JockeyIrad Ortiz Jr.
TrainerDale L. Romans
OwnerAlbaugh Family Stables
A big win in the very first stakes race on the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) has visions of roses dancing in some heads like gumdrops. That's the case for trainer Dale Romans and Iowa-based owner Dennis Albaugh of the Albaugh Family Stables at least.
Romans, based at the Derby's home of Churchill Downs, sent out Dennis' Moment to a resounding victory in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) Sept. 14.
That victory earned the speedy colt a spot in the starting gate for the TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 1 and also earned him 10 qualifying points for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. The 20 starters in the Derby are determined by point standings as many more want to run than the 20-horse starting gate allows.
Dennis' Moment didn't get off to a stellar start on the track. He clipped heels and lost rider Robby Albarado in his first race June 23. The son of Tiznow showed that was a fluke in his next attempt however, when he ran away from the competition to win by nearly 20 lengths at Ellis Park. That effort garnered a “demolished field” comment in the chart in the Daily Racing Form.
Sent off the 2-5 favorite in the Iroquois, the colt rated just off the pace before taking charge at the head of the lane and easily setting a stakes-record of 1:43.58 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle.
"This is just an amazing animal," Romans said. "He goes out there and does it with his ears up like he is just galloping around there. The jock was shutting him down the last sixteenth of the mile there, and he still runs the time he did. He's something special."
Dennis' Moment was a $400,000 yearling purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.
"The first week in May is our ultimate goal when we go out and look at horses and try to buy them," Dennis Albaugh said of his namesake. "This is the first step. We're moving toward that target."
The same owner/trainer combination teamed up to win the 2016 Iroquois with Not This Time, who went on to run second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
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McKinzie, Code of Honor, Midnight Bisou, Bricks and Mortar and Magical Lead 188 Horses Pre-Entered for 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships
Led by Whitney (G1) winner McKinzie, Travers Stakes (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Code of Honor, standout filly Midnight Bisou, multiple Grade 1-winning turf star Bricks and Mortar, and Qipco Champions Stakes (G1) winner Magical (IRE), 188 horses, including 47 from overseas, have been pre-entered for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.