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Open Me A Corona Wins LQHBA Futurity

Colt remains perfect with rich victory at Evangeline Downs.

November 17, 2012

Louisiana-breds competed for a seven-figure purse on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs, and Tommy Hays and Charles Forbes Jr.’s Open Me A Corona scored by a half-length to earn a first-place check for $445,000 in the $1 million LQHBA Breeders’ Futurity (RG1). David Alvarez rode the colt for trainer Bobby Martinez and traveled 400 yards in :19.660.

“This is my first million dollar race; I've won a million pesos before," said Martinez. "He hadn't had a race in six months, but ran well in his trial. It set him up perfectly for this. He's going to be a heck of a sire."

Open Me A Corona, who was bred by Natalie Montgomery, DVM, out of the Mr Eye Opener mare In The Open, broke his maiden at first asking in May in a trial to the Louisiana Breeders’ Laddie Futurity (RG2) at Delta Downs but scratched from the final. He returned to the races on October 26 and won his LQHBA trial with the second-fastest qualifying time.

"Tommy and I were fortunate enough to win a million-dollar race with Sure Shot B (in the Texas Classic Futurity),” said Forbes. “It's outstanding! We've had a lot of faith in this horse: he's run big both times he's raced (at Evangeline). He's a great gate horse and peaked tonight."

Open Me A Corona is one of three stakes winners in the first crop of Coronas Leaving You, a Corona Cartel stallion who won nine of 13 career starts including the Firecracker Futurity (G2).

Armando Rivera Fernandez’s Logans Mountain, a son of Panther Mountain who won the Louisiana Juvenile Stakes (R) and finished third in the Louisiana QHBA Futurity (RG1), earned $220,000 for taking second. Gerald Libersat’s homebred Perrys Runaway, a gelding by Sir Runaway Dash won came in with a three-race winning streak, crossed the wire third. Fastest qualifier and 5-2 favorite T Boy C was fourth.

The $40,000 LQHBA Invitational Breeders’ Stakes (R) went to Lionel Zapata’s Beer And Peanuts. G.R. Carter Jr. rode the son of Coronas Leaving You for trainer Heath Taylor. The gelding dashed 400 yards in :19.880. Beer And Peanuts, who was bred by Darrell Williams, also qualified to the Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) and has now banked $52,321 with a record of 5-2-2-0.

Coltins Fast Dash finished second and Lets Play Yacht Sea took third.

Also on the card, two divisions of the $50,000 Evangeline Downs Derby were contested. The first division went to Evelio Salazar’s Fast Prize Mike, who prevailed by a half-length with Jarrod Deschamp riding for trainer Javier Contreras. The Oklahoma-bred colt by PYC Paint Your Wagon stopped the timer at :19.713 for 400 yards.

Bred by Weetona Stanley, Fast Prize Mike picked up his first stakes win after coming close with a second-place effort in the Dash For Cash Derby (G2) at Lone Star Park. The colt has now won three of 12 starts with seven seconds and earnings of $102,231.

Francisco Garza’s Jumpn Beau Chick, winner of the TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby (RG3) at Retama Park, finished a game second with Lil Jess Oak in third for owner Gerald Libersat.

In the second division, Brett Mennen’s The Lizzard King scored an 11-1 upset under jockey John Hamilton. The Texas-bred gelding by Valiant Hero held on to win by a neck in :19.687 for trainer Heath Taylor.

This marked the fourth win of the year and fifth overall for The Lizzard King but his first stakes victory. His prior stakes experience includes a second in the Sam Houston Derby (G3) and a fourth in the Firecracker Futurity (G2). His career record now stands at 11-5-2-1 with earnings of $108,224.

Polly Coleman’s Coors Select, a two-time Louisiana-bred stakes winner, took second with Rudy Ivan Sierra’s Painted Desires in third.