Dimes And Nicks Fastest in El Primero Trials

Azoom gelding follows through on the promise he showed as a 2-year-old.

Press Release

World Champion Racing Stables LLC’s Dimes And Nicks posted sharp efforts in all of his futurity trial races last year, but he took a step forward in his first trial as a 3-year-old thanks to a wire-to-wire victory in the second of three trials to the $202,100 El Primero Del Ano Derby (G3) Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Raul Valenzuela for trainer Danny Montes, Dimes And Nicks was always in command of this 400-yard derby trial, as he led from start to finish while posting the fastest qualifying time of :19.608. The Azoom gelding crossed the wire three-quarters of length ahead of Kolleen Ledgerwood’s Stel Just Me to record his second victory in eight career starts. During his freshman campaign, Dimes And Nicks posted runner-up efforts in his trial efforts for the Golden State Million Futurity (G1) and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1). His second-place finish in the October 20 Golden State Million trial came against eventual 2013 champion 2-year-old colt Five Bar Cartel.

“I knew Dimes And Nicks had talent because he had a pretty good second to Five Bar Cartel in a trial race,” said Montes, who trains the Grade 1-winning Five Bar Cartel. “I knew he had some run in him because of how well he ran against Five Bar Cartel. Dimes And Nicks ran a little green tonight. It looked like he switched leads a few times. He was also running all alone in front.”

“He took off at the start,” Valenzuela added. “He was waiting for the pressure. When horses started getting a little closer to him, he took off again.”

Dimes And Nicks’ juvenile campaign also included an appearance in the Los Alamitos Two Million Invitational Stakes (R). Moonist, who also advanced to the El Primero Del Ano Derby after winning the third and final trial, was the winner of the Invitational Stakes, which sets up a great rematch between these two in the El Primero finale on Sunday, April 6. A total of 21 sophomores competed in the El Primero trials at the Orange County oval. The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Dimes And Nicks (:19.608), Moonist (:19.656), Dont Walk Peacefully (:19.709), Yacht Clubber (:19.737), Stel Just Me (:19.744), Fire Shakin (:19.758), Inpursuit (:19.849), Smithy (:19.871), Dashin Dreams (:19.899) and Fire Cliff (:19.929).

Bred by Henry Brown, Dimes And Nicks is out of the champion runner Corona Cash, who in 1997 won the All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs and Ed Burke Memorial Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos. Trained by John Cooper for owner Ron Hartley, Moonist also boasts championship bloodlines. His father is the Cooper-trained Separatist, while his mother is the 2001 Los Alamitos Million Futurity and Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Your First Moon.

“He was the eighth-fastest qualifier to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby so I’m pretty pleased to see him post the second-fastest time,” Cooper said. “It took him a little while to get his stride, but once he got going he looked really good out there. He’s a sound horse. When a horse breaks really well they’ll often want to go out to wherever there’s room to run. I’ve seen a lot of horses that want to do that. Moonist likes to do that. He’s a sound horse and he just keeps running good races.”

Bred by Vessels Stallion Farm LLC, the Los Alamitos Equine Sale graduate has now won six of 13 career starts. His record includes victories in the aforementioned Los Alamitos Two Million Invitational Stakes and in the Golden State Juvenile Invitational. He also finished second in the Governor’s Cup Futurity and was fourth in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby in his previous start.

“Viva Mi Corazon is not in this race so that helps a lot,” said Hartley, referring to the ultra-impressive winner of the Winter Derby. “Moonist looked good out there.”

World Champion Racing Stables’ Dont Walk Peacefully broke his maiden while capturing the opening trial of the night. Also a graduate of the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, the Childers Ranch LLC-bred gelding is by Walk Thru Fire and out of Be Peacefull. Dont Walk Peacefully is a half brother to 2004 world champion Be A Bono and a full brother to 2009 Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Peace Fire. The gray sprinter was making only his second lifetime start. He finished fourth in his career debut back on August 31.

“He’s still learning, this was only his second out,” said Montes, who saddled Dont Walk Peacefully. “He’ll keep getting more focused as he matures. He’s a nice horse to be around.”

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