While the gut punch of the outcome was still being felt among his connections, Dennis' Moment was reported to be in good order after stumbling badly at the break en route to finishing last as the favorite in the TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
The son of Tiznow went to his knees out of gate under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and was never able to recover, trailing the eight-horse field throughout. After cooling out and being examined back at the barn, Dennis' Moment was found to have no apparent injuries and set to ship back to Kentucky early Saturday where he would then get checked out by John Garrity, veterinarian for trainer Dale Romans.
“He has no scrapes or anything like that,” Jason Loutsch, racing manager for owner Albaugh Family Stables, said Saturday morning. “I saw the pictures (of the stumble). I only watched the replay once, it was too tough to watch, but so far it looks like we dodged a bullet (with injury). He's a tough horse and it's amazing that he even continued to run on, it's amazing.”
Dennis' Moment came into the Juvenile with a mountain of hype behind him, having won by a combined 21 lengths in his two victories. He broke his maiden by 19 ¼ lengths at Ellis Park on July 27 then cruised to a 1 ¾- length triumph in the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs on Sept. 14.
“It's about as bad a thing as I've had in my career,” Romans said in a statement Friday night. “But when I saw him come back healthy, let's just say it's a kick in the gut. I just love this horse. For him, I feel bad that he didn't get a chance to show himself. Win, lose or draw all you want is a fair shake. He just had no chance. You know, it happens. It could have been so much worse, that's the good thing. The fact that we lost the biggest race in his life (so far) for a championship, it's bad. But, he'll be back.”
Meanwhile, it was tacos at home with his wife as the post-race celebration for trainer Peter Eurton last evening after his 2-year-old colt Storm the Court scored a shocking upset in Friday's TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
“We might have a more formal celebration tonight,” he said.
The son of Court Vision, the 2011 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, is getting a well-deserved rest following his hard-fought triumph.
“I wasn't sure he'd be in front, but I knew we'd have a prominent position. When Dennis' Moment stumbled and Eight Rings laid off the pace, it gave us a little less pressure early in the race. He really ran hard and he should get a good number from this race. He's done for the year. Now, I hope we'll get an Eclipse Award,” Eurton said. “With his breeding, I think he'll run farther. His father did, although he was primarily a grass horse. There might be grass racing in his future, but it would be hard to do that right now.”
Peter Redekop's Anneau d'Or exited his runner-up finish in the TVG Juvenile in good order and is scheduled to return to trainer Blaine Wright's barn at Golden Gate on Sunday.
“He finished up every oat last night and is walking the shedrow now,” said Wright, who brought Anneau d'Or to the Breeders' Cup off one start, an eight-length victory going a mile on the turf at Golden Gate.
“We feel like we won,” Wright continued. “If he hadn't been doing well, we wouldn't have come.”
Breeders' Cup thoughts entered the picture for Wright following the debut victory.
“That first race really picked his head up,” Wright said. “He wanted to do more. His works improved by a couple seconds.
“We started looking at races and the options were the Juvenile, an allowance at Del Mar or a seven-eighths stake at Del Mar. But he does not have a lot of early speed and I didn't want him eating a lot of dirt.”
With his runner-up finish Anneau d'Or picked up eight points on the road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
“I wish we could have picked up more points,” Wright said. “He'll go back to Golden Gate tomorrow and make a plan. There is a lot of big stuff down the road.”
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