Q-Racing Blog: KVN Superstar

Undefeated champion headed to The Mountain.

Quarter Racing Journal

Undefeated champion headed to The Mountain.

Keith Nelleson’s superstar KVN Corona is heading up to Ruidoso Downs from Los Alamitos and could be the final ingredient for a summer filled with incredible derbies.

The champion will face tough competition, but so far in his eight-race career, nothing has been able to stop him.

“We are planning on coming to Ruidoso, but I don’t know the plan as to when he will be shipped,” said trainer Paul Jones.

KVN Corona pushed his undefeated record to eight-for-eight after his one-half-length score in the $235,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby (G3) at Los Alamitos on March 31. He started as the 8-5 favorite from the fourth post position and was brushed at the start. He powered to the lead and raced to his odds in the final 100 yards of the 400-yard test. He showed his grit and class while putting up another win in a professional manner.

“He came out of the race really good,” Jones said a couple of days after the race. “He’s still resting and is good and happy.”

A son of Corona Cartel, KVN Corona is a pro who just wins races. Two of his wins have been by a nose and two other victories have been by a head. He has also won his PCQHRA Futurity trial by 2 1/4 lengths. He gets the job done with a champion’s tenacity.

“He’s just a really nice horse,” Jones said. “He does his job. He’s good in the gate, runs well and wants to get to the front. He has that will to win. He has a good brain.”

Now comes Ruidoso.

The first order of matter is the Ruidoso Derby trials on May 27, the Sunday of opening weekend.

“I don’t know if we’ll run in all three (Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American) derbies. We’ll see how it goes,” Jones said. KVN Corona would need to been supplemented to each derby.

“It was the owner’s idea (to race at Ruidoso Downs),” Jones continued. “He wants to support the new owners of the track. They are making an attempt to improve the racing. Also, that’s where the money is.”

The Ruidoso Derby and the Rainbow Derby are currently estimated to carry $750,000 purses, while the All American Derby has a $1 million estimated purse. There is a new $1 million bonus to the connections of any horse that can win all three derbies.

KVN Corona earned his 2017 champion 2-year-old colt title after defeating champion 2-year-old J Fire Up by a head in the $960,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and then winning the $382,000 PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2) by a head. He fought and won when the money was on the line.

The undefeated colt now shoots for more money on the mountain.

“I think he’ll do well,” Jones said. “Good horses can run anywhere.”

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.