Nachito Coronel quickest in Gordon Mobley Futurity Trials
There was little surprise on qualifiers for the Gordon Mobley Futurity trials Saturday, June 2. Four trials featuring 33 starters kicked off the first of six all-Quarter Horse racing nights at Indiana Grand and the heavy favorites were victorious in all four events.
Leading the charge as the fastest qualifier was in the final trial as Nachito Coronel continues to be impressive. The two-year-old son of Habits Secret started from the outside post eight and appeared to need a few steps to get his footing before getting in gear. Jockey Sergio Ramirez got Nachito Coronel up into contention for the top spot about halfway through the 300-yard dash before pulling away to an easy victory by one and three-quarter lengths in a time of :15.497 seconds. Famous Cucuy and Alejandro Luna held their own along the inside for second, just a neck ahead of Above the Brimm and Jose Beltran for third.
Owned by Patricia Del Rocio Lopez and bred and trained by Ricardo Martinez of Chicago, Nachito Coronel remains undefeated in two starts. The sorrel gelding will be the one of the favorites in the Mobley Futurity Final, slated for Saturday, June 16.
Joining Nachito Coronel as a most likely favorite in the final is the first trial winner Stoneburner from the Randy Smith Stable. The two-year-old son of Brimmstone made his presence known from the start in the center of the track and grinded his way down the track to a half-length win with Beltran aboard. The big, good-looking gelding stopped the timer in the second fastest time of the trials in :15.527 seconds. Abe and Aron Hunt finished second while Beach Denali and Cesar Esqueda rounded out the top three.
“This is a real smart horse (Stoneburner),” said Beltran, who is currently leading the Quarter Horse jockey standings this season. “When he gets in the gate, he knows what to do. And he’s so big, he has more chance out of the gate. Tonight there was some bumping and they didn’t bother him a bit. He’s so big he’s hard to push around.”
Stoneburner, a $10,500 yearling purchase from the Speed Sale last fall in Indiana, is owned by Gerald Keesling. He also remains undefeated in two outs for the Smith Stable heading into the $150,000 final.
“This is the second year we have had horses for Gerald (Keesling),” said Debbie Smith, Randy’s wife. “We have one other one for him too that will race a little later on. We met Gerald at the training center in Punta Gorda in Florida. He owns a construction company down there.”
Smith has been watching the progress of Stoneburner from day one. He felt with some patience, he would be a good addition to his 60-plus stable in Indiana.
“He (Stoneburner) showed a lot of promise early on,” said Smith. “We didn’t know if he would be quick strided or not since he’s so big, but he is turning into a racehorse.”
Smith will also saddle Above the Brimm in the final, who finished third in Nachito Coronel’s trial and is ranked eighth on the list of finalists.
Other trial winners included Eyem Yur Sixes from the Erin Thompson barn and Nacho Binez from the Martinez stable. Eyem Yur Sixes and Shanley Jackson also found an outside path en route to their trial win in :15.698 seconds while Nacho Binez and Ramirez got up in the last step to earn their trial win in: 15.907, unfortunately, not fast enough to qualify for the final.
Ramirez, a native of Mexico, had not ridden at a recognized racetrack since 2013 and received his license to ride Friday, June 1 at Indiana Grand. He rode one horse for Martinez, the talented older gelding Woop Dee Doo, to a win and was named on both of Martinez’s horses for Saturday’s all-Quarter Horse racing night, winning all three races. Martinez is also off to a quick start, winning five of his six starts for 2018 at Indiana Grand.
The entire list of qualifiers for the Mobley Futurity Final, with jockey and time, includes: Nachito Coronel (Sergio Ramirez, :15.497); Stoneburner (Jose Beltran, :15.527); Abe (Aron Hunt, :15.627); Eyem Yur Sixes (Shanley Jackson, :15.698); Famous Cucuy (Alejandro Luna, :15.781); Beach Denali (Cesar Esqueda, :15.789); Cruisin the Beach (Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, :15.805); Above the Brimm (Jose Beltran, :15.822); Dynastys Prim Rose (Gerardo Garrido, :15.829); and Rocket All Out (L. D. Martinez, :15.848). In addition to Smith, trainer Anthony Cunningham will saddle two for the final, Beach Denali and Cruisin the Beach.