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Fulmineo made a strong move from behind and drew off to win the $100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes on the Preakness undercard Saturday, May 18 at Pimlico for his first stakes victory.

The bay 3-year-old colt entered the James W. Murphy in pursuit of his first win of his sophomore season. He finished second in three of his first four starts of the year, including a runner-up effort in the March 9 Columbia Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. He went off as the slight 2-1 favorite in the 9-horse field, which included four Maryland-breds.

Fulmineo broke well from the outside post - the third time this year he broke from the extreme outside - and dropped over towards the inside by the time they hit the first turn. Maryland-breds Speedyness and Tocayo set the pace, galloping through an opening quarter of :24.90 and a first half in :51.88 over a soft grass course. Halfway up the backstretch, Flavien Prat angled Fulmineo towards the center of the track and began to advance after the leaders. He moved into prime striking position on the final turn and struck the front at the top of the lane. From there, he pulled clear and won by 2¼ lengths, going a mile in 1:44.78.

The victory was Fulmineo’s second lifetime win in nine starts, boosting his earnings to $179,275. On the season, his record stands at 1-3-0 in five starts, with earnings of $99,095. He’s owned by Starlight Racing and Mark B. Grier and trained by Arnaud Delacour. Starlight and Grier purchased Fulmineo for $90,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale.

The colt made his debut at Delaware Park on the main track last July and finished third. A little over five weeks later he took to the turf at Colonial Downs, closing fast and drawing clear to win by 2¼ lengths. The effort was enough to have his connections think bigger. 

He reappeared in the Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes in October at the Belmont At The Big A meet. He once again rallied and got up for second over the turf course rated good. That prompted another step up in competition and a trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-G1. The results say he was well beaten when last of 11 – however a total of 5 1/2 lengths separated first from last, with the winner stopping the clock for a mile on the firm turf in 1:33.65. In six career turf starts, Fulmineo has two wins and three seconds.

Fulmineo was bred by Country Life Farm and Starr of Quality LLC. A son of Bolt d’Oro, he’s out of the stakes-winning First Dude mare Starr of Quality, purchased by Country Life, in foal with Fulmineo, for $72,000 at the 2020 Keeneland November Sale. Fulmineo is her first foal; she also has an unnamed 2-year-old filly by Gun Runner who sold for $775,000 at last summer’s Saratoga yearling sale. Her most recent foal is a weanling Cyberknife colt, foaled April 29 of this year. 

 

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