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Stel My Corona Wins PCQHRA Futurity

Gelding by Stel Corona scores biggest win yet for Texas owner.

October 7, 2012

It was the dream of hitting it big with a yearling at the 2007 Los Alamitos Equine Sale named Barton County that brought Tony Doughtie of Huntsville, Texas, to California, but it was the purchase of another yearling filly at the sale that has kept him involved in the Golden State ever since.

Doughtie admired the pedigree of the filly Barton County, as she was sired by the promising young stallion A Regal Choice and came from the female family of Sweet Bye And Bye ($324,563), Dashin By ($305,250) and Sweet Adios ($60.023). He paid $58,000 for her and later he spent an additional $20,000 for a filly from Dan Lucas’ consignment named Ocean Express. Neither filly had much luck in racing with Barton County winning just once and Ocean Express suffering a serious knee injury when finishing ninth in her only career start.

“She suffered a slabbed fracture,” Doughtie said. “We didn’t want to transport her out of state in her physical condition so we left her at Burns Ranch to breed. The staff at Burns Ranch was great in helping me guide my way through their stallions. We ended up settling with Stel Corona (a stallion by Corona Cartel) because anything out of Ocean Express’ mother sired by Corona Cartel turned out to be a runner.”

The result of breeding was Stel My Corona, a looker that trainer Paul Jones advised Doughtie not to sell when his time came to go through the ring at the 2011 Los Alamitos Equine Sale. For Doughtie and Jones, it turned out to be a wise and profitable move. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Stel My Corona repaid Doughtie for his investment in California racing by winning the $392,000 PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2) by a half-length on Saturday night. Sent off at 12-1 odds from post seven, Stel My Corona led from start to finish on the way to earning $160,440. The gelding covered the 350-yard distance in :17.498 while picking up his second victory in six starts. All smiles and holding the trophy for the Breeders’ Futurity, Doughtie was in the winner’s circle with his wife, Molly.

“We’ve won some derbies and were fortunate to run second in the Sam Houston Futurity and qualify to the Heritage Place Million Futurity with Thequeenhasgonenuts, but this is it as far as our biggest win is concerned,” he said.

And it almost never happened.

“Tony had him in the sale last year when he asked me to go take a look at him,” Jones said. “I went to see him and I told Tony, ‘I love him! Don’t sell him.’ He bought him back for $11,000. Tonight in the paddock is the first time he’s ever seen Stel My Corona in person. He’s a good looking little horse. He started out racing as a colt, but we gelded him and that’s helped him a lot. He just wasn’t paying attention and we thought that this would make him a better racehorse. As the season went on we knew that he was a nice little horse, but we didn’t know if he was a good horse. He had to run the race of his life just to finish second to Far Niente in the trials to the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity so I didn’t know if he could beat these horses in the final. He stepped up to the plate and ran the second race of his life in the final to tell us ‘I’m a good horse.’”

Stel My Corona will now rest and wait until the trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) in late November. After watching him perform in this race, his connections will be excited about his chances at 400 yards.

“As far as the million-dollar races, Paul knew that he was only eligible to the Two Million Futurity,” Doughtie added. “Paul said that it would give him more time to groom the horse. He was able to take his time and it worked.”

Doughtie operates a private company that concentrates in underground wiring and cable laying constructions. He decided to get involved in horse racing six years ago and has since seen his operation grow to 15 runners and another 15 broodmares. Stel My Corona is the only racehorse he campaigns in California and he also races horses in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana. And of course, Ocean Express is still California as well.

The young broodmare is part of the great family of In The Curl that includes Runaway Wave, First Down N Surfin, Harbor Beach and Ocean Memories. Ocean Memories is the mother of Ocean Cartel, who made nearly $200,000 while winning the El Primero Del Ano Derby (G2), running third in the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity (G1) and qualifying to several other major races. Ocean Memories is also the dam of Corona Memory, who ran third in the Congress Futurity, and Mimi Cartel, who ran third in the Ed Burke Million Futurity. Ocean Cartel, Corona Memory and Mimi Cartel were all sired by Corona Cartel.

Trained by Joe Bassett for JR Stables, JR Dynasty Mountain earned $64,940 for running a game second throughout. Vessels Stallion Farm and Tom Atwood’s Far Niente earned $45,840 for finishing third while Blistering Speed pocketed $26,740 for running fourth. Tahma Hawk Chop, Slightys Mac A Tac, Joy Roses Eagle SA, Fireworks, Significant Heart and Blackberry Czech completed the field.

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Mimi Wells’ Forrest Fire picked up his second stakes win of the season after outfinishing Significant Cartel by a neck in the $17,000 Whosleavingwho Handicap at 350 yards on Saturday. Trained by Dan Francisco and ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Forrest Fire was fourth at the start before making up nearly a length for his sixth win in 36 starts. Forrest Fire earned $9,350 to take his career earnings to $298,370. Significant Cartel earned $3,825. Cash Him Out, Ronsepi, De Moss and Costly Man completed the field.