LARC NEWS Posted: 12/30/2018 1:00:35 AM

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              The final stakes race of the year at Los Alamitos, the $20,000 Holiday Handicap for 2-year-olds at 350-yards, went to Keith Nellesen’s promising juvenile Corona By Corona, as he raced beautifully from post number six on the way to a half-length victory on Saturday night.

Ridden for the first time by Carlos Huerta for trainer Paul Jones, Corona By Corona broke sharply and dueled early with Moon Me Blue and Purty Fancy Dude. He took control of the race after the first 150 yards and from there cruised to his third win in nine career starts. Tom Bradbury and Lila Kessinger’s Purty Fancy Dude finished second, while EG High Desert Farms’ Bail Czech, the longest shot on the board at 28-1 odds ran third.  

 Bred by Nellesen and Lance Robinson’s McColee Land & Livestock LLC, Corona By Corona covered the distance in :17.71 while winning at 10-1 odds. The gelding by Corona Cartel also earned $11,000 for the win to take his career bankroll to $26,265.

           “McColee Land & Livestock have a nice breeding program,” said Jones. “They have some of the best mares in the country and they’re breeding them to the right stallions. It shows in the races. They’re really doing well. Corona By Corona is a nice horse that people kind of overlooked. He had a really nice post. We’re happy he ran a nice race tonight. This is the first time Carlos Huerta has ridden him and he did a nice job. It was excellent ride.”

              For his career, Jones has now won 329 Quarter Horse stakes wins at Los Alamitos. He is the track’s a second all-time leading trainer that category, only behind Blane Schvaneveldt’s 387 stakes wins here.   Three of Jones’ stakes wins at Los Alamitos came with Nellesen’s KVN Corona. Recently retired to stud at Lazy E Ranch, KVN Corona was the first horse that Jones trained for Nellesen.  

           “That’s how it all started,” Jones said. “(Nellesen) had a really nice 2-year-old (he) wanted to send me and it was KVN Corona. That was our start. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

            At Los Alamitos, Jones trained KVN Corona to wins in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity, Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and Grade 3 El Primero Del Ano Derby.  Now it’s Corona By Corona’s turn to represented Nellesen and Jones in local stakes races.

             “This horse is in some derbies and I think he’ll get better and better,” Jones said. “He’s starting to do things right and becoming more professional. Hopefully we’ll have some fun with him.”

               Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for  trainer Mike Casselman, Purty Fancy Dude earned $4,500 for running second. Sired by Bradbury and Kessinger, the Corona Cartel gelding has finished in the top three in seven consecutive outings. Trained by Jesus Nunez and ridden by Alberto Zepeda, Bail Czech earned $2,500 for running third. Silver Jet Dash, Striver, Moon Me Blue, Bolt For Gold, Mommas Dynasty, and Singles Cruise completed the field.

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