Promises Fulfilled Pounces For Amersterdam Score

Robert Baron’s Promises Fulfilled showed he could successfully rate off the pace in Saturday’s Grade 3 Amsterdam Stakes, beating odds-on favorite Engage by 3 1/4 lengths on the wire. The 3-year-old son of Shackleford covered 6 1/2 furlongs over Saratoga’s fast main track in 1:15.18 under jockey Luis Saez. Trained by Dale Romans, Promises Fulfilled was sent off at odds of 7-5 en route to his second graded stakes victory.

“We talked in the paddock, I told Luis [Saez] to go,” said Romans. “I told him to give him a chance, he looked at me a little funny, and I said, ‘OK, give him a chance and then race right from there.’ He rode a beautiful race, but it was good, it was really good. Everything equal, we’ll try to come back in the Allen Jerkens [Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial on August 25], my good friend, and we’ll try to win this race. Nothing can make me happier right now.”

Both Promises Fulfilled and Strike Power were very sharp out of the gate, but Saez was able to take hold of Promises Fulfilled in the first quarter mile and settle just behind Strike Power. The leader carved out fractions of :21.28 and :43.92 with a one-length advantage, while Promises Fulfilled tracked that pace and Engage was not far behind in fourth.

Rounding the far turn, Promises Fulfilled drew even with Strike Power, and the two were stride-for-stride at the top of the stretch. Promises Fulfilled put away his rival by the three-sixteenths pole, and was never seriously threatened by Engage as he flew under the wire a winner by 3 1/4 lengths. Engage had to settle for second, while Barry Lee got up late for third over Strike Power.

“I really like him,” said Saez. “We always tried to send him [to the front], but today, we decided to try and do something different and it worked. If somebody else wanted to go to the lead, we would just stay there. I knew Strike Power was very fast. I know that horse. I rode him a few times and I knew he was going to be sent. He came in with that mentality, to go to the lead. I know they all have the same mentality to go to the lead, but the point where I saw Strike Power, I took him back and made my move. When we came into the stretch and I saw Engage, I knew to let him go.”

Bred in Kentucky by David Jacobs, Promises Fulfilled was a $37,000 yearling at the Keeneland September sale. He first made a splash as the frontrunning Fountain of Youth winner at Gulfstream, and later ran 15th in the Kentucky Derby. Most recently, Promises Fulfilled ran third in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes. Overall, the colt’s record stands at four wins from eight starts with earnings of $500,000.

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