Road to the Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Promises Fulfilled

Shackleford provided Louisville native Dale Romans with his first Classic win when landing the 2011 Preakness Stakes. A son of Shackleford may be the horse to provide him with a second.

Promises Fulfilled raced his way into the Kentucky Derby field with an 18-1 upset victory in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park March 3, leaving Strike Power and Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old colt Good Magic struggling in his wake.

The victory earned him 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard, which will assure him a start on the First Saturday in May.

The odds were perhaps a little generous as Promises Fulfilled had done little wrong beforehand. He won his debut over six furlongs at Churchill Downs last September and followed with a seven-furlong allowance victory at Keeneland. Romans then sent him to the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2), where he finished third, less than three lengths behind Enticed and Tiz Mischief.

Bred by David Jacobs, Promises Fulfilled was purchased by Romans for $37,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale and is owned by Robert J. Baron.

Promises Fulfilled is from the second crop of Shackleford, who is one of seven Grade 1 winners by the sire Forestry. In addition to the Preakness Stakes, Shackleford also won the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) and the Clark Handicap (G1). His five second-place finishes included the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), the Haskell Invitational (G1) and the Florida Derby (G1), and he also finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby behind Animal Kingdom.

Shackleford is one of five stakes winners out of the Unbridled mare Oatsee and the regally-bred chestnut counts as half-siblings Grade 1 winner Lady Joanne and Grade 2 winner Afleeting Lady.

Promises Fulfilled is the fifth foal of the Marquetry mare Marquee Delivery, a winner of five races who was graded stakes-placed up to 1 1/8 miles. Marquee Delivery has also produced Marquee Miss (Cowboy Cal), who won three stakes races at distances ranging from six furlongs to a mile.

Like his sire, Promises Fulfilled is very much a speed horse, having never been headed in the early stages of his first three starts. Whether he can adapt if he’s taken on in front remains to be seen. In addition, his pedigree doesn’t automatically suggest he will stay 1 ¼ miles on Kentucky Derby day.

Nevertheless, in a year when form has proved difficult to follow, Promises Fulfilled deserves as much respect as any Derby contender. And he could prove hard to beat if he gets his own rules in front.