Stakes veteran Promise Keeper and Neat both tallied black type wins on Saturday, giving Constitution his second and third stakes winners of the new year.
Promise Keeper, a 6-year-old in the care of trainer Robertino Diodoro, was a front-running winner of the $150,000 Fifth Season S. at Oaklawn Park. He was pressed through six furlongs by Silver Prospector, then held off the late charge of Seize the Night to win the one-mile race by a neck in 1:40.93 on a sloppy racetrack.
“Honestly, the plan was to go to the lead,” said jockey Harry Hernandez. “I came out to the paddock. I asked [trainer] Robertino [Diodoro], ‘What do you think?’ He was like, ‘We’ve got blinkers on him. He breezed good. His best races are in the front. Let’s just send him.’ So, the horse broke good. He just went to the lead and did an awesome job. He did a good job of fighting to the end.”
Promise Keeper, who won the Peter Pan S. (G3) at three and placed in the New Orleans Classic (G2) at four, is now 4-1-2 in 16 starts and has earned $443,860 for Randy Howg. Promise Keeper was bred by Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds LLC and is out of a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Great Hunter.
Neat, a 3-year-old colt, earned his first stakes win in Saturday’s $100,000 Texas Turf Mile at Sam Houston Park. Breaking from the outside in the field of seven, Neat inherited the top spot when Judge McBee went very wide into the first turn. Neat quickly opened up by several lengths before coming back to the field at the midway point of the race. He was under a hold on the final turn, then bounded away from the competition when set down for the stretch drive, winning by 5 ½-lengths in 1:39.35 on a yielding turf course.
Neat has won three of five starts and earned $121,600 for Red White and Blue Racing LLC. A $200,000 Keeneland September yearling, Neat was bred in Kentucky by Hidden Brook Farm and Spruce Lane Farm.