All American Owner Traylor Has Racing Luck

The first time's a charm for owner Doug Traylor.

By Amy Owens
Q-Racing Journal
August 29, 2012

Just wanna corona

Just Wanna Corona

Doug Traylor has raced American Quarter Horses for about five years and has been to Ruidoso Downs several times, but he had never started a horse in the trials to the All American Futurity (G1) until this year. That horse is Just Wanna Corona, a gelding by Stel Corona who was winless in two starts but had showed enough promise that Traylor paid $50,000 to supplement him to the August 16 trials.

Ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo, Just Wanna Corona won the ninth of 26 trials by 2 1/2 lengths in :21.286. The time made the gelding the fourth-fastest qualifier to the $2.4 million race on Labor Day.

“It hasn't really sunk in yet,” said Traylor, 34, a roofing contractor from Katy, Texas. “But as friends and family are starting to come to town and (I've been) talking to other trainers and owners (I realize that) being so young – and people have been doing this a long time – just getting a horse in the futurity (is a big deal).”

Traylor grew up in Buena Park, California, 20 minutes from Los Alamitos, and became a fan of American Quarter Horse racing as a youngster. His father, Owen Traylor, raced a few sprinters at Los Alamitos and Fairplex Park, and Doug knew he wanted to become an owner one day when he was financially able.

He bought his first two horses at a Texas Quarter Horse Association Yearling Sale, where he walked up to Judd Kearl, introduced himself and asked him to become his trainer. Traylor now has about 10 horses in training, including Dashin Gage, the fourth-fastest qualifier to the Louisiana QHBA Sales Futurity (RG1), and Bubba Carver, fifth in the TQHA Sale Futurity (RG2). Kenny Roberts trains for him in Louisiana.

Last year, Traylor purchased Just Wanna Corona for $22,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale from the consignment of Royal Vista Equine, agent for Vaughn and Jill Cook. Vaughn Cook bred the gelding in Oklahoma in partnership with three-time All American-winning trainer Paul Jones. Just Wanna Corona is a full brother to stakes winner Tortuga Tony, and his third dam is Grade 1 winner Shirley B Gayle.

“He was such a big horse and I thought he'd really like more ground and sure enough he does,” Traylor said.

Just Wanna Corona began his career for Kearl at Sam Houston Race Park, running second in a 350-yard maiden race on April 5, and was second in a trial to the 350-yard Heritage Place Futurity (G1) at Remington Park a month later.

Traylor was at his son's baseball game when he and Kearl discussed Just Wanna Corona's next race via text. Under consideration was sending Just Wanna Corona, who had been gelded after his second race, to Ruidoso Downs for a possible run at the All American.

“I said, 'Let's just send him out there and see what happens, see how he trains,'” Traylor said. With Kearl busy with his operation in Texas, he and Traylor sent Just Wanna Corona – and Kearl's assistant, Brad Mason – to trainer John Stinebaugh at Ruidoso.

“Our hopes were to give him an out over the track and then we were going to make our decision,” Traylor said. “When the time came to put him in a maiden race, all the maiden races were All American-preferred horses so we kept on getting kicked out. We worked him against one of John's horses and he worked pretty good so we decided to take the gamble.”

Traylor is looking for the gamble to pay off again.

“I guess we did get lucky – the first horse I ever ran out here made the big race,” he said. “I've been running it through my head quite a bit at night so I've had a few restless nights.”

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