First Black Corona Takes Fort Pierre Bonus Challenge

Oklahoma-bred takes South Dakota race in track record time.
April 28, 2013

Jaime Martinez' First Black Corona set a new track record on Saturday at Fort Pierre in South Dakota as his easily won the $11,160 Fort Pierre Bonus Challenge Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths. The Bonus Challenge presented by Markel gives Bank of America Challenge-enrolled horses extra racing opportunities around the U.S. and Canada.

Under jockey Jesus Peralta, the 5-year-old Corona Cartel gelding completed the 250-yard course in a quick :13.178, a 107 speed index. The previous record of :13.241 was set May 3, 2009, by Proud Royal Shakem.

Also trained by Martinez, First Black Corona pocketed the $5,357 winner's purse to boost his career total to $24.071. Saturday's race was his first since winning a $6,500 maiden claiming race at Zia Park on November 11, 2012. Bred in Oklahoma by Michael Pohl from the Heza Fast Man mare First Black Rose, First Black Corona is 2-3-3 in 15 career starts.

Ivory Celebration, owned and trained by Robert Johnson, finished 1 ½ lengths in front of Eye Fly Bye for second. J. Buchanan, Eller III and S. Pitman bred the Ivory James gelding in Texas out of Feefee Celebration by Takin On The Cash. Clyde Smith had the riding assignment.

Johnson also saddled Eye Fly Bye, a 4-year-old Fly Jess Fly gelding, for owner Dean Lemburg. Lemburg and Donna Bylander bred the sorrel in South Dakota from the Mr Eye Opener mare Miss Social Eyes.

Completing the Bonus Challenge field were Icon Zoom, Struttin High, Chicks Skidoo, Proud Kinda Effort and Slick Little Beduino.