Denk on Horses Derby contender profiles
Profile: Decisive Moment
Decisive Moment training at Churchill Downs. (Eclipse Sportswire)
Decisive Moment has never been more than a neck back at the second call of any of his eight career races, so there is a good chance he will at least have an impact on the pace of the Kentucky Derby.
He earned his way to Louisville with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot last November as a 2-year-old. The Jackpot carries a $1 million purse, and the $200,000 Decisive Moment earned at Delta Downs counts the same as money earned in a Grade 1 race according to the Kentucky Derby’s qualifying rules.
Decisive Moment returned to Delta on January 14 and won the ungraded $250,00 Jean Lafitte Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths. That was his first and only stakes win.
Decisive Moment tried tougher competition in the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds. He led the field until midway on the far turn, where Mucho Macho Man and Santiva rolled up on his outside. Despite never giving up, Decisive Moment steadily lost ground to the wire and finished fifth.
Decisive Moment’s final Derby prep came in the Grade 3 Vinery Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. This was probably his best effort. Caught in a three-wide pace duel around the track, Decisive Moment pressed solid fractions of a half-mile in 46.56 seconds and three-quarters in 1:12.57.
He seized the lead turning for home but immediately was challenged on the outside by Animal Kingdom, who rallied from last. Decisive Moment was game in defeat, but Animal Kingdom, who he faces again in the Derby, was drawing away at the wire.
Decisive Moment is a quick, hard-trying horse, but with no graded wins and a pedigree that tilts toward speed, he is a big long shot in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby.