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Noble's Promise
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Mathea Kelley

Noble's Promise to Skip Preakness; Ascot Next

Noble's Promise will pass the Preakness and will point for the St. James's Palace

Chasing Dreams Racing’s Noble's Promise , fifth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will pass the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and will point instead for the one-mile St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot.


“The horse is fine, but I felt he needed more time,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “He came out of the Derby a touch dehydrated; on a scale of one to 10, he was probably a one or two. I’m just not convinced he wants to go that far. Up to a mile there isn’t a 3-year-old in America who can hang with him.


“Unfortunately, there are no 3-year-old mile grade I stakes in this country. The timing is good for the St. James’s Palace and he’s already nominated. We had to scramble to get him ready for the Derby anyway, and he did good. I could have run him in the Preakness if I wanted to, but I felt I was pressing the issue, and if the dehydration got worse it would set him back for several months.”


The St. James's Palace will be run June 15, the first day of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting. Last year's winner was Mastercraftsman and in 2008 the race was won by Henrythenavigator.


McPeek said, after the St. James’s Palace, they’re looking at the nine-furlong Haskell Invitational (gr. I).


“You know me, I’m a bit unconventional anyway,” McPeek said. “One of our motives is that with the weakening of the American dollar their purses are actually up for us. When you find a grade I, you hunt it down, and the partners are going to have an opportunity to meet The Queen, so it’s a once in a lifetime trip. And most important, the horse could very well win the race. He’s going to train right-handed on my course on my farm in Lexington. He’ll have a speed work, most likely at Keeneland on the synthetic or possibly Churchill, and then we can continue the repetition of him training right-handed and hitting his leads. And we’ll train him up a hill as well.”


Noble’s Promise, a $10,000 yearling purchase, captured the grade I Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall and has placed in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), CashCall Futurity (gr. I), and Rebel Stakes (gr. II).