Churchill Downs Press Release: Albaugh Family Stable’s Not This Time is the “total package,” according to trainer Dale Romans, who hopes that this half-brother to dual Grade I winner Liam’s Map will deliver a victory for the Romans barn in Saturday’s $150,000 Iroquois Presented by TwinSpires.com (GIII) following an impressive 10-length maiden victory at Ellis Park on Aug. 12 (click here for recap).
The homebred son of Giant’s Causeway’s Ellis Park romp was a big turnaround from his career debut at Churchill on June 28, where he was a well-beaten fifth beaten 10 lengths behind the Eddie Kenneally-trained Bitumen, the eventual winner of Saratoga’s Sanford (GII) on July 23.
“He’s pedigree, he’s intelligence, he’s looks, he’s talent … he’s got it all,” said Romans, who won the Iroquois with Cleburne in 2013. “This is a good field of horses, there are a lot of good horses in the race and it looks like there is a lot of speed. This will be a good test for him to see if he steps up where we think that he can. Endurance is no question, he’s a good horse.”
In recent years, Romans has left many of his quality 2-year-olds at Churchill, rather than taking them to Saratoga where he based during a good portion of the summer.
“When I started a long time ago I would take a lot of 2-year-olds to Saratoga,” Romans said. “I just saw a pattern of horses working way too hard too early to compete up there and it’s paid off for me to just leave them behind and run at Ellis and it’s really become some very high quality racing. It’s a good time of year to break a horse’s maiden and it’s a safe surface to run on. It’s worked well for me.
“Hopefully he just steadily improves. He doesn’t have to go too far right now. He’s a good horse but we would just like to see him keep getting better with every race.” Robby Albarado, the pilot aboard Not This Time’s two career starts, returns to the saddle for the Iroquois.
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