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March 3, 2012
Richard Shearer’s homebred First Corona Call had amassed a bankroll of more than $440,000 prior to Saturday’s $99,826 West Texas Maturity (G2) at Sunland Park, but the 5-year-old gelding by Southern Corona had never posted a stakes victory. That changed after a 400-yard dash in :19.030 when First Corona Call nosed out Zulu Dragon at the wire to earn the victory under Ricky Ramirez as the 3-1 second choice.
The Trey Wood trainee came in as the fifth-fastest qualifier and although he lacked a stakes victory, the New Mexico-bred had plenty of stakes experience with a second in the 2009 Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) and a third in the All American Futurity (G1). This victory was worth $46,918 and boosted First Corona Call’s earnings to $491,806 with seven wins in 20 trips to the post.
First Corona Call, who is out of the Calligrapher mare Be A First Call, became the sixth stakes winner sired by the stakes-placed Corona Cartel stallion Southern Corona, who stands at Buena Suerte Equine in Roswell, New Mexico, as property of Richard and Patricia Shearer. This victory helped push Southern Corona’s progeny earnings over the $2-million mark.
21 Partnership’s Zulu Dragon, a 5-year-old son of First Down Dash who won last year’s La Plata Stakes (G2) at SunRay Park, put in a strong effort to finish a clear second. Patrick Sanchez’s Zoomin Express, a 26-1 longshot who was claimed for $15,000 nearly two years ago, took third. Fastest qualifier and 9-5 favorite First Down Master crossed the wire fourth.
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