Promise Me Silver golden in Eight Belles

May 01, 2015 03:33pm

Undefeated heading into today’s Grade 3 Eight Belles Stakes, carded at 7 furlongs on the dirt for 3-year old fillies, at Churchill Downs, Promise Me Silver was sent to post at lucrative odds owning to the fact that she had yet to face and defeat graded stakes company. Breaking sharply, the gray filly closely tracked the early pace before pouncing in the stretch and pulling clear.

Under Luis Saez, Super Saks was quickest away and set out immediately for the lead. Initially hounded early, Super Saks was able to go clear by 1 ½-lengths at the ½ mile call, clicking through strong splits of :22.08 and :44.72. Ekati’s Phaeton and Fancy and Flashy took up the second and third running positions with Promise Me Silver right behind the early leaders in fourth. With 3 furlongs left to run, Promise Me Silver with jockey Robby Albarado aboard had gained second and had Super Saks in her sights.

Moving together in the far turn, Promise Me Silver and Callback, who had edged into third, were put to task and both fillies responded willingly. With a furlong left to run, they had both put away pacesetter Super Saks, and though Callback was running a game race, Promise Me Silver would not be caught. She crossed under the wire the winner by 1 ¼-lengths in a final time of 1:22.90.

Winning jockey Robby Albarado said that he knew he had enough horse under him around the far turn. "I knew I had horse and I knew I had a nice quality bunch behind me but when I called on her she showed me why she's seven for seven," he said about Promise Me Silver answering the question when asked. "She's an exceptional filly, she's kind to be around and she's very nice. I think she's won at like six or seven different racetracks and that's special in and of itself. Today was a big test for her and how she'll go on to some bigger things, I'm sure."

Callback saved second by just a neck, holding off the fast closing Scat Means Go, who came from dead last to finish 3rd, 6 ¼-lengths ahead of fourth place finisher Mizz Money.

Victor Espinoza, who will ride morning line favorite American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, was aboard runner-up Callback. "My filly ran a big race but that one (Promise Me Silver) is really good," he stated after the race. "I thought coming out of the turn that I had a good chance to catch her but she kept going.

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Third place finisher Scat Means Go had Joel Rosario, who will be aboard Wood Memorial winner Frosted in tomorrow's feature race, aboard. Though the filly closed like a freight train and just missed second, Rosario was proud of his mount. "She really closed. She really came running," he enthused. "I thought I was going to get second, but I just missed. I had a good trip and I have no complaints."

Pacesetter Super Saks faded to fifth, followed by Taylor S, Streetheart and Lavender Chrissie. Favored Enchanting Lady was never a menace and finished a dull 9th. Fancy and Flashy and Ekati’s Phaeton, both part of the pace in the opening quarter, went in the wrong direction to finish 10th and 11th respectively.

The Eight Belles ended up being financially productive for savvy bettors. Off odds of 11-2, Promise Me Silver paid $12.60/$6.00/$4.20 for her upset win. Runner-up Callback (5-1) returned $5.80/$4.40, and a $2 show bet on Scat Means Go (39-1) was worth a nice $13.60. The $2 exacta paid $56.00, the $2 trifecta returned $1,161.40 and the $0.10 superfecta was worth $1,378.11.

By Silver City ($2,000) and out of the Macho Uno mare Uno Mas Promesa, Promise Me Silver is a homebred for owner Robert Luttrell and is trained by W. Bret Calhoun. The Eight Belles was the striking gray filly’s first graded stakes victory in a career that is still unmarred by defeat. With her career win tally a perfect 8-for-8, the Texas-bred filly has earned $437,155 in purse monies. Her $400,000+ career earnings have more than paid dividends for the Luttrells in a career that looks to be far from over. Robert and Myrna Luttrell picked up Uno Mas Promesa for $45,000 out of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company 2006 Select Sale of Yearlings. While Uno Mas Promesa did not have a fantastic career on the track, producing Promise Me Silver from a $2,000 mating to Silver City has brought back her purchase price and a good deal more.

Winning trainer Bret Calhoun confirmed that his rising star Promise Me Silver will move on to bigger and better things. "She's a special filly. I can see why she was overlooked (at odds of 5-1). She had never beaten this caliber of fillies before, but we always knew she could," he explained. "We will start making plans for that race (the $750,000 Acorn Stakes at a mile) on Belmont Day (June 7)."


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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, which led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation covering racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues and, from time to time, offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry. A move North to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the From Coast to Coast blog for HRN. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband, Chris, and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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