Red Corona Warrior Leads John Deere Sam Houston Challenge Trials

First-time starter wins by daylight to post the fastest qualifying time.

Red Corona Warrior roared to a four-length victory in his first career start Thursday night on the way to the top qualifying mark for the John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park.

The 10 fastest qualifiers from the seven trial races contested will return to the Houston racetrack on Sunday, May 11, to vie for the winner's portion of a $25,000-added purse over 350 yards. The winner will also garner an invite to the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) on October 18 at Prairie Meadows.

Making his first career start, Red Corona Warrior took command immediately under jockey Saul Ramirez Jr., then drew away from the field to post the top qualifying mark of :17.850 into a 10 mph headwind. Conditioned by trainer Yasmine Fierro, the sorrel colt entered the trials off a bullet work at Retama Park on April 9.

A homebred for Terrazas Family, Red Corona Warrior is by second crop sire Coronas Fast Dash from the Dashin Is Easy mare Prairie War Princess.

Freakin Runaway cruised to a 1¾-length victory over Favorite Goodbye in the third trial for owner Michael Amburn. The first of two finalists saddled by Guy Hopkins, Freakin Runaway is a $30,000 Ruidoso Select Sale yearling sired by Ocean Runaway from the Streakin La Jolla mare Streakin Freakin. Juan Garcia Jr. rode the first-time starter to a :17.918 clocking to post the second-fastest time.

Jerry D. Chapman's homebred Million Dollar Kiss raced to her second win in three starts for trainer Vickie Lea McIlvain in the second trial. Alejando Medina rode the Jess Louisiana Blue filly to a 1½-length trial victory and the third fastest qualifying time of :17.963. The sorrel miss is out of the Stoli mare Stoli Kiss.

For the complete list of John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile finalists, times, sires, dams, owners, trainers and jockeys, CLICK HERE.

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