Corona Cartel and the Million Dollar Sires

Posted by Speedhorse on 04/26/2021

An interesting way to follow a breed’s history is through the sire lines of the prominent stallions in the breed. The sire line has come to represent an important part of the pedigree history and the genetic power of the stallions in the breed.

One of the ways to measure the success of a sire line is through the money that line has earned with each stallion in the line contributing to the success. Therefore, a goal for all stallions is to join the million-dollar list of money earning sires to become a part of the pedigree history and power of their sire line.  

We know that most of the stallions today trace in the sire line to the Darley Arabian through his great great grandson Eclipse. The prominent sires Three Bars and Top Deck trace to Eclipse and the Darley Arabian in their respective sire lines paths. The individual sire lines formed by these two stallions represent the most significant sire lines in Quarter Horse racing today.

When you survey the makeup of a sire line, you find branches that fork off from the main line, forming their own path. We see that Three Bars and Top Deck have formed their own branches of this Darley Arabian sire line. But, not all branches of a sire line will survive.  In fact, we see that only a few branches will survive and carry on.  

A successful branch of the Three Bars sire line that has survived is through Dash For Cash, a great grandson of Three Bars. In turn, Dash For Cash’s son First Down Dash has formed his own powerful branch of the Three Bars sire line. We now see that Corona Cartel, a grandson of First Down Dash, is forming his own branch of the Three Bars sire line with quite a few of his sons joining the million-dollar sire list, a list that is growing.

A look at the top 25 money-earning sires for 2017 will show how this new branch of the Three Bars sire line is developing. Of the top 25 sires for the year, we find Corona Cartel and eight of his sons and grandsons on this list. This list leads off with PYC Paint Your Wagon ($3,624,464) at #3 on the list; then Corona Cartel ($3,268,464) at #4; Ivory James ($2,129,439) at #11; Kiddy Up ($1,921,859) at #13; Big Daddy Cartel ($1,710,213) at #17; Coronas Leaving You ($1,704,292) at #18; Freighttrain B ($1,565,144) at #20; Carters Cartel ($1,432,963) at #22; and Foose ($1,217,470) at #25. These stallions represent the Corona Cartel branch of the Three Bars sire line and are only a part of stallions that are members of this sire line.

Corona CartelCorona Cartel has earned his place in sire line history by working his way to be the #2 all-time leading sire of money earners with over $57 million earned. He is not only in second place, but he is the #1 leading living sire of money earners. A review of the life and pedigree of Corona Cartel will show us some of the factors that came together for his success as a sire and now a sire of sires.

Corona Cartel was bred by Robert Etchandy and purchased as a yearling by Celina Molina at the Vessels/Schvaneveldt Sale in 1995. He was the dream horse for Celina Molina, a young lady and mother whose dream was to have a racehorse.

Celina had run across the colt in a magazine ad, and she told her brother that she wanted to buy him and race him. She had fallen in love with the colt and he was the horse she wanted and no other horse would do. Against the advice of family members, she bought the colt anyway. Molina paid $42,000, making her a first-time owner of a racehorse that would become a legend in Quarter Horse racing.

Corona Cartel was turned over to trainer Jaime Gomez to begin what became a successful race career, with his major wins coming at two. He won his maiden in April of 1996, but was disqualified from first to fifth. Corona Cartel came back to win his trial and final of the Kindergarten Futurity-G2. His next stakes win came in the Tiny’s Gay Handicap in November. The colt then won his trial and final of the Los Alamitos Million Futurity-G1 in December. He had ten starts with five wins at two and three stakes wins with earnings of $544,435.

The three year old race record of Corona Cartel was short, with four starts that began in July and included a fifth in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap and a second in an allowance in August. He got his only win in the trials of the PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby-G2, but finished fourth in the finals. He came out of the Derby with an injury and was eventually retired to stand at stud at the Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where he stands today.

The Pedigree

The pedigree of Corona Cartel has the distinction of being the combination of two horses that were competitors. His sire Holland Ease and his dam Corona Chick were both foaled in 1989 and they faced off on the track several times through their careers.  

Holland Ease, bred and raced by Dutch Masters III, ran 27 races from 1991 to 1993 with six wins, seven seconds and eight thirds. He earned $361,227. He made 14 of his starts at two with four wins. He counted among his wins his maiden in June at Bay Meadows and an All American Futurity trial, qualifying for the big race. He ran sixth in the All American Futurity-G1. Holland Ease qualified third in his trial for the Kindergarten Futurity behind the winner Corona Chick. The colt then ran second in the Kindergarten Futurity-G2 just behind Corona Chick. He was unplaced in his next start in the QHBC Juvenile. Holland Ease then qualified for the Dash For Cash Futurity-G1, running second to Corona Chick, and he went on to finish third in the finals behind - you guessed it - the winner Corona Chick in the finals. He won his trial for the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity-G1 and finished third in the finals behind the winner Corona Chick. He won his trial for the Golden State Futurity-G1 and finished fifth in the finals, another race won by Corona Chick.

