Ridden patiently by Aaron Gryder, Wild Promises stalked the pace in the early stages of the 1 1/8-mile Turf, sitting comfortably in third while Elusive Lady and Julia Tuttle set the pace. Under Alan Garcia, Elusive Lady ran a half-mile in :47.70 and six furlongs in 1:11.93.
Elusive Lady still had a narrow advantage at the top of the lane, but Wild Promises soon took over. She displayed a huge turn of foot while soaring past the longtime leader in upper stretch and put the race away nearing the sixteenth-pole. The final time on the ‘firm’ turf was 1:47.82.
Elusive Lady held second at odds of 11-1, 1 1/2 lengths in front of 17-1 Snow Cone, who rallied late under Joe Bravo.
Trained by Greg Gilchrist, Wild Promises was making her 2009 debut after posting a 6-2-0 record from eight starts in 2008. Racing in California, the daughter of Wild Event won minor stakes at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields and Santa Rosa before scoring her first graded stakes victory in the Dec. 6 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course.
Bred in Florida by the late Arthur Appleton, Wild Promises is out of the Frosty the Snowman mare Frosty Promise. Remarkably, she has never been off the board in 17 starts, posting a 12-4-1 mark with earnings of $656,610. She is owned by the Estate of Harry Aleo.
“Greg and I had a long conversation yesterday and he said, ‘Don’t you go reading the Form.’ He said just stick your nose in there and wait your turn," Gryder said. "I wasn’t worried about having the lead because I knew we would get an opportunity to get in there. I just sneaked in behind Edgar (Prado) and got myself a nice spot. She really made her move at the half-mile pole. I never felt any pressure. How could you with a horse like this?”
Gilchrist did not say where his talented mare would be pointed next.
Sent off as the 7-10 favorite, Wild Promises paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10. The exacta (2-4) returned $25, while the $1 trifecta netted $78.20.
Julia Tuttle was fourth, followed by Zip Trick, Zee Zee, Bel Air Sizzle and Peach Flambe.