained by John Stinebaugh and was ridden to victory in the Oaks by Ali Rivera. Her record stands at eight starts, five wins and two seconds for a bankroll of $370,359.

Deep Blue was bred in Oklahoma by Lucky Seven Ranch.

Relentless Diamond – Champion Older Female

This 4-year-old mare by Hes Relentless, out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare PYC Diamond, was the sole unanimous winner in her category after riding a three-race win streak at Remington Park moving into the Grade 1, $100,000 Junos Request as the morning-line favorite. She finished third in that stakes to 3-year-old filly Flying Sophia, who was not eligible for this category because of her age.

Relentless Diamond opened the meet with two wins in allowance company before stepping it up to stakes fillies and mares in the Grade 2, $75,000 Easy Date Stakes. She won that race for owner Double G Ranch of Tulsa, Okla., trainer Guillermo Valdivia and jockey James Flores. Her lifetime running line is 18 starts, six wins and three thirds for $176,073 earned.

Relentless Diamond was bred in Oklahoma by Monty McNair.

O Donovan Rossa – Champion Distance Runner
This 6-year-old gelded son of Apollitical Jess, from the Country Chicks Man mare Shanachee, won two-of-three stakes races at the meet at 870 yards – the AQHA Remington Park Distance Challenge and the Pauls Valley Stakes. His only setback came on closing night in the Remington Park Distance Championship to Markus Aurelius. Those that thought that might trump O Donovan Rossa’s other two hook stakes wins need to consider that the two horses split wins at 870 during the meet, and O Donovan Rossa won two stakes where Markus Aurelius only one.

O Donovan Ross is owned by Kelly Yother Equine of Culver City, Calif., trained by Dee Keener, and was ridden to his victories this meet by Roman Cruz. The gelding’s career marks are now 37 starts, 12 wins, seven seconds and four thirds for a bankroll of $330,505. He is 8-of-13 at 870 yards.

O Donovan Rossa was bred in Oklahoma by J. Garvan Kelly.

Kool Man Kenny – Champion Claimer

This 6-year-old gelding by Kool Wagon, out of the Streak and Dash mare Special High Fashion, was the winner in a very contentious category. Several horses had multiple votes in the claiming division.

Kool Man Kenny won two 870-yard races in a row by daylight, once by four lengths against claiming $20,000 company and then by two lengths against a strong starter allowance field. Owned and trained by Gerardo Martinez-Linares of Garden City, Mo., this hook horse finished the meet winning those two and running second in another for jockey James Flores. His career record by the end of the meet was 30 starts, six wins, six seconds and six thirds for $94,774 in earnings.

A gelding by Kool Wagon from the Streak And Dash broodmare Special High Fashion was bred in Oklahoma by Marion Gifford.

Livewires Turnpike – Champion Paint

This category came down to the wire as well with the winner of the Paul Harber Memorial Stakes and Mister Lewie Memorial Stakes prevailing of some tough competition. The key stat for Livewires Turnpike may have been that he was two-for-two at the meet, both stakes wins, and beat a field in the Grade 1, $30,000 Mister Lewie Memorial that included stakes winners Wire Tap and Over the Shock.

Owned by Bryan Hawk of Shawnee, Okla., and trained by Matt Whitekiller, this 4-year-old gelded Paint by CRM Livewire, out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare Wagon On Turnpike, was ridden to victory by Francisco Calderon in both stakes wins. Livewires Turnpike now has a career running line of 17 starts, 12 wins, one second and two thirds for $231,132 in earnings, showing his determination to get that nose in front at the end.

Livewires Turnpike was bred in Oklahoma by Nolan Pevehouse.

R Cowgirl – Champion Appaloosa

The final near-unanimous vote came for this 3-year-old Appaloosa by Flying Cowboy 123 (QH), out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon (QH) mare Paint This Kitty. She only raced once at Remington Park this meet, but she was the impressive winner of the Grade 1, $35,000 Speedhorse Graham Stakes, beating stakes winners Wire Tap, Jess a Livewire, Jimmie Ray and Wired Red Head in the process.

Owned by Jeff Adams of Durant, Okla., R Cowgirl pushed her career record to seven wins from eight starts and one third for a bankroll of $188,023. Her only loss came in futurity trials at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Texas, as the 7-5 wagering favorite in November last year.

R Cowgirl is trained by Dee Keener and was ridden to her victory at Remington Park by James Flores. She was bred in Oklahoma by her owner.

Remington Park has provided more than $349 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 presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. The 2024 Thoroughbred Season will begin on August 16. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.