AINT HE TEMPTING JOINS FULL SISTER AS MAJOR STAKES WINNER WITH BIG EFFORT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DERBY
Dunn Ranch’s Aint He Tempting joined his full sister, Aint She Tempting, as major derby winners at Los Alamitos following his victory in the Grade 2, $162,700 Southern California Derby on the closing night of the 2023 meet at Los Alamitos. Live racing will resume at Los Alamitos on Saturday, December 30 with the weekend also featuring a special card on New Year’s Day, Sunday, December 31.
Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, Aint He Tempting broke sharply from post number one, accelerated quickly past the gap, took the lead and held off strong late surges from runner-up Required Dash and third place finisher Dont Sass KVN. The top three finishers in this race are all colts.
Trained by Monty Arrossa, the McColee Land and Livestock-bred Aint He Tempting covered the 400-yards in the Southern California Derby in a time of :19.739.
Aint He Tempting and Aint She Tempting have both proven to be special talents. During her two years on the track, Aint She Tempting was tremendous, winning five of 12 starts while earning $727,427. Her stakes accolades included a victory in the Grade 2 Oklahoma Futurity in 2020 and second place finishes in both the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity and Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos.
Aint He Tempting was second to the outstanding Party Politics in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity last year while winning three of his five starts during his juvenile campaign last year. This season, the sophomore colt spent the summer at Ruidoso Downs before returning to Southern California with his sights set on a couple derbies at the Orange County track. After running fourth in his trial to the Los Alamitos Super Derby, Aint He Tempting returned to beat older foes in the Cerritos Handicap on November 12. That would be the first of three consecutive wins that also included a win in his Southern California Derby trial and then this victory over eight solid sophomore rivals in the SoCal Derby final. He earned $68,334 for the win to take his career earnings to $262,319. He’s won six of 13 career starts.
“We got it done today,” Cervantes said. “We’ve been waiting on him and he showed up today. He’s always been good leaving the gate. He stood perfect, broke and took the lead. I started seeing the other horses coming at him, but he was already close to the wire.”
Only a few weeks away from his 4-year-old campaign, Aint He Tempting could be one of the nation’s top aged stallions next year if his connections opt to continue his racing career. Cervantes certainly believes the horse is capable of much future success on the track.
“Most definitely,” Cervantes said. “I think this horse is just getting his way of running and he can be up there with the best.”
Owned by George and Ruben Villalobos, Required First earned $27,659 for his runner-up effort. The son of First Down Dash out of No Tools Required broke on top, dueled with Aint He Tempting, began to fade away, but then returned with a late burst to secure second place. The homebred colt was second in the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year and most recently finished second in the Town Policy Handicap.
Bradbury Racing’s Don't Sass KVN, who came into this race as the fastest qualifier, broke close to the leaders, was third after the gap and then ran solidly to complete the top three. Terrific Phoenix was fourth and was followed by Frivolous, Aj Run For Cash, Ima Sixy Man, Phoebes Baby Girl, and Up The Interest. Good Wagon SA was scratched.