Promises Fulfilled is looking to rebound off a ninth in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park

Promises Fulfilled is looking to rebound off a ninth in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park

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Promises Fulfilled, Coach Rocks Work at Churchill Downs

Dale Romans sent out Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) contenders April 14.

Promises Fulfilled, winner of the March 3 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) winner Coach Rocks both turned in maintenance moves for trainer Dale Romans April 14 at Churchill Downs.

Robert J. Baron's Promises Fulfilled, in his first published his first breeze back at Churchill since his winter in Florida, went a half-mile in :49 in preparation for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).

"We had a really good morning," Romans said. "He breezed very easy and galloped out strong. It was exactly what we wanted to see."

Promises Fulfilled began his work at the three-eighths pole and clipped through opening eighth-mile fractions of :12 2/5, :24 4/5, and :37, before galloping out to five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 and to six furlongs in 1:14 4/5, according to Churchill clocker John Nichols.

A son of the Romans-trained 2011 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Shackleford , Promises Fulfilled faded to ninth in the March 31 Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) after an early speed duel with Strike Power.

"Things really didn't go our way that day," Romans said. "We're regrouping and excited to move on from that effort. When you have a horse that is a son of a former star you trained, it's always special to showcase them on the grandest stage."

Romans is Churchill's all-time leading trainer with 710 victories, but has yet to win a Kentucky Derby.

"The ultimate goal is always to win the Kentucky Derby," Romans said. "I grew up my entire life on the backstretch of Churchill Downs in Barn 4. To win a Kentucky Derby would be the ultimate dream."

Promises Fulfilled's stablemate and probable Kentucky Derby entrant, Albaugh Family Stables' grade 1-winning Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) third Free Drop Billy, galloped 1 1/2 miles Saturday morning and is scheduled to breeze next weekend.

Jockey Robby Albarado is likely to pilot either Promises Fulfilled or Free Drop Billy in the Kentucky Derby, but a second rider has yet to be confirmed, Romans said.

Coach Rocks, a daughter of 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow , worked a half-mile in :48 3/5 in preparation for the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

"She looked great this morning," Romans said. "She came out of the (Gulfstream Park) Oaks well and she's been training great at Churchill since we got her back here. The track has been a bit fast the last two weeks, but it looked good this morning."

Coach Rocks breezed through opening eighth-mile splits of :11 4/5, :23 4/5, and :36 1/5 before galloping out to five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 and to six furlongs in 1:16 1/5, according to Nichols.

Prior to her score in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, Coach Rocks took seven tries broke she her maiden for Roddy Valente, RAP Racing, and West Point Thoroughbredson Feb. 14 at Gulfstream Park.

"We've always had high hopes for her," Romans said. "We ran into some back luck in her previous races but she's always run well and continued to do so as the distances got longer."

Coach Rocks made headlines in the Gulfstream Park Oaks not only for her victory, but her part-owner, former University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino, whose stable is RAP Racing. After the Gulfstream Park Oaks, Pitino reaffirmed his vow to never return to Louisville, even with a Kentucky Oaks contender.

"I'm not sure if he'll make it to the Oaks or not," Romans said. "I would love to have him here."

Also on the Saturday work tab with a half-mile move in :47 1/5 was Carl Moore Management's Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) runner-up Classy Act, who is currently on the outside of the 14-horse field at No. 15 on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard.