Decisive Moment, the runner-up to Animal Kingdom in Saturday’s Grade III, $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral at Turfway Park, was the first Kentucky Derby 137 contender to arrive at Churchill Downs when his van pulled through stable gate Monday morning – 40 days in advance of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Decisive Moment made the 93-mile trek from Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. by van and was accompanied by his groom. They arrived at 8:30 a.m. and were bedded down in Barn 41, Stall 12. Florida-based trainer Juan Arias was expected to arrive in Louisville later this week to check on his stable star.
Owned by Ruben Sierra’s Just for Fun Stable, Decisive Moment (8-2-2-3—$527,330) has banked $301,000 in graded stakes money through runner-up efforts in last November’s Delta Jackpot and Saturday’s Vinery Racing Spiral. He also was fifth in the Grade II Risen Star in February. Those earnings should firmly place the Florida-bred son of With Distinction in the Derby field on Saturday, May, 7. His 3-year-old campaign was successfully launched at Delta Downs in January with a 3 ½-length triumph in the $250,000 Jean Lafitte over one mile.
Eight Kentucky Derby winners have hailed from Barn 41 since 1976: Bold Forbes (1976), Affirmed (1978), Gato Del Sol (1982), Sunny's Halo (1983), Swale (1984), Ferdinand (1986), Sunday Silence (1989) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000).
The Churchill Downs barn area reopened Friday, March 11. There are approximately 250 horses on the grounds, and the population will grow in coming weeks as horses from winter meets in Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida and elsewhere migrate to Kentucky for the spring. The stable area stall capacity is 1,424.