Ellis Park Press Release: Dennis Albaugh’s Albaugh Family Stable and trainer Dale Romans swept Ellis Park’s pair of 2-year-old maiden races Friday, with Not This Time romping by 10 lengths in the mile fourth race and Reedini prevailing by 3 1/4 lengths in the 6 1/2-furlong seventh.
“Wow! Wow! Wow!,” jockey Robby Albarado said as he was lead into the winner’s circle aboard Not This Time.
Not This Time, in his second career start after breaking slowly and finishing fifth in a tough Churchill Downs’ maiden race won by eventual Saratoga stakes-winner Bitumen, powered to a 10-length victory over Society Beau, covering the mile in 1:35.99 with a final eighth-mile in 11.82 seconds even with Albarado gearing down. He paid $3 as the 1-2 favorite.
“That’s impressive,” Albarado said. “What I felt was extreme talent there. What a nice horse! I rode him first time and he did everything possible wrong he could do. Today he broke, put himself in the race. I wasn’t planning going to the front, but man, a nice horse. Take nothing from the rest of them. But I could have squeezed him and sprinted home faster than he did. Some kind of feeling.”
Continued Albarado, rider of Horses of the Year Curlin and Mineshaft: “I’ve been on just a few of those. Just a few.”
“He’s the real deal,” Romans said from Saratoga, as he prepared to fly to Chicago for Saturday’s big race card. “I told Robby the first time he rode him that he might be as good a horse as he’s ever ridden. Of course, he didn’t break that day. This is a serious, serious racehorse.”
Romans said they were looking for a mile race to use as a steppingstone to Churchill Downs’ $150,000, Grade III Iroquois Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 17, a race whose winner gets their entry fees paid and a travel stipend to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.
“That was pretty spectacular, but I expected a big effort,” Romans said. “I knew that he was special. It’s nice for him to go on and back up what he was showing in training.”
Not This Time is a son of Giant’s Causeway, who also the sire of Albaugh and Romans’ Toyota Blue Grass winner Brody’s Cause. His mom, Miss Macy Sue, was a top sprinter who also has produced Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map and the stakes-winning Taylor S. Romans said he believes the source of the name is Albaugh’s chagrin over selling $1.35 million-earner Liam’s Map as a yearling for $800,000 at Keeneland’s 2012 September sale.
Channing Hill picked up the mount on Reedini when jockey David Flores got stuck in New York because of flight cancellations. Reedini also led all the way to prevail over Texas Sky, who wore down the Churchill Downs Racing Club’s Warrior’s Club to take second by a head.
“He’s all right. That was a nice work for him,” Hill said of Reedini, who covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.88 as the 8-5 favorite. “I’m just glad to pick up the mount. This is my first win for Dale Romans; I’ve had a lot of seconds and thirds for him.
“There’s a little greenness. But he’s very smart, an intelligent little horse, wants to do everything right. He kind of surprised me when he made the lead down the backside. Honestly, I thought they went a little slower because he just did it so easily. Then he took a couple of nice deep breaths around the turn, and when I asked him at the top of the lane, he got a little pressure and showed his little turn of foot. Then he just kind of idled from the eighth pole out. Even galloping out, any horse that takes you back galloping out, is one you feel like will really progress.”
Reedini, a $350,000 yearling purchase who is out of the same mare as the champion sprinter Midnight Lute, also was making his second start, having been third by a total of a half-length in the slop June 23 at Churchill.
Reached for a second time by phone, Romans said of Reedini, “This is another good one.”
Romans said he didn’t know about running the two horses against each other in the Iroquois, given the common ownership. “But we’ve got a van, we can travel,” he said. One possibility could be a race in New York, he said. “We’ll just see how things unfold the next couple of weeks.”
Trainer Ian Wilkes, whose horses running at Ellis Park are overseen by assistant Bob Tucker, won his eighth race of the meet as Lucky Seven Stable’s 4-year-old filly Sweet Tapper and jockey Corey Lanerie spurt out of the pack to take the $39,000 entry-level allowance on turf by a half-length over Sister Blues and Joe Johnson.
On the claiming-ranks front, James Utley’s Showbiz Star became the the fifth horse to win twice at the meet — and the first of those to also have a second — as the 5-year-old gelding captured the fifth race. Claimed by trainer Jeff Barkley for Utley for $8,000 at Churchill Downs, Showbiz Star was a close second for $7,500 July 9 at Ellis before winning for the same claiming price July 22. In for a $5,000 claiming tag in Friday’s 1 1/16-mile turf race, he won as the favorite by two lengths over Sky Alert. He was claimed back out of the race by his prior connections, trainer Thomas Trione and owners Bonnie and Ken Schreiter.
“We were just looking for something to win some races and got lucky,” Barkley said. “He’s a pretty neat little horse. It worked out well. You get lucky sometimes when you claim a horse; it doesn’t always turn out that way. He was in where he needed to be. The name of the game is to win some races, and we’ll find another.”
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