Promises Fulfilled the morning after his score in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park

Promises Fulfilled the morning after his score in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park

Joe DiOrio

Promises Fulfilled Exits Fountain of Youth 'Very Well'

Shackleford colt now being pointed toward Florida Derby.

Robert J. Baron's Promises Fulfilled was "in good shape" the morning of March 4, a day after his front-running victory in Saturday's $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

"He came out of the race very well," trainer Dale Romans said. "He's in good shape."

Romans said he is pointing his colt to the $1 million Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) March 31 at Gulfstream.

Promises Fulfilled ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.17 to prevail over Strike Power by 2 1/4 lengths as Good Magic, the 3-5 favorite who raced for the first time since winning the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar in November, finished another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.

Romans said the victory was particularly satisfying because Promises Fulfilled is a son of Shackleford , whom he saddled to win the 2011 Preakness Stakes (G1).

"It's always special when we win with horses by horses we trained," said Romans, who also saddled Shackleford for a victory in the 2012 Metropolitan Handicap (G1), as well as a close second at 68-1 odds behind Dialed In  in the 2011 Florida Derby. "They have the same speed and stamina. They don't act alike, but they do have the same style."

Promises Fulfilled earned 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to clinch a spot in the starting gate for the first leg of the Triple Crown at Churchill Downs May 5.

Trainer Mark Hennig said Courtlandt Farms' homebred Strike Power is scheduled to join Promises Fulfilled in the Florida Derby after his runner-up effort.

"He's good. He ate every oat, cooled out nice, looked bright this morning—all the signs you want to see," Hennig said of the Speightstown  colt who made his first start around two turns in the Fountain of Youth. "I think we may go ahead and try the Florida Derby if everything's in good shape. Hopefully, it seems like a reprieve to him. He's been stretching out three-sixteenths of a mile every start, so this will just be a sixteenth. He's got a lot of try in him.

"He had never been behind a horse, either," he added. "He never had any dirt in his face. I thought he did a little climbing in the first turn when the horse originally crossed over in front of him, but it didn't discourage him. He kept on going. I think he's still trying to figure some things out. He got a little bit nervous (Saturday), which is the first I've seen. I think the crowd had him a little fired up. He just kind of froze up a little bit when we threw the rider up, which was unusual for him, and when he got out on the track and he heard that crowd, he got a little wound up. But he'll settle in and figure it out. It didn't affect his race, I don't believe. This is a really young horse still. He's an April 27 foal, so he's still learning."

Good Magic, the 2017 Eclipse Award-winning juvenile, isn't likely to join Promises Fulfilled and Strike Power in the Florida Derby. Trainer Chad Brown is expected to point the son of Curlin  to the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland April 7.