Decisive Moment arrives at Churchill Downs.

Decisive Moment arrives at Churchill Downs.

Courtesy Churchill Downs

'Decisive' 1st Derby Contender at Churchill

He finished second in the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) March 26.

Decisive Moment, the runner-up to Animal Kingdom in the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park March 26, was the first contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (gr. I) to arrive at Churchill Downs when his van pulled through the track's stable gate the morning of March 28. The 137th running of the classic is scheduled for May 7.

A son of With Distinction, Decisive Moment was accompanied by his groom during 93-mile trek from Turfway Park. They arrived at 8:30 a.m. EDT and were bedded down in Barn 41, Stall 12. Florida-based trainer Juan Arias was expected to arrive in Louisville later in the 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 Boyd Gaming Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) and the Vinery Racing Spiral. He also was fifth in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) in February.

His 3-year-old campaign was successfully launched at Delta Downs in January with a 3 1/2-length triumph in the Jean Lafitte Stakes.

Eight Kentucky Derby winners have been stabled in 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 barn area reopened 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.