Noble Bird shows he’s best on the lead in Pimlico Special

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 20th, 2016

After missing the break in the May 6 Alysheba (G2), Noble Bird proved extremely rank as jockey Julien Leparoux tried to settle him off the pace. The 5-year-old showed his affinity for racing on the engine in Friday’s $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3), crushing rivals in a front-running victory.

The final margin was 11 ¼ lengths and the winner completed 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.18.

Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Julien Leparoux, the John Oxley-owned horse posted his first stakes victory since capturing the Stephen Foster (G1) 13 months ago and Noble Bird will be pointed toward a title defense in the June 18 race at Churchill Downs.

Warrioroftheroses flashed forward from his outside post at the start, but Noble Bird was extremely keen and accelerated to the lead before passing the wire the first time. He widened the advantage through the first turn, reeling off splits of :23.53, :47.48 and 1:12.12, and no rivals ever came close to challenging.

A couple of top contenders, Stanford and Page McKenney, were scratched and Noble Bird left the starting gate as the overwhelming 4-5 favorite among six rivals.

Idolo Portero wound up second as the 4-1 third choice, six lengths clear of the 47-1 Warrioroftheroses. Next came Savoy Stomp, Golden Glint and Hesinfront.

By Birdstone, Noble Bird has now earned $755,785 from a 15-5-4-0 record.

Bred in Kentucky by Jack Swain, Noble Bird was purchased for $105,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale. He hails from the unraced Tiznow mare Anyhow, dam of Puerto Rican stakes winner Brother Pat and the multiple stakes-placed filly Dido. Anyhow is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Mythical Gem and multiple Grade 3-placed stakes winner Apple Charlotte.

Photo courtesy of Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos