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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Pletcher Says Time to Step Up for Noble Indy


Says Showing Tremendous Amount of Talent

Todd Pletcher says Noble Indy has been doing well and is confirmed to ship to New Orleans on Wednesday for Saturday's Risen Star after being among the 10 entries in the race.

The Risen Star will offer 85 Kentucky Derby points with 50 going to the winner.

Owned by WinStar Farm LLC and Repole Stable, the son of Take Charge Indy has won both his career starts at Gulfstream Park. He took his seven-furlong debut in wire-to-wire fashion by 8 3/4 lengths on Dec. 3 before winning a two-turn allowance on Jan. 11.

“We were just looking for a logical prep timing wise,” Pletcher said. “He’s been doing really well and came out of last race well. There are essentially options every weekend, but we feel like this is a good spot for him.

"He’s shown a tremendous amount of talent not only in the mornings but in both of his races. He’s a horse with a pedigree that suggests he’ll handle longer distances. Right now, he’s at that stage of development in his career where it’s time to step up into the graded stakes ranks and see where he fits in the big picture. We think he’s a horse that belongs on the Derby trail and we’re hoping he handles each step up in class, and so far he has.”

Noble Indy has worked three times at Palm Beach Downs since he last raced. His last breeze took place on Saturday, five furlongs in 1:01.00.

“The one thing that we’ve been working with him a lot is his behavior around the gate,” Pletcher said. “He had a little bit of history of that before he came to us, and it was something that we continue to work on. In his first start, he behaved poorly in the gate, but despite that broke very sharply, and he handled it much better in his second start but we continued to work on that.

"The one thing that I think John Velazquez has learned about him by breezing him prior to his last race," Pletcher continued, "is that he has a tendency to wait a little bit when he makes the lead, and he kind of did that in his allowance win. I think he’s gotten better about that in his subsequent works, and he’ll learn how to polish off his work mate and maintain his focus.”

Noble Indy will break from post 2 as the third choice at morning line odds of 5-1.

“I guess that I would rather be there than way outside,” Pletcher said. “We feel like he is in a position now where he’ll have to handle things like going to a new track, a new starting gate crew and being behind horses or have to work a little harder to establish position. All are factors that are going to lead to his development and, we hope, prepare him for bigger days down the road.”

Risen Star field: post, horse, jockey, trainer, morning line:

1. High North, Corey Lanerie, Brad Cox, 15-1
2. Noble Indy, John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 5-1
3. Givemeaminit, Shaun Bridgmohan, Dallas Stewart, 15-1
4. Snapper Sinclair, Adam Beschizza, Steve Asmussen, 8-1
5. Instilled Regard, Javier Castellano, Jerry Hollendorfer, 8-5
6. Supreme Aura, Joe Bravo, Michael Stidham, 8-1
7. Bravazo, Gary Stevens, D. Wayne Lukas, 8-1
8. Kentucky Club, James Graham, D. Wayne Lukas, 30-1
9. Principe Guilherme, Florent Geroux, Steve Asmussen, 7-2
10. Ebben, Gabriel Saez, Steve Margolis, 30-1

Edited Fair Grounds release with additional content by Dick Downey

Photo by Lauren King

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