Promises Fulfilled Posts Upset in Fountain of Youth

Promises Fulfilled (photo via Gulfstream Park).

Promises Fulfilled (photo via Gulfstream Park).

Robert J. Baron’s Promises Fulfilled broke smartly from the far outside post position (10), sped to the lead and never looked back, cruising to a to a 2 ¼-length score in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (GII) at Gulfstream Park under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. In doing so, the Dale Romans trainee picked up 50 points to make the gate for the May 5 Kentucky Derby (GI), bringing his total to 51, thanks to the one point he earned for finishing third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) Stakes last November. He now sits second behind Bravazo (54) on the list of Derby point-earners.

The son of 2011 Preakness Stakes (GI) hero Shackleford logged splits of :23.80, :48.39, 1:12.60 — with Strike Power, Storm Runner and champion Good Magic stalking about a length behind waiting for the leader to grow weary on the front end. As Promises Fulfilled maintained his energy and led the field around the bend full of run, his pursuers began to labor and soon after he straightened out for the drive, he received a couple of taps from Ortiz — mostly to keep his mind on business — and continued on to the wire to earn his first career stakes victory. After posting a mile in 1:37.59, Promises Fulfilled stopped the clock in 1:44.17 over a fast main track.

“The trainer told me to go to the lead and hold on,” Ortiz said. “When I asked my horse, he just took off again. He was impressive today, he ran the whole race. He broke great and was ready, the trainer was right.”

Promises Fulfilled the FOY credit Lauren King2dale

Promises Fulfilled after his wire-to-wire score in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park (photo via Lauren King/Gulfstream Park).

At odds of more than 18-1, Promises Fulfilled returned $38.40, $12.80 and $4.60. Strike Power held on to second and was good for $6.40 and $3.60 at odds of nearly 4-1. Good Magic was another 2 ¼ lengths back in third and paid $2.20 at odds of just greater than 3-5. The exacta paid $230 for a $2 wager and the $1 trifecta was good for $254.70.

Machismo, Marconi, Gotta Go, Storm Runner, He Takes Charge and Peppered rounded out the order of finish after Free Drop Billy was scratched.

“I thought that he could open up, and he did,” Romans said. “It was a bunch of fast horses, but a lot of times that speed doesn’t materialize, and coming from the outside it kind of pressed our hand. On the turn, if you wait to see what everybody else does, you’re going to be hung wide. I just told the jock, ‘Push the pedal and try to open up and see where they go from there. If somebody comes and chases you down the backside, then ride a smart race.’ They let him go in :48 with his ears up and I knew it was going to take a heck of a horse to pass him at that point.”

Kentucky-bred Promises Fulfilled is out of the graded stakes-placed Marquetry mare Marquee Delivery and was purchased by his trainer, who also conditioned his sire, for $37,000 out of the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale. He’s now won three of four career starts and has earned $327,280.

“Dale has done a great job with this horse. I’m so excited,” Baron said. “I’ve never won the Fountain of Youth, I’ll tell you that much, and we’re on the Derby trail so it’s very exciting. This is the biggest win of my career. Been with Dale since 1997 or ’98. We’ve been together a long time. He’s like family.”

Good Magic’s connections offered few excuses for their champion’s loss only citing the winter freshening as a possible reason for his performance.

“He got a good trip,” trainer Chad Brown said. “He had no trouble and got good position early. The latter part of the race, he didn’t have it. The horses that were 1-2 the whole way just kicked ahead of him. The horse came back a little tired. He was blowing pretty good. It looked like he needed the race. Hopefully, he got what he needed out of it and go on to the next step.”

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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