When Holland Ease came back to race at three, he made 12 starts with two wins including his lone stakes win in the Golden State Derby-G1. He was second in his trial for this race. Holland Ease was second in the El Primero Del Ano Derby-G1 after a third in the trials, and placed second in his trial and in the finals for the Governor’s Cup Derby-G1; the trials and the finals were both won by Corona Chick.

The last win for Holland Ease was the Golden State Derby-G1. His last race was the Horseman’s Quarter Horse Racing Association’s Championship in 1993, his only start that year. He went unplaced in the race, with the winner being his full brother Four Forty Blast.

Holland Ease earned his way onto the million-dollar sire list with runner earnings of $12,243,792. His foals include 471 ROM with 43 stakes winners. His stakes winners include Ruidoso Futurity-G1 winner Haulin Pass and Rainbow Futurity-G1 winner Planet Holland.

Holland Ease was foaled in 1989 in the first crop of First Down Dash, the 1987 AQHA World Champion, Champion 3 Year Old and Champion 3-Year-Old Colt. The race record of First Down Dash shows that he won 13 of his 15 starts with 8 stakes wins including the 1987 Champion of Champions-G1.

First Down Dash has sired the winners of over $89 million and he got off to a great start in his first crop. He sired 89 foals with 29 stakes horses in this crop, including 15 stakes winners. His foals from this crop include All American Futurity-G1 winner and 1991 Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Royal Quick Dash and Golden State Futurity-G1 winner Dash Ta Fame. Both stallions and Holland Ease went on to become million-dollar sires. Leaving Memories, a stakes placed runner from this crop, was third in both the 1992 QHBC Sophomore Classic-G2 and the 1992 HQHRA Handicap-G3. He is the fourth million-dollar sire from this crop.

First Down Dash is by Dash For Cash, a 2-time World Champion and the sire 145 stakes winners, five World Champions and 16 Champions with his foals earning over $39.5 million. He is fourth on the million-dollar sire list. Dash For Cash is by Rocket Wrangler and out of Find A Buyer TB by To Market.

First Down Dash is out of First Prize Rose, a stakes placed runner with a second in the 1979 Three Bars Handicap and a third in the 1979 Sunland Park Fall Derby. This mare is the dam of seven foals/ROM with two stakes winners. The second stakes winner out of First Prize Rose is First A Rose, winner of 1990 QHBC Sophomore Challenge-G2. First Prize Rose is by Gallant Jet and out of Rose Bug by Lady Bug’s Moon.

Pedigree note: First Prize Dash is a full sister to First Down Dash. This mare is the dam of 36 foals 30 ROM and such stakes winners as First Carolina, winner of the 2006 Heritage Place Futurity-G1. First Carolina is the dam of three stakes winners in Ms First Prize Rose, Denver Pass and Coronado Cartel, all by Corona Cartel. This is an example of the Delta Pattern, when a stallion and a mare carry the blood of a full brother and sister, with the brother descending through the sire line to the foal produced and the sister appearing in the tail female line of the foal produced. That is the bottom line of the bracket pedigree, with the sister ascending the tail female line to the foal produced. This allows the sons of the cross to inherit the “Y” from the full brother and the Mitochondria of the full sister.

The dam of Holland Ease is Easy Henryetta, a stakes placed runner in the 1987 QHBC Freshman Classic-RG3. She is the dam of 15 ROM runners that earned over $1.1 million, with two stakes winners and three stakes placed runners. Beside Holland Ease, she produced stakes winner Four Forty Blast who earned $321,356 while winning five stakes races with four of them either Grade 1 or Restricted Grade 1 races. His stakes wins include the 1993 Go Man Go Handicap-G1 and the 1993 Los Alamitos Derby-G1. Four Forty Blast was the 1993 Champion 3-Year-Old Gelding.

Easy Henryetta is by Easy Jet, the 1969 World Champion, Champion Stallion and Champion 2-Year-Old Colt. Easy Jet won a phenomenal 22 races out of 26 starts with three seconds in his 2-year-old year. He won nine stakes races in 1969, including the All American Futurity-G1.

