Dennis’ Moment is the early points leader on the Road to the Kentucky Derby after the promising colt charged to an easy 1 3/4-length victory over Scabbard in Saturday’s 38th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Iroquois Stakes for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Trained by Dale Romans and sent to post as the 2-5 favorite following his maiden win at Ellis Park on July 27, Dennis’ Moment covered 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in a race record 1:43.58 to bank $117,800 and 10 points on the point system that will determine the field for next year’s 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. The Iroquois was the first in a series of 35 races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is entering its eighth year.
The win also earned Dennis’ Moment, the Kentucky-bred son of Tiznow, a spot in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, of course, but getting 10 points toward getting into the Derby, that’s a big help,” owner Dennis Albaugh said.
Dennis’ Moment made a bold three-wide move on the far turn and it was all over from there. He drew clear in the stretch and his jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr., geared him down to a gallop inside the final sixteenth of a mile. Scabbard, who briefly checked his run into the far turn, recovered to rally down the lane but was clearly second best.
“This horse is speaking for himself, I don’t have to build him up anymore,” Romans said. “He’s just an amazing animal. He goes out there and does it, his ears up, like he’s just galloping around out there. The jock was shutting him down with a sixteenth of a mile to go, and he still finished in the time he did. He’s something special.”
Lazy Daisy and 43-1 longshot His Glory took turns sharing the lead throughout the 51st running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes but it was Lazy Daisy who emerged as the 1 1/4-length winner. Portrait, the 6-5 favorite, finished third.
Ridden by Abel Cedillo and trained by Doug O’Neill, Lazy Daisy locked up a spot in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita and is now the early leader on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks after collecting 10 points.