Corona Cartel Colt Tops Ed Burke Million Qualifiers

Platki is the fastest qualifier to the June 18, $1-million final at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Pete and Evelyn Parrella own Platki, a homebred son of Corona Cartel and the fastest qualifier to the June 18, $1-million Ed Burke Million Futurity at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Platki, a homebred Corona Cartel colt racing for Pete and Evelyn Parrella's Legacy Ranch, is the fastest qualifier to the June 18, $1-million Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos.

On Sunday, Platki won the seventh of 12 350-yard trials by three-quarers of a length in :17.647. Jesus Rios Ayala rode the colt for trainer Terry Knight.

Platki has won both of his outs, including a 300-yard, $7,725 maiden-special-weight dash in his career debut on May 6. The colt, who was one of 99 juveniles to compete in the Ed Burke trials, is out of Tender Flyer, a 21-year-old daughter of Strawfly Special who won the 1999 Sooner Trailer Oklahoma Derby Challenge (G3) at Blue Ribbon Downs in Oklahoma, and he is a full brother to 2010 champion 2-year-old filly Flying Fig.

Terry Knight's father, the late Chay Knight, trained two-time world champion Kaweah Bar. He has won more than 900 Thoroughbred races, including the 1994 Hollywood Turf Cup (G1) at Hollywood Park with Frenchpark in 1994, and the '88 Matchmaker Stakes (G2) at Atlantic City Racecourse with Magdelaine.

“There’s been a lot going on at the ranch and this (win) is very important to us,” said Pete Parrella. “I’m really happy for Terry and for all the guys at the ranch that have worked so hard. Shaun and Anita Hadley they raised this horse, and I really want to thank them immensely for everything they’ve done for us. This is a great win for us and I just hope that the horse shows up in the final.”

“It’s exciting and so much fun, and when you have a great horse it's even more fun,” Evelyn Parrella added. “We have a lot of our friends here tonight, and we've enjoyed it with them."

“We sent Terry five Quarter Horses when he first started training here again after Denny (Ekins) retired," Pete Parrella said. "He didn’t have this horse for more than two or three weeks when he called me and said, ‘I just want to tell you something, I think you have something very, very special.’

"I said ‘How can you know that? You haven’t even worked him yet?’ He said ‘When you’ve been around as long as I have, you can tell the difference. He’s a tremendous horseman and we’re so happy that he’s part of the team. We hope that bigger and better things come as time goes on.”

Second-fastest qualifier KVN Corona, a Corona Cartel colt campaigned by Keith Nellesen of Mapleton, Utah, won the sixth heat by a half of a length in :17.657. Ramon Sanchez rode KVN Corona for trainer Paul Jones.

Keith Nellesen purchased KVN
Corona for $140,000 as last
year's Ruidoso Select Yearling
Sale in New Mexico. PHOTO: Los
Alamitos Racecourse

KVN Corona has also won both of his outs. The colt was bred in Utah by McColee Land and Livestock and is out of the mutliple graded stakes winning Executive Menace mare Executive Looks.

“I’m partners with Lance Robinson, and we started McColee Land & Livestock really as a breeder of Quarter Horses,” Nellesen said. “We love to go to the yearling sales and sell them. I actually personally bought KVN Corona and raised him. He’s a full brother to another horse that won the (2016 Los Alamitos) Super Derby named Big Lew.

"(Executive Looks) passed away last year, so he’s the last colt we had out of her so I decided I would try to buy him and got him and sent him to Paul," he added. "We’re really excited. He’s a really good horse.”

Nellesen has been a part of the Ed Burke Million Futurity as an owner before under the McColee Land & Livestock banner. Their runner, Budder Think Twice, finished fifth in the 2015 Ed Burke Million as part of a field that included eventual winner Walk Thru Crystal, that year’s AQHA champion filly.

"We’ve been high on (KVN Corona) for quite a while," Nellesen said. "We broke him in New Mexico with Mike Joiner. Mike was really high on this horse as well, but our plan was always to come with him to California.”

Ten different trainers -- Knight, Jones, Jose Flores, Juan Aleman, Dennis Givens, Chris O’Dell, Mike Casselman, Valentin Zamudio, Mike Robbins and Jaime Gomez -- will be represented by Ed Burke finalists.

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers. Click here for a complete list of finalists to the June 18, $30,000 Ed Burke Juvenile Invitational Stakes.

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