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 the”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 favorite in Saturday’s seven-horse field, Promises Fulfilled broke on top under jockey Luis Saez and quickly established a one-length lead. Warrior’s Club pushed the pace in both path on the outside as Promises Fulfilled set quarter-mile fractions of both:23.16 and:46.09. Never wavering, Promises Fulfilled increased 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 did not look like there was much speed, and if Killybegs Captain overlooked the break, that left him out there,” winning trainer Dale Romans said. “He had been going to be hard to beat if no one pressed him. He had not had that slow of a speed in his lifetime. Examine the horses he’s been operating against. This race finally gave him a little class relief. But this ought to set him up well.”
Killybegs Captain took third, a neck supporting Warrior’s Club.
“He broke sharp. He constantly breaks sharp,” Saez said. “The last time, he missed the rest, but today he broke so clean, he had been right there. When he came to the stretch and he switched prospects, he had been running. I still had a great deal of horse. It is very hot today. He got a little tired when he crossed the wire, but that’s normal. “I think he is 100 percent. He feels far better than he did his last races, and let’s see what happens in Saratoga.”
Promises Fulfilled entered the race off a fourth-place end in 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. He then returned to the states, where he took third at the May 4 Churchill Downs Stakes Presented by Twinspires.com at Churchill Downs.
It was the fifth graded stakes win for Promises Fulfilled, that won the Grade two Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes, Grade 3 Amsterdam Stakes, Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes Presented by Runhappy, also Grade two Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes last year. The 4-year-old has seven wins from 15 starts and $1,437,280 in earnings.
“He is a lot kinder than Shackleford had been,” said Romans, who also coached the 2011 Preakness Stakes winner and sire. “Shackleford was one of a kind. He was a great and clever horse. This one is smart, too, but he’s nicer. Where we go next, we’ll have to sit down and figure it out. He could earn a mile. There is just a good group of horses running three-quarters along with a mile. We are going to get that all figured out”