Romans sends another 'real deal' prospect in Ellis Park Juvenile

Romans sends another 'real deal' prospect in Ellis Park Juvenile
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Trainer Dale Romans’ huge Ellis Park meet could get even bigger with Night Time in Sunday’s $100,000 TwinSpires Ellis Park Juvenile.
Night Time won by daylight in his debut June 30 at Ellis Park, leading all the way through a fast time to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths. With eight wins out of 26 starters, Romans sits third in the trainer standings behind 13-for-100 Steve Asmussen and 12-for-40 Brad Cox.

Romans’ victories include the $75,000 Good Lord Stakes with Seven Trumpets, but his
 Churchill Downs-based barn made the biggest noise with the 2-year-old Dennis’ Moment, a 19 1/4-length Ellis Park maiden winner who is bypassing Sunday’s Juvenile to train up to Churchill Downs’ Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes. Romans isn’t going to compare Night Time to Dennis’ Moment but said the son of Majesticperfection ranks among his best 2-year-olds.
“This is a nice horse. He’s fast, and I think he’ll run big,” Romans said from New York. “He’s a very talented horse. We thought about bringing him up to Saratoga. But he’s right there. It seemed like it was probably a little easier spot, and we’ll see where we go from here.
“I was expecting him to win first time out. He’s a big, pretty horse. For the pedigree, someone paid a lot of money. I thought he was one of the prettiest horses to go through Keeneland last year. I think he’s going to be the real deal.”
Night Time, a $210,000 Keeneland yearling, is owned by the Blue Devil Racing Stable of Marc Holliday, chief executive officer of SL Green Realty Corp., New York City’s largest owner of commercial office properties. The source of the stable name is not Duke University, Romans said. “His high school was the Blue Devils. He’s actually a Columbia grad.
“Off and on I’ve had a couple of horses here and there for him, plus he’s a close friend. I think this could be a special horse. I’ve got a lot of nice 2-year-olds, and this is one of the better ones.”
Night Time is ridden by Channing Hill, whose agent, Jake Romans, is the trainer’s son. After the June 30 romp, Hill said: “Dale told me he really liked him. This guy, he broke sharp, was green, just kept running from the quarter pole. Still a little green, so he should have a lot of upside to him.”

2019 Ellis Park Juvenile (LS)

Hebert shooting for first stakes win in Debutante
Matt Hebert will try to win his first race at Ellis Park and his first stakes anywhere in his young training career as he saddles Top Hat Charmer in Sunday's $100,000 TwinSpires Ellis Park Debutante.
Hebert is from a Louisiana racing family, moving to Kentucky when he was 12. He literally grew up next door to prominent Kentucky trainer Buff Bradley, working on the Bradley family’s Indian Ridge farm before he was old enough for a racetrack license. Hebert, as an exercise rider and assistant trainer, was part of the team when Bradley had two-time champion Groupie Doll. After she was retired, Hebert went out on his own in 2014.
“Buff gave me a ton of stake money, and that’s when it was time to roll,” he said cheerfully.
Owned by Gary Franklyn’s Top Hat Thoroughbreds, Top Hat Charmer won a Lone Star Park 4 1/2-furlong maiden race in the mud at 11-1 odds just a month after being bought for $16,000 out of Texas 2-Year-Old in Training Sale. She came back in the $100,000 stakes on July 14 for horses sold at the sale, finishing second. Corey Lanerie picks up the mount as the Kentucky-bred daughter of Algorithms stretches out from 5 1/2 furlongs to the seven-eighths of a mile.
Hebert, a graduate of Frankfort’s Western Hills High School, is still working on what his circuit will be. He currently has 15 horses stabled at Ellis Park and gets on as many as he can himself in the morning, including eight Friday morning.
“We spent the past eight months in Texas, went to Houston for the winter, and did pretty well,” he said. “Instead of coming up here and just shipping everywhere, we tried Lone Star and did pretty well there. Now we’re here and we’ll see if we can stick around for a little while before we go south again. If I can get out of here in the winter time and spend the rest of the time here in Kentucky, it would be super cool.”
Hebert acknowledged how difficult it is to start a training stable from scratch without a benefactor jump-starting your business. 
“It’s super tough,” he said. “Like this time last year. I was looking at my training chart (of horses) from a year ago, and it had like two names in it. So (15) is really good. We got up to 23, 24 in Dallas. But the ones who couldn’t hang here, we either dropped (and had claimed) or sold privately. So we cut the numbers a little bit to sacrifice that for quality. But 15, I’m getting on as many as I can, so it’s enough.”
Top Hat Charmer is 10-1 in the morning line, with 7 1/4-length Ellis allowance winner Lady Glamour the 5-2 favorite in the Debutante’s field of 11.
“I think she has a shot,” Hebert said of Top Hat Charmer, adding of Lady Glamour, “I know Larry Demeritte’s filly is nice; she just blew their draws off in the allowance race. But if I’d run this filly in (an allowance race), I think she’d be super salty. Hopefully we’ll see if she can hang up here, but she’s training really well. And it’s the first time we’re not coming out of the 1 hole. We got 8 out of 11, and I think that helps, plus the extra distance.”

2019 Ellis Park Debutante (LS)

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