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Flashthechicks had "that winning look" in
the G1 Graham Paint & Appaloosa Futurity

FORT WORTH, Texas— The $246,242 Grade 1 Graham Paint and Appaloosa Futurity is the most lucrative race of the year for Paints and Appaloosas at the Oklahoma City-based Remington Park. Flashthechicks won the race by a close margin, but has been a tough contender all year long. He ran the 350-yard race in 17.78 seconds and earned $93,576 for the win to make him the 2011 top money-earning Paint racehorse.

Race Photo
Flashthechicks wins the Graham Paint and Appaloosa Futurity by a close margin. Photo credit: Dustin Orona Photography.
Hirez JPEG File Hirez JPEG (2.2 mb)

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Kita Wheeler

Owned and bred by Shirley Wheeler of Boynton, Okla., Flashthechicks is a sorrel solid Paint-bred gelding sired by Royal Quick Flash and out of Game Chicken, by Game Patriot AQHA. His lifetime earnings are now $147,089. Flashthechicks was trained by Luis Villa Franco and ridden by Ricky Ramirez.

"We have thoroughly been blessed with this horse. When you have a win like this it’s very special," said owner Shirley Wheeler. "We knew he was special from the beginning. When he was born we had four or five colts that year and he was just a good-looking, aggressive, muscular colt. I’ve heard it from other horse people that a horse will have "that look" and I wasn’t sure what they were talking about until this horse came along."

"It was a really close race and our jockey, Ricky Ramirez, did an excellent job in the race," said Wheeler. "We watched it again on the computer when we got home. He has ridden Flash in all of his races."

"My friends and family were there along with us for the race. My 93-year-old mother even came out to watch "Flash" run. She was a little hesitant, but when Flash won she was doing a little jig with her cane in the win circle," said Wheeler. "I told the ladies I work with, ‘Ya’ll just don’t understand. This is like the Kentucky Derby for Paint racing."

"The Speedhorse Futurity is next. He needs a rest, so we will wait until then," explained Wheeler. "Our vet, Jill Mixer, even called us Sunday to let us know that despite being tired that he is sound and in good shape."

Runaway Argus finished second after dueling with Flashthechicks and Fly Shari Fly for the 350 yard race. The sorrel solid Paint-bred gelding ran the race in 17.79 seconds, and earned $41,861 to make his lifetime earnings $54,664. He was bred by James Skimbo of Wilburton, Okla., and is owned by Runaway Argus Partnership of Sallisaw, Okla., trained by Brian Muse and ridden by G.R. Carter, Jr. He is sired by Royal Quick Flash and out of Giddy Up, by Treasured Too.

Third across the wire was Fly Shari Fly, a sorrel solid Paint-bred mare by Fly Jess Fly AQHA and out of Western Memories. She crossed the wire with a time of 17.81 seconds, earning $27,086 for lifetime earnings of $38,776. She was bred and is owned by Neal Cox of Cache, Okla., trained by R. Hybsha and ridden by Larry Payne.

Other horses completing the race, along with times, include Mambo Quick Step (17.86 seconds), Two Timin Trixie (17.87 seconds), Forever Chrome (17.91 seconds), Bp Cartels Paint (17.95 seconds), Gotta Quick Grip (18.04 seconds), and Ivory Queen ApHC (18.29 seconds). Sunday Sputnik was scratched.

More about Paint Horse racing
Horse racing has long been one of America’s favorite spectator sports. With the recent growth of the Paint Horse breed, it’s no wonder that Paints have become one of the hottest tickets in the horse racing industry.

Since 1966, when APHA officially recognized the sport, Paint racing has made major strides forward. In that inaugural year, 17 starters ran for $1,290 in just two states—Texas and Oklahoma. In 2010, more than 500 starters competed in 429 APHA-recognized races for record purses totaling more than $4.1 million.

A total of 17 states now feature Paint racing, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Paint Horses also race in Canada.

For more information on Paint Horse racing, contact APHA’s racing department at (817) 222-6444, email, or visit