07/11/2013 1:59PM

Hastings: Touching Promise steps up after victory


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Touching Promise might be good enough to stand the considerable jump in class when she runs in an allowance race restricted to 3-year-old fillies who have not won $27,500 in 2013 or $12,000 twice this year. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew seven horses and will serve as Saturday’s feature at Hastings.

Trainer Barbara Heads was high on Touching Promise when she put her into training as a 2-year-old, but until her last race, this daughter of Touch Gold never lived up to her high expectations. Running without blinkers for the first time in a maiden special weight race June 30, Touching Promise looked comfortable sitting just off I Dig That for the first half-mile. After strong urging from Fernando Perez on the stretch turn, she took control of the race at the top of the stretch and drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths, posting a very fast final time of 1:16.92. The 76 Beyer Speed Figure she earned is easily the best last-race figure in the field, and Heads is hoping Touching Promise will come back with another strong performance.

“She’s a pretty intense filly, and we began training her without blinkers this year hoping it would help settle her down a bit,” Heads said. “I was very pleased with the way she ran, because we knew she had a lot of talent but you just never know if they can do it in the afternoons. Now, we’ll see if she can do it again.”

Perez retains the mount.

Lady Henrietta won’t make things easy for Touching Promise. Trained by Sylvea Gregory, Lady Henrietta set the pace and held on well to finish third when she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the $50,000 Supernaturel on July 1. She won a first-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs in her previous race and could be dangerous with the move back to a sprint.

Trainer Dave Forster isn’t sure what to expect from Super Divine. Recently purchased by Arnold and Judy Bennewith, Silver Divine is making her first start at Hastings after a troubled trip in a first-level allowance race at Churchill Downs on May 18 for trainer Larry Jones. It was just the third start of her career, and she showed a lot of potential winning her debut at Fair Grounds on March 15.

“We bought her because I think she’ll be a better horse when she goes long,” Forster said. “She seemed to handle the track well when she worked here last Saturday, but I am really waiting to see how she does when she stretches out.”