The racing gods owe Dale Romans. Oh, he’s had plenty of success; let’s start with Churchill Downs all-time leading trainer. Not This Time was supposed to get the Louisville native to the Kentucky Derby with a chance.
But Not This Time was retired with an injury and never made it to the first Saturday in May. Maybe it’s his and Dennis’ Moment’s time. We shall see.
Here’s what the team had to say following Saturday’s comprehensive victory in the Iroquois, his two-turn and Churchill Downs debut, which got him an expensive paid invitation to the Breeders’ Cup and the first 10 points anyone’s earned on the Derby trail.
Courtesy of the Churchill Downs Press Staff:
Dale Romans, trainer of DENNIS’ MOMENT (winner): “This horse is speaking for himself, I don’t have to build him up anymore. 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 specia
“It’s important going into these big races, to be versatile. That’s what I was worried about today, I was concerned about him getting in a speed duel, with this being the first time around two turns for all these 2-year-olds. And it worked out perfect, he sat outside a horse that didn’t bother him at all, and went three-wide, which is not easy to do on this racetrack and keep on going, and he kicked home good. We’ll be going straight to the Breeders’ Cup from here.”
Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey of DENNIS’ MOMENT (winner): “He’s good, he’s a nice horse, he’s done everything he’s been asked to do, we’ll see what’s next (Breeders’ Cup). He felt great, really great for a 2-year-old. He did everything right. I asked him to run and he was going really well. He had some more, but I saved it for the end. He was going to win going away, so I didn’t ask him for any more.”
Dennis Albaugh, owner of DENNIS’ MOMENT (winner): “Right here in my hand is the invitation to the Breeders’ Cup. They officially delivered it, so that’s exciting. His name came from his sire, Tiznow — the “now” — and we went with Dennis’ Moment. We’re very happy with him now, and they named him after me, which was a surprise. 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. We’ll give this horse plenty of time. Dale Romans has been excellent on what’s the timing, where do we go. We’ll start looking at things next week, once we see how he came out of this race, although he looked like he’s perfect after the finish.”