Tiznow's brilliant 2-year-old colt toyed with his competition in Saturday's $200,000 Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, winning the 1 1/16-mile contest by 1 3/4-lengths while being eased up by jocked Irad Ortiz, Jr.
After breaking his maiden by a whopping 19 1/4-lengths July 27 at Ellis Park, and earning a TDN Rising Star tag, the bay owned by Dennis Albaugh's Albaugh Family Stables was ready for stakes company and his first two-turn test.
Away evenly from post 8, he took up a spot in fourth on the outside as the field made its way through the first turn. In hand through a half-mile in :47.31, he moved up three-wide on the turn to challenge for the lead. Taking over before entering the stretch, he opened up by as much as five lengths before Ortiz put his mount on cruise control nearing the wire.
The final time of 1:43.58 on a fast main track earned him a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.
“This horse is speaking for himself, I don’t have to build him up anymore,” trainer Dale 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. We’ll be going straight to the Breeders’ Cup from here.”
The Iroquois is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Juvenile Division” Challenge and the win guaranteed Dennis' Moment a spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita on “Future Stars Friday,” Nov. 1.
“Right here in my hand is the invitation to the Breeders’ Cup,” Albaugh said. “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.”
Dennis' Moment is now two-for-three lifetime and has earned $147,800. He lost his rider at the start of his June 23 debut.
Bred by Tolo Thoroughbreds, Dennis' Moment sold to Albaugh for $400,000 at the 2108 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling sale.
Tiznow has been white-hot in September with four stakes winners in the past two weeks, including Grade 1 winner Blue Chipper.