Honorable Duty will try for a third straight stakes win at the Fair Grounds meet and the most prestigious victory of his career when he faces an expected nine rivals in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (G2) April 1.
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Doubling down on his brilliant triumph over California Chrome in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 5, Arrogate made a mockery of the world's richest race when he drew off under Hall of Famer Mike Smith to prevail by open lengths.
In many ways the entries alone mark an early "mission accomplished" for the first edition of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) as it has attracted the world's two top dirt horses in training in California Chrome and Arrogate.
John Oxley will turn 80 Jan. 24 but the classic-winning owner feels like he's half that age. And, he's ready to spend that energy on a busy upcoming racing and personal schedule.
John C. Oxley's Noble Bird is under consideration for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park following a sharp half-mile work Jan. 15.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys' Gun Runner handily defeated older horses to earn his first grade I victory Nov. 25, turning back longshot Breaking Lucky for a gate-to-wire score in the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Noble Bird, the horse who has had a most fitful relationship with consistency, brings some of his best recent form to the table in the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25.
The complexion of two of the biggest stakes on Churchill Downs' fall schedule hinges on whether a pair of Breeders' Cup runners-up take one more stab at ending their 2016 campaigns on winning notes.
Since teaming up with trainer Mark Casse, John and Debby Oxley have experienced a strong uptick in success with their Thoroughbred runners, evidenced by Breeders' Cup contenders Classic Empire and La Coronel.
The 5-year-old son of Birdstone set a track record Oct. 29 at Keeneland, winning the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) by 5 3/4 lengths and running 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.75.
The Noble Bird who turns jockey Julien Leparoux into a happy passenger is the one his connections hope shows up Oct. 29, when he headlines a field of eight entered in the Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) on the final day of the Keeneland fall meet.
Runhappy makes his long awaited 2016 bow Oct. 1 in Churchill Downs' one-turn mile Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III). The race shares the bill with the $175,000 Lukas Classic featuring grade I winners Bradester and Noble Bird.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Whitney Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Mark Casse worked several of his stars July 22 at Saratoga Race Course, as Tepin and World Approval worked on the turf course, and Noble Bird went a sharp half-mile on the main track.
Effinex looks to rebound and reclaim his title July 9 in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park, while Eagle aims to break through after two consecutive runner-up efforts in graded stakes.
Big-name horses like Frosted, Calculator, Stanford, Upstart, and El Kabeir will mix it up with Noble Bird, Ami's Flatter, and Anchor Down in the June 11 Met Mile (gr. I).
The 5-year-old Bernstein mare clicked off the solid fractions that have become her trademark—splits of :12 2/5 and :24 1/5 under regular rider Julien Leparoux en route to a four-furlong time of :48 2/5 and a five-furlong gallop out in 1:01 1/5.
John Oxley's Noble Bird rebounded from a disappointing effort at Churchill Downs two weeks earlier with a dominant victory in the $300,000 Pimlico Special (gr. III) May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.
Stanford and Page McKenney, the one-two finishers in the $1.25 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) last time out, are set for a rematch in the $300,000 Pimlico Special (gr. III) May 20 at Pimlico Race Course, if Stanford makes the gate.
Eagle, Noble Bird, and Majestic Harbor have taken turns beating one another.
W. S. Farish's homebred Eagle broke through for his first graded stakes win April 16 and kept an unbeaten record at Keeneland intact in the $200,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III).
Multiple stakes winner Discreetness worked an easy half-mile in :50 over a fast track Feb. 10 at Oaklawn Park, his final major move for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) coming up Feb. 15.
Following a five-furlong workout earlier this week at Oaklawn Park, trainer Mark Casse said John Oxley's Noble Bird continues to progress toward his first major objective this year, the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Breeder Jack Swain III resides in Manhattan, but his heart may reside in the Bluegrass. This year, his biggest equine stars included the now-five-year-old Noble Bird, who won the June 13 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Stephen Foster (gr. I) winner Noble Bird will sit out the rest of the year after emerging from the Aug. 8 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course with a hip injury, trainer Mark Casse said Sept. 12.
Honor Code caught early leader Liam's Map in the final strides to win the $1.25 million Whitney Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 8 at Saratoga Race Course.
In a riveting renewal of Saratoga's Whitney Stakes, a Kentucky shipper intrigues. read blog
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Whitney Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. read blog
Off a scintillating Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) win on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) undercard, Honor Code was installed as the 3-1 favorite for the Whitney Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 8 at Saratoga Race Course.
Several Whitney (gr. I) contenders drilled July 31 for the upcoming $1.25 million race next weekend at Saratoga Race Course, including 2014 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist, who put in his final serious work.
Met Mile (gr. I) winner Honor Code went five furlongs in 1:01 flat, while Noble Bird got the same distance in :59.90 July 25 on the main track at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York.
Just a week after the completion of an epochal Triple Crown series, the Stephen Foster threw up a new star in Noble Bird.
John Oxley's Noble Bird wins the Stephen Foster, a closer look at the clocking crew at the New York Racing Association, American Pharoah is a model of efficiency, and more in the June 20, 2015 issue of Blood-Horse magazine.
John Oxley's Noble Bird claimed his first graded stakes in style June 13, outlasting favored Lea in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs to punch his ticket to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Grade I winner Lea will return to the races and a U.S. campaign when the son of First Samurai starts in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) Saturday, June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Conquest Curlinate has been withdrawn from the list of challengers to dual classic winner American Pharoah in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and instead will be pointed toward the July 5 Queen's Plate.
John Oxley's Coastline put in his final major work April 4 for the upcoming Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr.I), drilling five furlongs in company at Keeneland in 1:00 2/5.
|Trainer||Mark E. Casse|
|Owner||John C. Oxley|
|Noble Bird View Five-Cross Pedigree||Birdstone||Grindstone|
|Sale / Hip||Type||Buyer||Consignor||Price|
|Yearling||Mark Casse, agent||Brookdale Sales, agent for Jack Swain||$105,000|