The 4-year-old son of Cuvee was a bit reluctant to get into the starting gate, but after he did he was able to stalk the pace and wear down Atta Boy Roy in mid-stretch to score by one length under Alan Garcia. The bay colt earned his second added-money victory at Churchill and gave trainer Ken McPeek a stakes double on the afternoon. McPeek won the Dogwood (gr. III) with Salty Strike one race earlier.
Noble’s Promise, owned by Chasing Dreams Racing 2008, notched his first graded stakes win since he took the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland as a juvenile. Last out, he was fifth—beaten only two lengths—in the May 7 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) in his season debut.
The winner was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Chuck Kidder, Dr. Nancy Cole, and Ben Kidder.
Breaking from the outside in a field of eight sprinters, Noble’s Promise raced fourth while Cash Refund set the pace through a :21.41 opening quarter mile. He advanced from the outside on the turn as Atta Boy Roy, who was second in last year’s Aristides, took over while running a quick :44.46 half mile.
Atta Boy Roy turned for home with the lead under Jesus Castanon and still held a half-length lead at the eighth pole. But Noble’s Promise, entering four-wide in the lane, was bearing down from the outside and caught his rival at the sixteenth pole en route to his victory as the 8-5 favorite.
The final time for six furlongs on the fast track was 1:08.74.
Atta Boy Roy held second at 13-1, finishing 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Capt. Candyman Can, who was compromised by a poor start.
Noble’s Promise won for the second time in four starts at Churchill. He was fifth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) last May and won the six-furlong Jimmy V. Stakes there in November. Overall, the colt improved to 5-3-1 from 14 starts with his Aristides victory and upped his earnings to $1,027,774. He is out of the Clever Trick mare The Devil’s Trick.
“I felt like he could improve three or four lengths off his last race," McPeek said. "That race was a tough one coming off a layoff so we backed off him since then. He’s a nice horse and now he’s a millionaire. There were some other nice horses in the race, but I thought they would have a tough time beating him today.
"I think he’s found his niche with sprinting. I’d love to run him in the Vanderbilt (gr. I on Aug. 7) and the Forego (gr. I on Sept. 3) at Saratoga and then bring him back here in the fall for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I on Nov. 5).”
Noble’s Promise paid $5.20, $3.60, and $2.40. The exacta (8-7) returned $54 and the trifecta (8-7-3) was worth $166.20.