Kentucky Derby Radar: Team Dennis' Moment's other threat

November 08, 2019 11:14am
Kentucky Derby Radar: Team Dennis' Moment's other threat
Photo: Courtesy of Santa Anita Park

Following a disappointing Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with Dennis’ Moment, who stumbled leaving the gate last week at Santa Anita Park, Albaugh Family Stables went ahead with its plan to send the colt for a 45-day freshening.


In the meantime, another 2-year-old could emerge for the group on the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail.


Thousand Words, a $1 million purchase, broke his maiden Oct. 26 going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita Park. Whereas Dale Romans trains most all of the Albaugh Family Stables runners, this colt campaigned in partnership with Spendthrift Farm is conditioned by Bob Baffert.


“I think we’ve got two really live shots moving forward,” said Jason Loutsch, son in law and racing manager for Iowa billionaire Dennis Albaugh. “Obviously, Baffert, anytime you have a maiden breaker with him you’re excited, and we all know what Dennis is like. We think the world of him.”


Thousand Words, a Florida-bred son of Pioneerof the Nile, could receive his first stakes test in the Dec. 7 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), which awards Derby qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the Top 4 finishers. Baffert has won all five editions of that race since it moved from defunct Hollywood Park.



A pair of Albaugh Family Stables’ former stars are both standing at Spendthrift Farm, hence the partnership in this colt and a few other pricey horses. Brody’s Cause won the 2016 Blue Grass Stakes (G2), and Free Drop Billy delivered in the 2017 Breeders’ Futurity (G1).


“We’ve got a really good relationship with those guys,” Loutsch said.


A Florida-bred, Thousand Words took up a wide, stalking position under jockey Flavien Prat on debut, and went on to prevail by a half length. Among those left in his wake was Thunder Code, a narrow second choice in the betting who set the pace, got passed in mid-stretch and battled gamely to the wire.


Thousand Words’ dam, Pomeroys Pistol, was a multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter. Connections will hope the top side of his breeding will allow for a stretch out in distance.


“When we bought him, he checked all the boxes as far as the pedigree that says he can,” Loutsch said, “and the cardio system checked big time for us. We think he can get two turns. Bob definitely thinks he can get two turns.”


As is customary for Baffert trainees, Thousand Words returned to the work tab Thursday, about two weeks since his last start, breezing a half mile in 49.20 seconds at Santa Anita Park.


The trainer hasn’t closed the door on running Breeders' Cup Juvenile contender Eight Rings back in 2019, with the Los Alamitos Futurity a likely destination if he does. Another to watch from the barn is High Velocity, a $350,000 colt for owners Gary and Mary West who debuted a 5 1/2-furlong winner on Oct. 13 at Santa Anita.


Before the Los Alamitos Futurity, Del Mar stages its Bob Hope Stakes for 2-year-olds on Nov. 16. Mucho Gusto won the 2018 edition of the seven-furlong feature.

 

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About the Derby Radar

Back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, Horse Racing Nation's Derby Radar seeks to identify promising maiden, allowance and even stakes winners who could target points-paying preps down the line. We'll cover the buzz horses, of course, then using a systematic approach based on past years' Derby contenders identify other talented colts moving up the ladder.

Did we miss one? Email editor Jonathan Lintner (jlintner@horseracingnation.com) if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.


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