Easy Jet came back at three, after a breeding season that produced 65 foals, the next year to be named the 1970 Champion 3-Year-Old Colt.  He added 12 more starts, winning five with four seconds and two thirds and earning $36,565. He won three more stakes races, including the Raton Derby.  

Easy Jet was owned and trained by his breeder Walter Merrick during his race career. Walter once told me that he thought his 3-year-old year would have been much better if they hadn’t bred him that year. Easy Jet won $445,721 in his two-year racing career with a total record of 38 starts with 27 wins, seven seconds and two thirds.

The 1971 crop of runners for Easy Jet included 54 starters with 47 ROM and 14 stakes horses and six stakes winners. His stakes winners included 1973 Laddie Stakes winner Does It Easy, 1973 West Texas Futurity winner Mable, 1973 Beulah Futurity winner Easy Rose, 1973 Jet Deck Handicap winner Lincoln’s Sure Bet, 1973 R.M. Benevides Memorial Futurity winner Our Jet, and 1973 Raton Futurity winner Tiny Chic. 

An added note: The foals listed above are technically the second crop for Easy Jet as he sired a foal in 1970. She was Easy Sandy and was foaled in December 1970. She started 15 races with three seconds and two thirds.

Easy Jet would go on to be a great sire with 2,019 starters that earned 1,563 ROM and 145 stakes winners, 168 stakes placed runners with earnings of $26,237,832. His leading money earner is Mr Trucka Jet, winner of the 1985 All American Futurity-G1. Easy Jet sired two more All American winners in Easy Date and Pie In The Sky. Easy Jet, as a broodmare sire, sired the earners of $51,699,403 through his daughters, including 4,300 starters with 2,928 ROM and 223 stakes winners. His leading money earner as a broodmare sire is Eastex, the 1994 All American Futurity-G1 winner. Easy Jet is by Jet Deck and out of Lena’s Bar by Three Bars.

The dam of Easy Henryetta is Babys Henryetta. This mare earned her ROM with two wins in 13 starts, earning $2,308. Babys Henryetta is the dam of two ROM in Easy Henryetta and Tex Oh Baby. Babys Henryetta is by Lanovay and out of Baby Steel, a Thoroughbred mare by Leadstealer.

Baby Steel was a 1967 mare with six starts and two wins in Thoroughbred races. She has a record in the AQHA that shows she had three starts, probably against Quarter Horses, but went unplaced. She is the dam of two Thoroughbred foals and eight Quarter Horse foals. Her Thoroughbred foals include Neta Monaghan Stakes winner Big Step. Her Quarter Horse foals include 3 ROM runners in Babys Henryetta, Steel Tex and Jets Baby. Jets Baby was stakes placed with seconds in the 1975 Oklahoma Futurity and 1975 Raton/Oklahoma Futurity Supreme Division.

Easy’s Baby Jet was an unraced daughter of Baby Steel by Easy Jet, making her a 3/4-sister to Easy Henryetta.  Easy’s Baby Jet is the dam of one stakes winner and one stakes placed runner. Her stakes winner is Native Scout, winner of the 1985 Pilgrim Handicap-G3, and her stakes placed runner is Summer Encounter, runner up in the 1982 Rainbow Derby-G1 and third in the 1981 Rainbow Futurity-G1.

Summer Encounter has formed a branch of the Baby Steel female line of horses. She is the dam of runners like Dashing Encounter, who was a finalist in the 1987 All American Futurity-G1. Summer Encounter is also the dam of Summertime High, a winner of just one of her four starts. Summertime High is the dam of three stakes winners, including OQHRA Fall Classic Stakes winner Hawkinson Time and James Smith Memorial Handicap winner High School Secrets.

Summertime Quickie is the third stakes winner for Summertime High and she won the La Pacifica Handicap. She is the dam of 11 ROM, including two stakes winners in Foose and Flay. Foose counts among his wins the 2008 Ed Burke Million Futurity G1 and the 2009 Los Alamitos Super Derby G1. Flay won the 2017 Spencer Childers California Breeder’s Stakes-RG1. Flay is a full brother to Summertime Favorite, a stakes placed runner in races like the Autumn Handicap and the Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity-G3.

One of the famous sayings in the breeding industry is “great sires have great mothers.” This certainly holds true with Corona Cartel and his dam Corona Chick. This great race mare was bred and raced by Robert D. Etchandy, who had Frank Monteleone on as her trainer. Corona Chick had 18 starts, 15 wins and five stakes wins and she earned $591,326 in her career.

