Summer & Natalma Stakes
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Del Mar Futurity
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Flavien Prat celebrates as Storm the Court heads to the winner's circle after the Juvenile.
The $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) features 2-year-old colts and geldings going 1 1/16 miles around two turns of the Churchill Downs main track, and traditionally determines the early favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby. Iroquois Stakes (G3) winner Dennis' Moment was sent off as the 9-10 favorite in the field of 8. In to challenge him included 3-2 second choice Eight Rings, winner of the American Pharoah (G1), and 11-2 third choice Scabbard, 2nd in both the Saratoga Special (G2) and Iroquois.
Storm the Court leads in the stretch.
Dennis' Moment stumbled badly at the start and leaving 6 lengths behind as 46-1 Storm the Court set the pace of 23.49, 47.07, and 1:11.60 while pressed by Eight Rings and stalked by 28-1 Anneau d'Or. In the stretch Eight Rings tired while Anneau d'Or moved up to challenge through 1 mile in 1:37.99. However, Storm the Court held him off over the final 1/16 to win by a neck in 1:44.93. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to 39-1 Wrecking Crew third, while Dennis' Moment was last.
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/16 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Storm the Court Prat 93.80 24.80 12.00 7 Anneau d'Or Hernandez 17.60 10.40 2 Wrecking Crew Lopez 12.20 Winning Time: 1:44.93 $1 Exacta 4-7 488.20 $1 Trifecta 4-7-2 3,930.50 $1 Superfecta 4-7-2-5 11,996.90
Left: Storm the Court heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Peter Eurton said, "It's just so special to do this for this for Exline-Border, they've been so supportive through the years. They had a bit of a Champagne Room minute, so they had a taste of it here. (Bloodstock Agent) Marette Farrell just does such an awesome job buying horses. It just means a lot: my family, my daughter, my wife, my home."
Right: The trophy presentation.
Left: Storm the Court in the post parade. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "I got to ride him the entire race today. I wanted to be on the lead today. He relaxed for me nicely. I think the blinkers helped him a lot. He really battled all through the stretch. I always thought he was going to win."
Right: Storm the Court heads back to the barn. Eurton added, "In the American Pharoah I still feel like he didn't have a chance to run. I still felt a little uneasy about what happened in the prior race down south (losing the jockey at the start of the Del Mar Futurity), so we decided to put the blinkers on him on Flavien's recommendation. It just seemed like it got him a little more focused and he probably would have been able to do it without them – but it did help out a lot. It's a lot of team work."
Left: Second place finisher Anneau d'Or returns after the race. Jockey Juan Hernandez said, "At the 3/8 pole it wasn't him, but when I started working him, he started running again. At the eighth pole, I thought he might win but the horse came back again and got me."
Right: Third place finisher Wrecking Crew in the post parade. Trainer Peter Miller said, "It's been a great day. I think if we could have stayed inside it could have been a different story. We had to go wide and that cost us some momentum and ground (while) waiting. The horse ran super. That's horseracing. Great ride by Paco (Lopez). And, he had two months off, so he was short. We'll definitely look at (the Los Alamitos Futurity). He showed the last sixteenth of a mile when he didn't kick that he was short, but the horse ran big."
Left: Last place finisher and beaten favorite Dennis' Moment trails the field first time by. Jason Loutsch, racing manager for owner Albaugh Family Stables said, "We had no chance from the start. Dale (Romans) just about took off out of box when it started. We talk all the time about highs and lows of the game. I can tell you this is about as low as I've ever been in a horse race. But, we have a lot of confidence in this horse and I have no doubt he'll bounce back. I don't even know how Irad stayed on to be honest. He went straight down all the way. It was unfortunate circumstances, but hopefully he came back good and we'll live to fight another day. That's all that matters right now. We know we have a horse who can do anything."
Right: The horses break from the gate for the Juvenile. Jockey Irad Ortiz aboard the stumbling Dennis' Moment (1) said, "Out of the gate, I said to myself ‘Oh man.' You don't see too many horses like that stumble that badly out of the gate and come back to win the race. I asked him for run early, he gave it to me and put a good effort into the turn but then at the quarter pole he slowed down."
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