LARC NEWS Posted: 3/25/2024 1:04:37 AM


 For the second straight year, the team of Dunn Ranch, trainer Monty Arrossa and jockey Eduardo Nicasio teamed up to win the running of the Grade 2 El Primero Del Ano Derby. Last year, it was Take A Swig Of This who scored the victory for Dunn Ranch and company and this year it was the superbly bred SC Time To Run, who outdueled Jorge Carmona’s Five Bar Supreme by a neck to win the $204,200 El Primero final on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

SC Time To Run, who was purchased for $335,000 at the Ruidoso Yearling Sale in 2022, scored his third victory in a row and all of them coming during this, his sophomore year at Los Alamitos. As a juvenile, SC Time To Run was winless in six starts with his best effort being a second-place finish in the $50,000 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational on December 10. Following a sixth-place finish in the trials to the Golden State Million Futurity on October 8, Arrossa suggested to the owners that gelding SC Time To Run was the best way to help him reach his potential as a runner.  

“He had a rough start for his 2-year-old season,” Arrossa said. “We had high expectations for him, and he flashed a little bit of brilliance at times, but he wasn’t consistent. We talked it over and it was a hard decision. The day that we talked and (Matt Dunn) said go ahead and (geld) him I called him back and said, ‘are you sure you want to (geld) him.’ He said ‘Yes, let’s make him a racehorse.’ That turned the corner for the horse. He had some internal fat and he’s trimmed up. He’s really business minded now.”

In his first start as a gelding, SC Time To Run ran third in his trial to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. He followed it with second place finish in the Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational and then he posted his maiden win on February 3. A daylight win in the trials to the El Primero followed before he recorded his richest win in the El Primero final.

SC Time To Run is by the World Champion Apollitical Jess and out of the multiple champion mare Spit Curl Diva. He’s a half-brother to champion Coronas First Diva and stakes winner Stevie B First Cash, SC Money Maker and SC Vapor Trail. With such a strong pedigree, it’s easy to see why his connections were hoping to develop him into a stallion.

“We bought him for a stallion prospect,” Matt Dunn said. “That was the whole goal. He’s a beautiful individual. It was tough and I appreciate everyone sticking with him and staying with him throughout that journey to keep him a stallion. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. We know we have made the right decision now and it was best for the team and best for the horse. We’ve thankful to get this win and thankful for the team that we have. It’s a good night.”

With Nicasio up from post number two, SC Time To Run covered the distance in :19.686 while the 400-yard dash at 6-1 odds. The Reliance Ranches LLC-bred runner earned $85,764 for the win to take his career earnings to $108,149.       

            “I can’t thank his groom, Anthony Montes, enough,” Arrossa added. “He lives with this horse. He loves him, babies him. I also must thank my assistant Jessie Castillo and Eduardo Nicasio, they don’t get any better than him. My thanks to Matt and Bendi Dunn, they’ve let me do what I want with the horse. They are wonderful to train for.”

            Matt and Bendi Dunn operate Dunn Ranch in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. The ranch is the home to racing and barrel racing stallions including Grade 2 Southern California Derby winner Aint He Tempting, Grade 1 Dash For Cash Futurity winner Chilitos and multiple Grade 1 stakes placed colt In Hott Pursuit. Dunn Ranch can also provide breedings via ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) to AQHA champion A Revenant.

“It’s a lot of work,” Bendi Dunn said. “We’re foaling right now and it’s a lot of sleepless nights. We are lucky to have an awesome group of people that work for us.”

Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Lindolfo Diaz, Five Bar Supreme earned $34,714 for running second in the El Primero. The gelding by Five Bar Cartel finished second to AQHA champion colt Trane Station V in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and also won the Wild West Futurity and Firecracker Futurity. For his career, Five Bar Supreme has earned $414,901. Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Favorite Nuke earned $24,504 for his third-place finish in the El Primero. Keith Nellesen’s Political Rivalry, a two-time graded futurity winner here last year, was the slight favorite in this race, but he finished ninth after breaking slow and not having a clear running path as a result.

The complete order of finish is as follows: SC Time To Run, Five Bar Supreme, Favorite Nuke, Boardwalk, AJ Top Secret, Remember John, Kickin Famous, Xpensive and Political Rivalry. Kevins Wise Corona was scratched earlier on the card.




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