We have already seen how she won such stakes as the Ed Burke Million Futurity-G1, Kindergarten Futurity-G1, Dash For Cash Futurity-G1 and the Governor’s Cup Futurity-RG2. Corona Chick added the Governor’s Cup Derby-RG1 and a second in the Southern California Derby-G2 to her record. She was fifth in the Bay Meadows Futurity-G1 at two and was unplaced in the La Primera Del Ano Derby-G1. Corona Chick set two New Track Records, one at Hollywood Park for 400 yards in :19.630 and one at Los Alamitos for 350 yards in :17.220.

Midway in her race career, Corona Chick put together a record tying string of 13 wins in a row, racing from July 4, 1991, to Sept. 15, 1992, when she finished second to Royal Trips, a 123-to-1 long shot in the Southern California Derby-G2. She beat Royal Trips by 4-lengths in the trial to that race. Corona Chick came out of the 1992 Southern California Derby with a leg injury that ended her race career. Her success on the track made her the 1991 Champion 2 Year Old and Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and her race record at three made her the Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.

The sire of Corona Chick is Chicks Beduino, the winner of the 1986 Bay Meadows Futurity-G1 and 1986 Governor’s Cup Futurity-RG3. He was second in the Dash For Cash Futurity-G1 and third in the 1987 Laddie Handicap-G2. He earned $412,099 winning seven of his 14 starts. He is now the fifth leading sire of money winners on the million-dollar sire list with earners of $35,413,134. Chicks Beduino sired 1,373 ROM and 287 stakes wins. His leading money winner is 2002 World Champion Whosleavingwho, winner of $1,334,842. The sire of Chicks Beduino is Beduino TB, sire of runners that have earned $13,099,594 including 496 ROM and 80 stakes wins. He is the all-time leading million-dollar Thoroughbred sire of running Quarter Horses. His leading money earner is Strawberry Silk, the 1989 All American Futurity-G1 winner. Beduino is by Romany Royal by Grey Sovereign by Nasrullah. 

The dam of Beduino is Jo-Ann-Cat, a daughter of Rejected. The dam of Jo-Ann-Cat is Quick Eye by Depth Charge. The dam of Chicks Beduino is A Classy Chick, a mare that had two wins and earnings of $7,195. Her produce record shows that she is the dam of two foals with only one starter in Chicks Beduino. A Classy Chick is by Chick’s Deck by Three Chicks by Three Bars TB. The dam of Chick’s Deck is Decketta by Top Deck TB. The dam of A Classy Chick is the Thoroughbred mare Mayshego by Mayhego and out of Aegean Goddess by Greek Song. 

Sizzling Lil, the dam of Corona Chick, was stakes placed in the Moon Deck Stakes. She is by Sizzle Te, who is by Azure Te TB and out of Jet’s Fair Lady by Jet Deck. The dam of Sizzling Lil is the Thoroughbred mare Lilsalady, by Reb’s Policy and out of Here’s To Lil by Exalted Rullah.

The produce record of Sizzling Lil shows that she is the dam of 20 foals with 15 starters. They earned $2,245,452 with 13 ROM that won 14 stakes races. The 14 stakes races were won by three stakes winners: Corona Kool, Corona Chick and Corona Cocktail. Sizzling Lil was the 2001 Broodmare of the Year and she was named a Dam of Distinction in 2006. Corona Kool, a 1997 daughter of First Down Dash, won eight Grade 1 races including the 1999 Los Alamitos Million Futurity-G1, Ed Burke Million Futurity-G1 and Los Alamitos Derby-G1. She was the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and in 2001 was the Champion Aged Mare. 

Corona Kool is the dam of 11 ROM runners, including stakes winner Triffle, who won the Mile High Futurity-G3; stakes placed runner Filthy Fast, who was third in the Ed Burke Juvenile Stakes; Mud Skipper, third in the California Spring Stakes; and Cartel Sizzle, who was third in the California Derby Challenge-G3. Corona Kool is the granddam of Kool Million, winner of the Jens List Jr. Memorial California Breeders Stakes, and of Stolis Kool Chick, winner of the Northlands Futurity-G3. Triffle is an interesting individual because she has a breeding pattern of 4x2 to Sizzling Lil. Triffle is by Teller Cartel by Corona Cartel, who is out of Corona Chick out of Sizzling Lil; and the dam of Triffle is Corona Kool, who is out of Sizzling Lil.

Sizzling Lil’s son Corona Cocktail is a stakes winner in the Evening Snow Handicap and he finished first, second or third in 13 of his 18 starts, including thirds in the Golden State Futurity-G1 and Ed Burke Million Futurity-G1. He is a million-dollar sire with 207 starters from 275 foals earning 150 ROM with 11 stakes winners. His runners have earned $3,524,959. His leading money winner is Suger Mama with earnings of $205,086.

