News and STORIES

Dennis' Moment Set To Face Rivals In Fountain Of Youth

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Thursday February 27, 2020
Dennis' Moment, one of the early favorites for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), is set to face a group of 3-year-olds in the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 29.

The field will include 11 rivals, including Holy Bull Stakes (G3) runner-up Ete Indien. It will also have Chance It and As Seen On Tv, the 1-2 finishers from the Mucho Man Stakes. Candy Tycoon and Country Grammer, who took maiden victories, will also run. 

Dennis' Moment's First Start of the Year

It will be the first start of the year for Albaugh Family Stables' Dennis' Moment. He finished his last race in the Nov. 1 TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) after stumbling at the start. Since then, he has trained every week to prepare for his return. 

In a fast combo drill Feb. 15 on the Gulfstream strip, he was outworked by his 4-year-old stablemate Admire. 

"I'm not usually in this situation where I feel pressure. I usually like being the underdog because there's not much pressure," said Dale Romans. "With this horse, there's so much hype with him—well deserved, he's very talented. I put the pressure on myself because of what I think of him. I think he's ready to roll."

Dennis' Moment is a 3-year-old Tiznow colt and winner of the 1 1/16-mile Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs in a stakes-record 1:43.58 in September. For the race at Gulfstream, he is the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/16-mile event. Irad Ortiz has moved to ride Mucho Gusto in the $20 million Saudi Cup in Saudi Arabia, so Flavien Prat will replace him.

Kentucky Derby Qualifier

The Fountain of Youth is a Kentucky Derby qualifier offering points on a 50-20-10-5 scale to the top four finishers. It is the last of 14 races at Gulfstream, and it is included in a 10-stakes card. 

The event will also see the running of the $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies and the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) for older turf horses. That race includes Zulu Alpha, the winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes Presented by Runhappy (G1T).

Shooting Star Thoroughbreds' Chance It drew the worst spot for the Fountain of Youth, the outside post next to Ete Indien in post 11. In the dirt routes at Gulfstream, wide draws mean a short run to the first turn. 

Chance It won by 7 1/4 lengths at the Fountain of Youth distance Sept. 28 in the In Reality Division of the 2019 Florida Sire Stakes. That came after his victory in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man, where he pushed ahead in the stretch to beat As Seen On Tv.

"That showed he had a lot of guts that day," trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said of the Mucho Macho Man. "I thought he was beat 100%, especially coming off the layoff.

Tyler Gaffalione rode Chance It in both the In Reality and Mucho Man. He will return to the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. 

Ete Indien received a rider change to Florent Geroux following the injury of Luca Panici. He is owned by the partnership of Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable, Horse France America, D P Racing, and Patrick L. Biancone Racing. 

He drew outside of the stakes winners Liam's Lucky Charm and Shotski. 

Ete Indien began his career with two starts on grass, but he has adapted to dirt racing at Gulfstream. He scored a Dec. 20 allowance-level race before being defeated by three lengths behind Tiz the Law in the Holy Bull. 

"We are in America. Dirt is the tradition this time of year. There are no good turf races anyway until July," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "We tried him (on dirt), and he won brilliantly but was a bit green. He was much better the second time. He's a big baby. He's a very talented big horse who needs to learn and improve."