(It’s back to the training board for Dennis’ Moment / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

We were fully prepared to declare the greatness of Dennis’ Moment this week. We were fully ready to pepper him with accolades, and plaudits. We were fully poised to heap praise and early pedals of roses.

Ready. Willing. Able.

Unfortunately, Dennis wasn’t as ready.

And, certainly, we were not ready for what happened at Gulfstream Park last Saturday in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes.

It was ugh time.

As in ugh-lee.

If you have been hiding under a rock — trying to avoid anyone from China or a viral outbreak on Twitter — the star of this show didn’t show up on Saturday. Despite an OK start, the talented 3YO son of Tiznow was shuffled back and cut off going into the first turn. And, truly, the pupil of Dale Romans never really put in much of an effort.

Ran behind a few along the backstretch. Ran behind a few more at the beginning to the final turn. Ran out of gas or effort after that.

By the time the real running began, it was easy to see that Dennis’ Moment was not running his best race; or at this best effort. By the time the horses hit the wire, Dennis’ Moment was hitting the wall.

Everyone was left with mouths open.

Everyone was left wondering what happened.

Everyone was left without an explanation or a reason.

Maybe, it is simple. Maybe, it just wasn’t his day.

Maybe, it is more geographic. Maybe, Dennis’ Moment simply does not like Gulfstream Park and the conveyor belt racing surface that benefits speedy types. He would not be the first.

Maybe, it is more problematic. Maybe, Dennis’ Moment had issues. Physical ones? Mental ones? Little ones? Big ones?

Or, maybe, Dennis just isn’t as good as we all — blush — think he is, or want him to be. After all, I really want him to be good. Really good. OK, I want him to be great.

I like the trainer, and I hope he can win his elusive Kentucky Derby.

I like the owners, who are as nice as they come.

I like the way the horse can run. On his day, he truly is pretty special.

Maybe the bias of emotion outran good logic. Been known to have done that before.

So, what to do?

So, Saturday was pretty frustrating and disappointing. But it was not the first Saturday in May, too.

So, Saturday threw a wrench into our thinking. But it was not the last impression. Just the first one of 2020.

So, Saturday was puzzling. But there is time to piece things back together again. After all, there is still 2 full months before the Kentucky Derby and there are a lot of major prep races to go before we get there, too. Plenty of time to add up points. Plenty of time to make amends. Plenty of time to carve out a path to Churchill Downs — his home town.

Dennis’ Moment is no longer #1 on our list. But he is not out of the photo, either.

Now, he just has to work his way back up the ladder. Several rungs at a time.

Until then, we shall turn our attention and respect to others — who will try to take the next stride forward this week.

Our new #1, Authentic, resurfaces in the G2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

So does Thousand Words, another standout from the barn of Team Baffert.

So does 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court.

So does the highly regarded Honor A.P., who has only won a MSW event.

And, hopefully soon, we sure do hope that Dennis’ Moment can resurface soon. On the Kentucky Derby trail.

After all, it is nearly Spring.

And, hope does Spring eternal.

