Coronado Cartel Takes Remington Futurity

Oklahoma-breds run for more than $1 million in purses on Saturday.

April 21, 2013

The $720,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity (R) came down to the finish line in every sense of the term. Houdini used a quick start to lead every step except the last one of 330 yards as Coronado Cartel caught the would-be escape artist to win in the last head-bob by a nose.

Owned by Reliance Ranches of Llano, Texas, and trained by Eddie Willis, Coronado Cartel was ridden by Jimmy Brooks. The big colt chased Houdini throughout the rich futurity for state-breds, making up a length to snatch victory away from his rival.

“My horse left there but Houdini, he left there exceptionally well. I was playing catch up the whole way. We were inching to him,” Brooks noted afterward. “I didn’t know if we got him or not… I thought I did but it was close.”

The photo-finish image revealed Coronado Cartel scoring by a slim nose margin with Houdini narrowly defeated. Ellen’s Regard was a neck back of the runner-up in third.

Remaining undefeated through three starts this season, Coronado Cartel stopped the clock in :16.755 over a fast track.

The heavy-wagering favorite at 2-5 odds, Coronado Cartel paid $2.80 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. Houdini returned $7.40 to place and $4.80 to show. Ellen’s Regard paid $3.40 to show.

This was the first Remington Park Futurity win for Reliance Ranches. Trainer Eddie Willis has now won the race three times, adding this win to those of Outdashing (2002) and Redman Running (2003). Brooks rode his second winner in the race as he also scored aboard Flying Dino in 1998.

Coronado Cartel is a colt by Corona Cartel from the Mr Jess Perry mare First Carolina. He was bred in Oklahoma by Weetona Stanley and William Smith, a partnership of Madill, Oklahoma. The winner’s check for the Remington Park Futurity is $288,000, boosting the overall earnings for Coronado Cartel to $309,428.

The Remington Park Futurity is the richest state-bred futurity in American Quarter Horse racing.

Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby
Brace For Bernal extended his winning streak to four consecutive races while recording the biggest victory of his 12- race career in winning the $252,700 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby (R).

With an emphatic win in his trial race, the fastest qualifier was bet down to be the 2-5 favorite. After a sluggish beginning, Brace For Bernal needed to make up at least a length to get to the leader Feature Hero.

“I knew I had a horse who was big and strong and could finish. We got to the wire first and won,” said winning jockey Paul Nieto.

The 3-year-old colt by Furyofthewind made a steady advance to not only make the lead but then kick clear to win by one length. Trainer Luis Villafranco won the Bob Moore Memorial Stakes earlier in the night (with Wicked Courage) and his win in the Remington Park Derby earned Villafranco his sixth stakes win of the 2013 Quarter Horse racing season.

“He’s always been a little slow leaving the gates. I thought if he got a little room he would win it,” said Villafranco.

Winning owner Noel Prieto said, “The horse has really improved a lot. I want to say thank you to all the boys at Luis’ (Villafranco’s) farm, there’s a lot of people behind this horse.”

Brace For Bernal covered the 400 yards in :19.602 and paid $2.80 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.10 to show. Feature Hero was the second choice at 4-1 and paid $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show. Eye A Spit Curl Girl finished third at 22-1 to pay $5.40 to show.

Brace For Bernal is from the Shazoom mare Zoom Bracer and was bred in Oklahoma by Joaquin Lopez. The colt won his sixth career race from a dozen starts and his third win at Remington Park, all this season. The derby was worth $102,139 to Brace For Bernal, moving his overall money to $192,730.

This was the first Remington Park Derby win for all of the connections of Brace For Bernal.

Bob Moore Memorial Stakes
Wicked Courage found a little more than his rivals in order to surge forward in the final yards to win the Grade 2, $51,000 Bob Moore Memorial Stakes by a neck.

Owned by Andrew Smith of Ardmore, Oklahoma, and trained by Luis Villafranco, Wicked Courage was ridden by Cody Jensen, who was thrilled with the way the gelding performed in his first 2013 attempt, albeit a shorter one than he may prefer.

“He is a real big finisher. This year, he’s showing me he’s got a little more quickness away from the gate. I thought 300 yards would be a little short for him but he was really finishing out there tonight,” Jensen noted. “It was an awfully quick time so I’m pretty proud of him. I look for him as more of a quarter-mile horse.”

Wicked Courage was finding his best stride late in the Bob Moore Memorial as was Black Rosalita, who was starting to pick up power the longer the event lasted in running second. Llano Cartel was the early leader at the rail but could not hold on, settling for third only a head behind the top pair. Wicked Courage finished 300 yards in :15.236.

Wicked Courage was the 2-1 wagering favorite and paid $6.20 to win, $3 to place and $2.40 to show. Black Rosalita paid $3.80 to place and $3.20 to show. Llano Cartel returned $4.80 to show.

The win was the fifth from 10 career starts for Wicked Courage and his first in three attempts at Remington Park. The gelding by Captain Courage from the Dash For Cash mare Wicked Pamela was bred in Texas by Burnett Ranches. He picked up $29,730 for the score to run his lifetime total to $245,676.

Wicked Courage gave Smith his first win as an owner and Jensen his first riding win in the Bob Moore Memorial. Villafranco has now won the event twice, adding to his score with Duck Mea Running in 2008.

The Bob Moore Memorial is named in honor of the legendary owner and breeder who founded Bob Moore Farms in Norman, Oklahoma, while campaigning numerous stakes winners in a long and illustrious career. Just a few of his champions included: Mr Jet Moore, the first winner of the prestigious Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in 1972 and world champion the same year; Rare Form, 1992 champion 3-year-old, and Dashing Perfection, 1997 champion 3-year-old.

Laico Bird Stakes
Oklahoma-bred 2-year-olds had another stakes opportunity on the undercard of the Remington Park Futurity in the $52,250 Laico Bird Stakes (R). Pronto Alex moved up consistently throughout the 330 yards to win by a half-length over Cartel Chica.

Owned by Abel Flores of San Antonio and trained by Eddie Willis, Pronto Alex was ridden by David Pinon. The gelding crossed the finish in :16.839 to win his first career race, breaking his maiden status in a stakes event.

Pronto Alex was 4-1 in the wagering and paid $10.20 to win, $3.60 to place and $3.20 to show. Cartel Chica paid $9.20 to place and $5 to show. Reckless Red Hen was third and paid $5.40 to show. Sassy Spit Curl was the beaten 3-2 wagering favorite, finishing fifth.

Bred in Oklahoma by Flores, Pronto Alex is by Inseperable from the Corona Cartel mare Cindys First CD. The first-place check of $30,634 moves his lifetime earnings for three races to $36,248.

The Laico Bird is named after the Oklahoma-bred filly who won the 1967 All American Futurity and the world champion honors in the same year. Jimmy Jones of Norman, Oklahoma, trained Laico Bird and presented the trophy to the connections of Pronto Alex.

Pronto Alex gave his owner and jockey their first win in the Laico Bird. Villafranco won his second Laico Bird Stakes, adding to his triumph in 2011 with Margaretaville.