Risky Rachel, who left from the rail under Cornelio Velasquez, vied for the early lead inside Saltamontes through an opening quarter mile in 22.51. Velasquez angled Risky Rachel outside as they entered the far turn, and the mare took command near the quarter pole before running away to a 6 ½-length score over Big Brownie.
“She didn’t have a good post, but she stayed close, and I had a lot of horse,” said Velasquez. “She won easily; I didn’t hit her or anything. Very impressive. I’m very happy for the trainer that he got his first win, he’s a good friend of mine.”
Coronel, who assisted trainer H. James Bond before striking out on his own, needed few words to express his sentiments.
“It’s amazing,” said Coronel. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Coronel, 35, hails from Argentina, where he competed as an apprentice jockey before immigrating to the United States. Prior to working for Bond, Coronel assisted trainers Frank Martin, Sr. and Angel Penna, Jr.
Risky Rachel competed for Bond in 2011, winning three of five starts, including the Friendly Island Iroquois in October at Belmont Park. She entered the Broadway off a fifth in the Grade 2 Go for Wand Handicap in November at Aqueduct. Overall, she is 5-2-1 from 11 starts. The $45,000 winner’s share of the Broadway purse pushed her earnings to $228,500.
Coronel said he’ll bide his time with Risky Rachel before he and owner Sanford Bacon decide where the 5-year-old will make her next start.
“First, we want to see how she is tomorrow,” said Coronel. “Then we’ll see what’s going to happen. She’s such a nice New York-bred, and I’m just so blessed and so happy.”
Nicole’s Miss El was third, followed by Lady Gracenote, Saltamontes, Devilish Spirit, and Victoryat Last.