Robert Baron's multiple graded stakes winner Promises Fulfilled will look to rebound off a fourth in the Grade 1 Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 John A. Nerud at Belmont Park.
A Breeders' Cup Win and You're In qualifying race for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park, the John A. Nerud is one of five stakes races on Saturday for the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival, including the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational, the Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational, the Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban, and the Grade 3, $250,000 Dwyer.
The Stars & Stripes festival will be part of a live national broadcast on NBC from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
A 4-year-old son of Shackleford for conditioner Dale Romans, Promises Fulfilled showed promise as a sophomore on the Kentucky Derby trail winning the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park and went on to compete in the Kentucky Derby where he finished fifteenth.
Subsequently cutting back in distance, he finished third in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park, before winning three consecutive stakes races beginning with the Grade 3 Amsterdam and Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens presented by Runhappy at Saratoga Race Course as well as the Grade 2 Phoenix at Keeneland.
Promises Fulfilled closed out his 3-year-old campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. He returned in March to finish fourth in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse ahead of a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs.
“He's doing very well,” said Romans. “We freshened him up a bit after last year's campaign and he came out of his last race well. He's a young 4-year-old and he's always been improving. Unfortunately, he happens to compete in the toughest division in America.”
Romans said he is looking for Promises Fulfilled to utilize his speed in the John A. Nerud.
“I'd expect for him to be out there running,” said Romans. “Close by or on the lead.”
With Luis Saez aboard, Promises Fulfilled will leave from post 9.
Entering for Three Diamonds Farm is Do Share from a troubled fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs.
A 6-year-old son of Candy Ride, Do Share was transferred to conditioner Mike Maker in May of 2019. After finishing second in an optional-claiming race at Laurel Park in his first start for his new trainer, Do Share went on to finish fourth in the Grade 3 General George before winning the Grade 3 Tom Fool on March 9 at Aqueduct.
Maker said he is expecting a good performance from Do Share, who was bumped at the gate last out, with new rider Tyler Gaffalione aboard.
“He's continued to train forwardly for this race,” said Maker. “Hopefully, we can get a lot of pace for him to run into as I think he will appreciate that. I think Tyler will get along with him well. Hopefully we will have a good trip.”
Do Share will depart from post 7.
Trainer Jeremiah Englehart entered Pat On the Back for owner Harold Lerner. A 5-year-old New York-bred son of Congrats, Pat On the Back will make his first start facing graded stakes company since finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap on December 1 at the Big A. Since the Cigar Mile, he has wheeled off back-to-back victories facing fellow New York-breds in the Affirmed Success at six furlongs on April 26 and the Commentator at one mile on May 27.
With five wins from 10 starts at Belmont and one win from four starts at the distance, Pat On the Back will leave from post 8 with Dylan Davis aboard.
Entering for trainer Linda Rice and owners Everything's Cricket Racing and Lawrence Goichman is Nicodemus. The 4-year-old son of Candy Ride was transferred to Rice in July of last year and finished second in the nine-furlong Curlin for his new conditioner.
Nicodemus made his seasonal debut with a fourth-place finish in an allowance race at Aqueduct in February, and went on to win the same condition in March before running fourth in the Grade 3 Excelsior inn April at Aqueduct.
In May, Nicodemus registered a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure winning the Grade 3 Westchester at Belmont. In his most recent start, he finished fourth in the Grade 2 True North.
Returning to the seven-furlong distance where he is one-for-one, Nicodemus will leave from post 4 with Jose Ortiz aboard.
Also entered is Warrior's Club for Hall of Fame conditioner D. Wayne Lukas and Churchill Downs Racing Club [Joel Rosario, Post 3]; New York Central for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen and WinStar Farm [Ricardo Santana, Jr., Post 2]; Majestic Dunhill for trainer George Weaver and owner R.A. Hill Stable [Manny Franco, Post 1]; Bon Raison for conditioner Carlos Martin and Empire State Thoroughbreds [Joey Martinez; Post 6]; and Killybegs Captain for conditioner John Terranova and Curragh Stables [Eric Cancel; Post 5].
The John A. Nerud is slated as Race 8 on Saturday's 11-race card. First post is 1 p.m.
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