Promises Fulfilled Punches Breeders’ Cup Ticket in Nerud Stakes
Robert J. Baron’s Promises Fulfilled exceeded all Guarantees July 6 with a front-running, 4??1/2-length score in the $300,000, Grade 2 John A. Nerud Stakes at Belmont Park.
Part of this”Win and You Are In” Challenge Series, the win earned the son of Shackleford an automatic berth at the Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.
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The odds-on favored in Saturday’s seven-horse field, Promises Fulfilled broke on top under jockey Luis Saez and immediately established a one-length lead. Warrior’s Club pushed the speed from both path on the exterior as Promises Fulfilled set quarter-mile fractions of both:23.16 and:46.09. Never wavering, Promises Fulfilled improved his lead to 2??1/2 spans in early stretch and continued to surge. The final time for the seven-furlong dash was 1:21.75.
”It didn’t seem like there was considerably rate, and if Killybegs Captain missed the rest, that left him out there,” winning trainer Dale Romans said. ”He had been going to be difficult to beat if no one pressed him. He hadn’t had that slow of a speed in his life. Examine the horses he’s been operating against. This race finally gave him a bit of class relief. But this should put him up nicely.”
Killybegs Captain took third, a neck behind Warrior’s Club.
”He broke sharp. He always breaks sharp,” Saez said. ”The last time, he missed the break, but now he broke clean, he had been right there. When he came to the stretch and that he switched leads, he had been running. I still had a great deal of horse. It is quite hot now. He got somewhat tired when he grabbed the cable, but that is normal. ”I think he is 100 percent. He feels far better than he did his past races, and let’s see what happens in Saratoga.”
Promises Fulfilled entered the race off a fourth-place finish from the June 8 Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap. He left his first start of the year at Meydan Racecourse, in which he finished fourth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News. Then he returned to the states, where he took third at the May 4 Churchill Downs Stakes Presented by Twinspires.com in Churchill Downs.
This was the first time graded stakes triumph for Promises Fulfilled, who won the Grade 2 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes, Grade 3 Amsterdam Stakes, Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes Presented by Runhappy, also Grade 2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes last year. The 4-year-old has seven wins from 15 starts and $1,437,280 in earnings.
”He’s a lot kinder than Shackleford had been,” stated Romans, who also trained the 2011 Preakness Stakes winner and sire. ”Shackleford was clearly one of some kind. He had been a great and smart horse. This one is intelligent, too, but he is nicer. Where we go next, we’ll have to sit down and figure it out. He can earn a mile. There’s only a good group of horses running three-quarters along with a mile. We are going to get that all figured out.”
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