Kvn Corona Wins Ed Burke Million Futurity

The Corona Cartel colt keeps his perfect record intact at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Kvn Corona earned his third win in as many outs in Sunday's $960,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Keith W. Nellesen's Kvn Corona kept his perfect record intact on Sunday, as the gray son of Corona Cartel sprinted to a wire-to-wire victory in Sunday's $960,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Paul Jones and sent to post as the 19-10 favorite, Kvn Corona covered 350 yards in :17.575, and his winning margin was a head from 21-1 longshot J Fire Up. The win was Kvn Corona's third in as many outs and pushed the colt's earnings to $409,250.

A native of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and a successful entrepreneur, Nellesen now lives in Utah. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University who has founded or co-founded several successful companies, including Vivint Inc., a solar and security company, and NUVI, a social media mining company.

Keith Nellesen, holding the Ed
Burke Million Futurity trophy,
purchased Kvn Corona for $140,000
at last year's Ruidoso Select
Yearling Sale. PHOTO: Los Alamitos

Nellesen, who purchased Kvn Corona for $140,000 at last year's Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, is a longtime horse lover who breeds runners under the banner of McColee Land & Livestock, LLC.

“(This is the) first one we’ve won,” said Nellesen referring to million dollar races. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. We made a decision long time ago to come race at Los Alamitos and try to race in these futurities. I bought him at the Ruidoso Sale, but we raised him since he was a baby. We thought he was a really good horse that could done some great things.

"You buy them and hope that they’ll be something special," he added. "Pretty much everyone felt this horse would be something special.”

Kvn Corona is named after Kyle Van Noy, an NFL linebacker with the 2017 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Van Noy played college football in Utah where he starred at Brigham Young University.

“He just got his Super Bowl ring I think about 10 days ago,” Nellesen said. “We were teasing him last night and telling him that hopefully we could get a ring tonight (for winning the Ed Burke Million), which we did. He’s like part of our family. We name our horses after different things, and we named him Kvn Corona when he was a just a little foal.”

McColee Land & Livestock consigned Kvn Corona to the Ruidoso Sale, but Nellesen could not let the colt go.

“We bring all of our horses to the sales to sell,” he said. “I really liked this horse for a long time. I’ve had other things that we could do with him if racing didn’t work. I set a limit. I had one bid left in me, and luckily we got him.”

From there, Kvn Corona went to Mike Joiner’s training center in New Mexico to begin preparing for his freshman campaign.

“We send all of our horses to Mike Joiner down in New Mexico to have him break and get them trained," Nellesen said. "We then decide where we are going to go. Mike really liked him a lot down there. We have him entered in everything.  He’s entered in all the Triple Crown races in Ruidoso and he’s in all the big futurities here too. Mike doesn’t train out here (Los Alamitos) so we sent them out to Paul here. We think (Los Alamitos) is the fairest place to run.”

Jones and Sanchez were celebrating their third win together in the Ed Burke Million, as the trainer-jockey combo also won the 2008 running with champion Foose and 2011 renewal with champion Separate Fire.

“I like the way Ramon rode him,” Jones said. “He just kept the horse picked up and let him do the running. He didn’t get all excited and go whipping and slashing. He let the horse run his race. Ramon knows the colt and knows how to ride him.”

Kvn Corona is out of Executive Looks, an 11-year-old daughter of Executive Menace who won the 2008 Manor Downs Futurity (G1) in Texas. The colt is a full brother to Big Lew, the third-place finisher in last year's Champion of Champions (G1).

Chance To Fire finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Kvn Corona. Apollitical Stone, fastest qualifier Platki, Sc Vapor Train, Sumokinintheboysroom, Remember To Dash, Indescribaly Blue, and Jess My Kiss completed the order of finish.

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