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Our First Corona Wins Sunland Derby

Corona Cartel gelding holds on for first career stakes victory.

December 29, 2012

Fastest qualifier and 5-2 favorite Our First Corona jumped out to an early half-length lead in Saturday’s $126,513 Sunland Park Winter Derby (G2) and then held on to win by a neck under jockey L. Salvador Martinez. The Arizona-bred gelding by Corona Cartel, who runs for breeders Robin and Kevin Allred, dashed 400 yards in :19.254 on a fast track against a 12 mph headwind. The winner is trained by Mike Joiner.

Our First Corona has spent his entire 11-race career in the state of New Mexico, where he broke his maiden at Zia Park one start after finishing second in the John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge. His 2-year-old campaign also included a fifth-place finish in the Sunland Park Winter Futurity (G2). The gelding was away from the races for nearly 10 months after that and returned with two off-the-board finishes at Zia before winning his Sunland trial with the fastest qualifying time. His record now stands at 11-4-3-1 with earnings of $112,147.

Valle Guadiana Corporation’s Tres Seis Nueve, who finished fourth in the Rainbow Derby (G1) and second in the Hobbs America Derby (G3), just missed out of the victory and took second. Jaime Dominguez’s Feature Mr Who, who also ran in the Rainbow Derby and finished third in the Hobbs America Derby, finished third again.