Churchill Downs' all-time leading trainer Dale Romans reported Sunday morning that Albaugh Family Stable's Dennis' Moment will target the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade I) following his 1 ¾-length score in Saturday's $200,000 Iroquois (GIII) – the kickoff of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.”
“He's just such a smart horse at this stage of his career,” Romans said Sunday. “He's back at the barn this morning and doing great after the race and now we move on to the next one. I'm trying not to look too far ahead with him because it is only September but yesterday's race gave us a lot of excitement the way he was able to take dirt for the first time and still rally to win.”
Ridden by the nation's top rider Irad Ortiz Jr., Dennis' Moment was under a hand ride in the final stages of the 1 1/16-mile Iroquois to win in a final time of 1:43.58. Romans said Dennis' Moment will have a couple of days off before beginning his early preparation for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
With Dennis' Moment's victory in the Iroquois, he is the early leader on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with 10 points. Runner-up Scabbard, who had to check briefly on the turn before closing ground in the late stages of the race, earned four points while third-place finisher Lebda banked two points and fourth-place finisher Letmeno tallied one point.
The next race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby is the $300,000 American Pharoah (GI) held Sept. 27 at Santa Anita.
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