BRAZILIAN STAR HEADS FIRST DOWN DASH HANDICAP
Haras Portofino’s Corona Jumpim Mrl (outside runner in photo below) will enter the $25,000 First Down Dash Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward after winning one of the most visually impressive races of the season at Los Alamitos. The Brazilian-bred runner won the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials by a nose, rallying from seventh place after getting bumped early to edged out his rivals in the final yards.
What made the race one to remember was how closely contested the last few jumps of the race truly were in that 400-yard dash. In fact, all seven horses – from the winners to the seventh-place finishers - in the race were separated by less than half a length.
“Owner Marcos Leite absolutely loves this horse,” trainer Jaime Gomez. “He is his favorite. The horse went into the race in terrific shape. He’s sound, happy, and was eating great. I thought he would run a good race and he did. Mr. Leite owns a horse that qualified to Brazil’s version of the Champion of Champions. We were hoping that Corona Jumpim Mrl would enjoy the same luck. This horse has run a lot of very good races. He loves to work hard and even though he’s a stallion, he’s a sweetheart of a horse. I’m really enjoying having him in my barn.”
Prior to arriving at Gomez’s barn, Corona Jumpim Mrl finished second in the Grade 1 Brad McKinzie Winter Championship on February 9. He’ll be joined in the First Down Dash by multiple Grade 1 stakes placed runner Jess Macho Corona, Prairie Meadows stakes winner Marfilmio, AQRA Turf Paradise Derby runner-up Cartel Rocks, Independence Day Handicap winner Rite Quick, and recent allowance winner and graded stakes place runner Red Hawk Cartel.