Open Me a Corona leads all the way in the $1,000,000 LQHBA Breeders Futurity at Evangeline Downs
November 17, 2012
Contact: John McGary, Evangeline Down Racetrackk & Casino, John.McGary@evangelinedowns.com
(Opelousas, La.)–Open Me a Corona ($8.00) broke on top and never looked back en route to a clear-cut victory in the $1,000,000 LQHBA Breeders Futurity, a Restricted Grade I event for Louisiana Bred two-year-olds and the first ever million-dollar race for Quarter Horses in the state of Louisiana at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino on Saturday evening. Breaking from post position five in the nine-horse field, the son of Coronas Leaving You was the quickest away from the starting gate and was able to establish a clear lead in the first 150 yards which he never relinquished. The winning margin was ¾’s of a length and the running time for the 400 yards on a track labeled fast was 19.660 and the speed index figure was 102.
Winning jockey David Alvarez stated “He warmed up perfectly and never turned a hair despite the delayed start, he stayed focused and when the bell rang he blasted out, I hit him a few times left-handed in mid-stretch and he pulled clear and then I just hand-rode him to the wire.” For Alvarez, a 35-year-old native of Austin, TX this was far and away the biggest win of his ten-year riding career. A former leading rider in Texas at Sam Houston Race Track and the now shuttered Manor Downs, Alvarez is currently second in the rider standings behind five-time defending champion Alfonso Lujan at the fall meet.
Logans Mountain chased the winner the entire way and was able to nab the runner-up spot finishing just in front of Perrys Runaway. T Boy C, the fastest qualifier for this event and the betting choice of the public at odds of 2.50 to 1, was next across the finish line in 4th, followed by Heza Lucky Crown and Dashin Gage. Heza Fast Snow was 7th, with Cougar Hill and Special Fine Corona rounding out the complete order of finish. Bigtime Beau injured himself in the starting gate and was scratched by the Board of Stewards.
Owned by Charles Forbes Jr. and Tommy Hays, Open Me a Corona earned $445,000 from the record purse and is now a perfect three-for-three in his career. Trained by Bobby Martinez, he was bred in Louisiana by Natalie Montgomery DVM.
In the $40,000 Invitational Breeders Stake, the consolation for the LQHBA Breeders Futurity, Beer and Peanuts accelerated past Coltins Fast Dash and Lets Play Yacht Sea to post the victory under jockey G. R. Carter Jr. The Heath Taylor charge covered the 400 yards in 19.880 and earned $24,000 for the win, his second in five career starts for owner Lionel Zapata. As the third choice in the betting, he returned $9.60 to his backers. Jethro Almitey and Jcs Who checked in 4th and 5th respectively after
Also on the 10-race program Saturday evening was the Evd Derby for three-year-olds at the distance of 400 yards. As in past years the entry box was oversubscribed, necessitating the race being split into two divisions each worth $50,000 guaranteed with $30,000 to the winner. The first division went to Fast Prize Mike under jockey Jarrod Deschamp. Sent off the 2.60 to 1 favorite off a runner-up effort in the Dash for Cash Derby at Lone Star Park, Fast Prize Mike was an easy winner over Jumpn Beau Chick, Lil Jess Oak, Jessalittlecourage, and Disonecandash despite bearing out badly thru the final 200 yards. The Oklahoma bred covered the distance in 19.713 and earned a speed index figure of 101. In the second division, 11.50 to 1 outsider The Lizzard King was able to grab the early lead and pull off the upset under jockey John Hamilton. The Heath Taylor charge bested runner-up Coors Select by a neck in a time of 19.68. Painted Desires was next across the finish line in 3rd, followed by Sure Shot B and Tee Cos. The win was the fourth from seven starts this year for the Texas bred son of Valiant Hero. The gelding also earned a speed index figure of 101 and is owned by his breeder Brett Nennen.
Racing continues with a Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday schedule next week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday with a first post time of 5:40 p.m. Central Time each evening.
For more information contact Evangeline Downs at 337-594-3000.
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