The Fifth Season Stakes - 35th Running

Compiled by Robert Yates

Contact: Chris Ho, Vice President of Marketing,, 501-623-4411 ext. 4201

Saturday, Dec. 31, 2023

PROMISE KEEPER - Photo Credit: Coady Media

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024) – Promise Keeper provided jockey Harry Hernandez with his first career Oaklawn stakes victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Fifth Season.

Adding blinkers and breaking from the rail, Promise Keeper ($16.20) led at every call, holding off 2-1 favorite Seize the Night by a half-length in the one-mile race for older horses. Millionaire multiple graded stakes winner Silver Prospector, another neck farther back in third, was followed, in order, by Logical Myth, Kupuna and Durante, who was never a factor after stumbling badly at the start. Brigadier General and Nautical Star were late scratches.

Racing over a sloppy, sealed surface, Promise Keeper’s winning time was 1:40.93. Two-time Oaklawn training champion Robertino Diodoro conditions Promise Keeper for Canadian owner Randy Howg. A 6-year-old Constitution gelding, Promise Keeper won for the fourth time in 16 lifetime starts to raise his career earnings to $442,610. The gelding was claimed for $80,000 Sept. 21 at Churchill Downs.

Hernandez, 27, is based at Oaklawn for the first time this season after winning riding titles at Turf Paradise and Canterbury Park.

Racing resumes Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (Central).

Fifth Season Quotes

Winning jockey Harry Hernandez: “Honestly, the plan was to go to the lead. 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.”

Winning trainer Robertino Diodoro: “I usually don’t like to give riders instructions, or not very often, but I did today. One of the few times it worked out. I told Harry, ‘You just ride this horse like you’re in Canterbury.’ I didn’t think we were the best horse in the race, but I thought with the circumstances of the track and the way the horse was going into the race, if we could get to the lead and on the rail, we had a chance of stealing it.”