Corona Chick started her breeding career with Bob Etchandy and later was purchased by Julianna Hawn Holt and her Cross Triangle Ranch in 2001. The interesting part is Corona Chick did it the old-fashioned way, one baby at a time. She carried all 16 foals naturally without the benefit of embryo transfer. She produced 14 starters earning 13 ROM and four stakes winners. The Corona Chick runners earned $3,625,157. She became an AQHA Broodmare of the Year and in 2006 became an AQHA Dam of Distinction.   

Corona Chick got off to a good start with Corona Cartel, and then she produced Corona Cash. Corona Cash is a filly by First Down Dash that made 32 starts from 1997 to 2000, winning 11 stakes races with seven of them being Grade 1 events. Her biggest wins came in the 1997 All American Futurity-G1, the 1997 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity-G1, and the 1998 Los Alamitos Derby-G1. She was the 1997 Champion 2 Year Old and Champion 2-Year-Old Filly as well as the 1998 Champion 3 Year Old and the Champion 3-Year-Old Filly. 

Corona Cash is the dam 26 ROM from 27 starters, including eight stakes horses with three stakes winners. Her stakes winners are Louisiana Corona, winner of the Junos Request Stakes-G2, Hez Fast As Cash, winner of the Turf Paradise Open QH Derby-G3 and the Desert Classic Derby-RG3, and Pot Ocash, winner of the Independence Day Handicap and Katella Handicap. Corona Cash is the granddam of Jessa Louisiana Zoom, winner of several stakes including the Lee Berwick Memorial Louisiana Bred Futurity-RG1.


Corona Chick Million Dollar Sire Club

Corona Chick would have been a prominent broodmare with just Corona Cartel being a leading sire, but she has added to her credentials as a million-dollar sire producer. I call it the Corona Chick Million Dollar Sire Club.

Corona Chick produced 10 foals with 9 ROM that were sired by First Down Dash, with two stakes winners. They are Corona Czech, winner of the Mr Jet Moore Handicap, and Valiant Hero, winner of the Texas Classic Futurity-G1, Heritage Place Derby-G2 and Dash For Cash Juvenile Invitational. 

Corona Czech is the sire of the winners of over $4.3 million with such noted Grade 1 winners as Magic Show Czech, winner of the Governor’s Cup Futurity, and El Aguila Real, 3-time Grade 1 winner of races like the Vessels Maturity.

Valiant Hero is the sire of horses that have won $18.3 million. His runners include All American Derby-G1 winner Feature Hero, Rainbow Derby-G1 winner Houdini, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity-G1 winner Ima Fearless Hero, and the Texas Classic Futurity-G1 winner Valiant Lil Lady.

Corona Caliente is another son out of Corona Chick that is sired by First Down Dash. This stallion won $118,278 on the track winning two starts with a fifth in the Los Alamitos Million Futurity-G1. He is the sire of earners of over $5.9 million including Corona Memory Crest, winner of the New Mexico Classic Derby-RG2.

Corona Chick produced Captain Courage when bred to Mr Jess Perry in 2005. Captain Courage won or placed second or third in eight of his eleven starts, including a third in the All American Futurity-G1. His foals have earned $4.2 million and include Wicked Courage who had victories in the 2013 Ruidoso Derby-G1 and the Rainbow Derby-G1.

Mighty Corona, by First Down Dash, is stakes placed in the Texas Classic Futurity-G1. Mighty Corona is the sire of horses that have won $2.2 million, including Im Mighty Fast, a multiple stakes winner of races like the Races And Aces Stakes.

King Corona, by Holland Ease, is a full brother to Corona Cartel. King Corona is a race winner of $31,928. He is the sire of horses that have won $2.8 million. His leading money earner is Salty King Corona, winner of $182,743.

Count Corona, by First Down Dash, had six starts with two thirds and earnings of $1,713. He is the sire of horses that have won $3.9 million. His leading money earner is Budj, winner of $218,227.

Corona Chick is the dam of eight sons and all eight are million-dollar sires! What a club!

The success of the Three Bars sire line through Corona Cartel is building, as we have seen through his influence on the list of 2017 leading sires of money earners. Based on the Speedhorse Stallion Register, Speedhorse recently published a list of freshman sires of 2017 with their foals reaching the track in 2018. This list of 22 stallions shows Corona Cartel has six sons and four paternal grandsons on this list. I guess the Corona Cartel branch of the Three Bars sire line is alive and well. Now, I wonder which stallion or stallions from this line will branch off to form their own path to influence the breed? 

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