By Liane Crossley
The value of David Jacobs’s modest bloodstock portfolio rose again last Saturday when Promises Fulfilled (Shackleford) won the GII Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park just hours after his half-sister Marquee Miss (Cowboy Cal) was runner-up in the Spring Fever S. at Oaklawn Park.
“It was pretty spectacular; I was excited about it,” said Jacobs, who was inundated with congratulatory messages, calls and handshakes at his central Kentucky home.
Same-day success is not new to the horses’ dam, Marquee Delivery (Marquetry). On December 3, 2016, she achieved a milestone for which there are no statistics when Marquee Miss and her full-sister Marquee Cal Gal finished first and second, respectively, in the Holiday Inaugural S. at Turfway Park.
Jacobs channeled homebred Marquees Cal Gal into his small racing division, but sold the younger Marquee Miss for $19,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.
That decision deviated from his usual business model of retaining fillies to eventually breed and selling colts as unraced prospects. He made the exception because he saw no reason to have two broodmares with identical bloodlines. Despite the subsequent status of Marquee Miss–a stakes winner with a $300,658 bankroll–Jacobs has no regrets.
“I thought I was doing the right thing at the time and that is all you can go on,” he said.
Jacobs’s broodmare band expanded to three following the recent retirement of Marquee Cal Gal, whose mate for the 2018 breeding season is 2016 GI Preakness S. winner Exaggerator. The 7-year-old mare was multiple stakes-placed and banked $249,209 with her 11-6-4 record from 30 starts. She joined her dam and 21-year-old granddam Fast Delivery (Little Missouri) at Crowning Point Farm in Paris, Kentucky, which is owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Rob Nowak and Julie Rini
Jacobs has been associated with them for about 25 years. He credits the Crowning Point crew for its dedication in raising Promises Fulfilled after he experienced complications as a newborn.
“Julie sat up a lot of nights taking care of Promises Fulfilled when he was a baby to get him back into good health,” he said.
In keeping with his strategy, Jacobs sent Promises Fulfilled to the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale where trainer Dale Romans, as agent, bought him for $37,000.
“I thought the price was a little too cheap but I let him go anyway,” Jacobs said. “When people ask me why I let him go so cheap, I should probably ask them ‘Well, why didn’t you buy him?’ In hindsight, it was way too cheap but I didn’t know that at the time. People who didn’t buy him didn’t know it either.”
Jacobs held on to Marquee Delivery’s unnamed 2016 Gemologist filly and plans to race her. He cashed in early on his star broodmare’s 2017 Tiznow colt, who was sold as a weanling for $100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale last year. The youngster was bred in partnership on a foal sharing agreement.
Marquee Delivery has no foal for 2018 after losing her pregnancy to Dialed In last year. Her mate for this breeding season is once again Shackleford.
Making a Marquee Empire
Jacobs mini-dynasty of stakes horses traces to his 1991 entrance into Thoroughbred ownership. A friend convinced him to purchase Copelan’s Girl (Copelan), a durable low-level performer in Kentucky and Ohio who picked up a few victories for Jacobs and his late wife Andrea. When the one-horse stable retired, Jacobs opted to breed her and race the offspring.
One of her first foals was Fast Delivery, a three-time stakes winner at Turfway Park and an overall earner of $263,835. Retired to Jacobs’s broodmare band, Fast Delivery produced Marquee Delivery in 2004. She also became a stakes performer and pocketed a nearly identical bankroll as her dam. With a record that included a pair of graded placings, she followed the family tradition and joined Jacobs’s breeding division. Her first foal, born in 2011, is Marquee Cal Gal.
Jacobs views his breeding and racing operation as a hobby and is practical with his decisions.
“I try to be fairly conservative,” he said. “I don’t want to be one of those people who blows what they made in another profession on horses and I have seen that happen a few times. I try to be cautious and have a little fun along the way but not get too overwhelmed.”
Since retiring from the temporary staffing and home health care industries, Jacobs continues to oversee 1,200 acres of land on four separate tracts in Stamping Ground, about 25 miles northwest of Lexington.
“I mess around on my farm a little bit and drive a tractor occasionally,” he said. “I have workers on the farm, but I do a little myself, mostly mowing. I like to be outside, especially in the spring when it is not real hot and not real cold. I don’t do any strenuous labor, but I still use the tractor.”
In addition to corn earmarked for cattle feed, Jacobs raises alfalfa hay. In a bartering agreement with Crowning Point Farm, he trades the hay for some of his boarding bill.
When Promises Fulfilled stamped himself as a GI Kentucky Derby contender with his Fountain of Youth score for owner Robert J. Baron, he also enhanced the value of his relatives. Jacobs has a virtual monopoly on the female members with a blend of proven producers and younger prospects, but two days after the race, he had not received any offers to purchase them.
Promises Fulfilled could improve their pedigree pages further. He is likely to make his next start in the GI Xpressbet.com Florida Derby Mar. 31 at Gulfstream.
From the second crop of Shackleford, Promises Fufilled has solidified his sire’s place as a sought-after stallion. Jacobs has both sides of the equation covered in his bloodstock portfolio. For now, Jacobs is just relishing the attention while still reaping rewards from the honest blue-collar mare Copelan’s Girl who brought him into the Thoroughbred business and kept him in business for nearly three decades.
“I haven’t made a fortune, but I haven’t lost much either,” Jacobs said.