Holy Bull Stakes winner Audible and Fountain of Youth longshote victor Promises Fulfilled tuned up for the March 31 Xpressbet.com Florida Derby Saturday morning with workouts at three different venues.
Promises Fulfilled video
Promises Fulfilled's workout for the March 31 Triple Crown prep was the 3-year-old son of Shackleford’s first since his front-running victory. He was timed in 48:16, Breezing (19/94) for four furlongs by Gulfstream Park clockers.
“He’s just a push-button horse,” trainer Dale Romans said. “He’s doing everything the right way."
Promises Fulfilled, who won his first two starts before setting the pace and finishing third behind Enticed in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs last year, grabbed an early lead from his far-outside post position in the Fountain of Youth and went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Strike Power. Good Magic finished another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.
“That was a big deal. He ran a beautiful race. He’s just a good horse. He should be undefeated. He shouldn’t have lost the Jockey Club. He was just getting out so bad that day and fighting the jockey,” Romans said. “He’s a real talent. At the end of the race the other day he’s drawing off. Nobody was passing him on the gallop-out. I figure he can do anything.”
Roman, who seeks his first Florida Derby victory, has saddled a couple of runner-ups, Sharp Humor and Shackleford.
“Winning the Florida Derby would be big too. I’ve finished second twice, close seconds to Barbaro and Dialed In. These type of races you want to put on your resume,” Romans said. “There are Grade 1s and there are Grade 1s. This is a unique Grade 1 to me.”
Romans said that Storm Runner is also scheduled to run in the Florida Derby after experiencing a troubled trip while finishing seventh in the Fountain of Youth.
“He had no chance in the Fountain of Youth, so we decided to give him another chance,” Romans said.
Storm Runner breezed five furlongs in 1.00:92 (22/56) at Gulfstream Saturday, according to track clockers.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Audible breezed five furlongs in 1:01.50 (3/10) Saturday morning at Palm Beach Downs in preparation for a scheduled start in the Florida Derby. Javier Castellano was aboard.
Video of Audible workout
The son of Into Mischief worked in company inside Prince Lucky. It was his fourth workout since winning the Holy Bull by 5 1/2 lengths.
Catholic Boy whose stabled at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 (1/2) Saturday morning. Irad Ortiz Jr. flew to Ocala Friday evening to make the engagement.
Trainer Jonathan Thomas said he was pleased “Between Irad seemingly being happy with him and the way the horse breezed this morning. After the five-eighths work, he went ahead and had a very healthy gallop-out.”
Catholic Boy, who debuted with a two-length victory in a 7 1/2-furlong turf race at Gulfstream Park last July, was a multiple graded-stakes winner last year, scoring in the With Anticipation Stakes on turf at Saratoga and capturing the 1 1/18-mile Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. He finished second as the heavy favorite in his 2018 debut, beaten by a half-length by front-running Flameaway in the Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
“I think he’s progressed well. He’s put on weight since he ran. His energy level is good. By design we gave him an extra week of not breezing. It came back a pretty healthy (Ragozin) number for him. He ran a ‘6’ which was a lifetime best, I didn’t have him fully cranked, so I think he got a lot out of that,” Thomas said. “The way he worked this morning, it was swifter than normal for me, but he did it well within himself. I feel liked he bounced back pretty well.”
Catholic Boy is scheduled to ship from Bridlewood to Gulfstream Park on March 22 to complete his preparation for the Florida Derby.
“We’ll train on the 23d. Depending on how we’re feeling, we could deviate breezing either the 25th or the 26th,” Thomas said.
Edited Gulfstream Park release with additional content by Dick Downey