Horse Sire Trainer Jockey Last Race Next Race Comments
1 Authentic Into Mischief Bob Baffert Drayden Van Dyke 1st in G3 Sham Stakes G2 San Felipe Stakes —  SA on March 7 This Is Now My “Baffert Horse”
2 Nadal Blame Bob Baffert Joel Rosario 1st in San Vicente Stakes G2 Rebel Stakes — OP on March 14 People’s Choice / Action is a Little “High” for My Liking
3 Tiz the Law Constitution Barclay Tagg Manny Franco 1st in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes G1 Florida Derby — GP on March 28 GP Suits Him / Does Churchill Downs? I Have Questions
4 Thousand Words Pioneerof the Nile Bob Baffert Flavien Prat 1st in the G3 Robert B. Lewis G2 San Felipe Stakes — SA on March 7 Baffert Calls Him a “Grinder” / Compliment?
5 Enforceable Tapit Mark Casse Julien Leparoux 2nd in G2 Risen Star Stakes G2 Louisiana Derby — FG on March 21 Have You Seen His Race in the G2 Risen Star? Wow
6 Silver Prospector Declaration of War Steve Asmussen Ricardo Santana, Jr 1st in G3 Southwest Stakes G2 Rebel Stakes a– OP on March 14 Has a Win Over The CD Surface / Like It
7 Independence Hall Constitution Michael Trombetta Jose Ortiz 2nd in the Sam F. Davis Stakes G1 Florida Derby — GP on March 28 Still Like This One
8 Modernist Uncle Mo Bill Mott Junior Alvarado 1st in G2 Risen Star Stakes G2 Louisiana Derby — FG on March 21 Biggest Jump this Week / Due to? / Upon Further Review
9 Storm The Court Court Vision Peter Eurton Flavien Prat 4th in San Vicente Stakes G2 San Felipe Stakes — SA on March 7 Has To Improve This Week
10 Basin Liam’s Map Steve Asmussen Jose Ortiz 1st in Hopeful Stakes G2 Rebel Stakes — OP on March 14 Big Work Last Time Out / Can He Pick Up Off This Long Layup
11 Mr. Monomoy Palace Malice Brad Cox Florent Geroux 1st in G2 Risen Star Stakes TBD Blue Grass Stakes or Louisiana Derby Next?
12 Sole Volante Karakontie Patrick Biancone (Jockey Injury) 1st in Sam F. Davis G2 Tampa Bay Derby — TB on March 7 Can He Duplicate, Replicate? Or Will He Backslide?
13 Dennis’ Moment Tiznow Dale Romans Irad Ortiz, Jr. 10th in the G2 FOY Stakes G2 Blue Grass Stakes — KEE on April 4 What Was That? Let’s Hope He Can Turn It Around
14 Shotski Blame Jeremiah O’Dwyer John Velazquez 4th in G2 FOY Stakes TBD Track Bias Was Too Much For a Horse Learing to Stalk
15 Honor A.P. Honor Code John Sherriffs Mike Smith 1st in SA MSW G2 San Felipe Stakes —  SA on March 7 Huge Jump in Class / Huge Jump This Week / Like the Works
16 Eight Rings Empire Maker Bob Baffert John Velazquez 6th in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile G2 Rebel Stakes — OP on March 14 Let’s Go
17 Shoplifted Into Mischief Steve Asmussen Brian Hernandez 4th in the G3 Southwest Stakes G2 Rebel Stakes — OP on March 14 Has Ability / Can He Find Consistency?
18 Wells Bayou Lookin At Lucky Brad Cox Florent Geroux 2nd in G3 Southwest Stakes G2 Rebel Stakes — OP on March 14 Improving With Giant Strides
19 Gouverneur Morris Constitution Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 1st in Tampa Bay Alw TBD When Is He Going to Race Again?
20 American Theorem American Pharoah G. Papaprodromou Tiago Pereira 2nd in American Pharoah Stakes TBD Love to See This One in KY Derby
AE List
1 Green Light Go Hard Spun Jimmy Jerkens Javier Castellano 3rd in the G3 Swale Stakes TBD Got Sick / Got Time to Recover?
2 Ajaaweed Curlin Kiaran McLaughlin Joel Rosario 3rd in Sam F. Davis G2 Louisiana Derby — FG on March 21 Like This Upcoming Race Decision / Now, Let’s Go
3 No Parole Violence Tom Amoss James Graham 1st in Premier Night Prince Stakes G2 Rebel Stakes — OP on March 14 Super Freak Now Has To Show Strength Againt Open Comp
4 Mailman Money Goldencents W. Bret Calhoun Gabriel Saez 4th in G2 Risen Star Stakes G2 Louisiana Derby — FG on March 21 Connections Win the LA Derby 2 Years in a Row?
5 Anneau d’Or Medaglia d’Oro Blaine Wright Joel Rosario 9th in G2 Risen Star Stakes G1 SA Derby — SA on April 4 Louisiana Experiment Was Awful
6 Maxfield Street Sense Brendan Walsh Jose Oritz 1st in Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity TBD I’ve Dropped Out of the Top 20 / Can’t Wait on No Plans
7 Chance It Currency Swap S. Joseph, Jr. Tyler Gaffalione 1st in Mucho Macho Man Stakes G2 Tampa Bay Derby — TB on March 7 Don’t Like The Scratch in the FOY
8 Structor Palace Malice Chad Brown Jose Ortiz 1st in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf TBD When. Will. He. Run? For Goodness Sakes…
9 Ete Indien Summer Front Patrick Biancone Florent Geroux 1st in the G2 FOY Stakes G1 Florida Derby — GP on March 28 I’m Calling BS / Gulfstream Park Speed Type