Saturday, March 03, 2012
Fifth-fastest qualifier First Corona Call, a homebred 5-year-old gelding racing for Richard R. Shearer of Portales, New Mexico, scored another victory against open company in Saturday's $99,826 West Texas Maturity (G2) at Sunland Park.
Saddled by Trey Wood and ridden by Ricky Ramirez, First Corona Call covered his 400-yard trip in :19.030 while defeating Zulu Dragon by a nose and missing by just 12/100ths of a second the stakes record set by Perrys Queen Bug three years ago. The New Mexico-bred gelding was sent to post as the 3-1 second choice in the field of 10, and he returned an $8.40 win mutuel while increasing his career earnings to $491,806.
First Corona Call's sire, Southern Corona, is a winning and stakes-placed 11-year-old son of the Holland Ease stallion Corona Cartel. In addition to First Corona Call, his top runners include Little Bit Southern, a 5-year-old mare who won last year's $110,000 Lou Wooten Handicap (RG2) at Sunland, and Little Southern Swing, the winner of the 2010 New Mexico Cup 870 Championship (R) at Zia Park.
Southern Corona is owned by Richard and Patricia Shearer, and he stands for a $2,000 fee at Dr. Leonard Blach's Buena Suerte Equine in Roswell, New Mexico.
First Corona Call is one of three starters foaled by Be A First Call, an 11-year-old daughter of Calligrapher and full sister to stakes winner A First Caller and Call Me First Fast, a mare who ran third behind Win Mir and AQHA champion Gotta Get in the 2004 Shue Fly Stakes (RG1) at Sunland Park.
First Corona Call's third dam, Mighty Reliezo, ran second in a futurity at Trinity Meadows in Weatherford, Texas, in '88.
Campaigned in New Mexico and Texas, First Corona Call has won seven of 20 races, and his stakes resume includes a second-place finish in the 2009 Zia Futurity (RG1) for New Mexico-breds at Ruidoso Downs. The gelding also ran second to AQHA champion Tempting Dash in the $445,185 Dash For Cash Futurity (RG1) at Lone Star Park in Texas, and third behind champion Runnning Brook Gal and Shesa First Ratify in the 440-yard, $1.9-million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso.
Zulu Dragon was sent to post at odds of 6-1 and completed a $2 exacta return of $58.60. Zoomin Express, a 26-1 longshot, ran third to round out a $487.40 ($1) trifecta.
First Down Master, the fastest qualifier and 19-10 favorite, finished third and was followed by The Steel Wave, The Rebel Cartel, Feature Mr Alliance, Rare Waves, Kuhl Little Man, and Source Of Speed.
Zulu Dragon is a 5-year-old stallion by First Down Dash racing for the 21 Partnership. Zulu Dragon has won five of 24 starts, including last year's 400-yard, $50,000 La Plata Stakes (G3) at SunRay Park in Farmington, and he has banked $127,954.
An Oklahoma-bred 5-year-old Azoom gelding owned and trained by Patrick Sanchez, has won two of 22 races, and the $10,981 third-place share of the West Texas Maturity purse pushed his earnings to $90,186. The one-time $15,000 claimer was a finalist in the 2010 Rocky Mountain Derby (G3) at Arapahoe Park near Denver.