Noble's Promise took over on the second turn, opened up a commanding lead in the stretch, and held off Aikenite by a half-length to pull a 12-1 upset in the $500,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) (VIDEO) Oct. 10 at Keeneland.
Reeling off his third consecutive win, Noble’s Promise earned a spot in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Nov. 7 at Santa Anita. The 2-year-old son of Cuvee, who was a $10,000 yearling, is trained by Ken McPeek for Robert Brewster’s Chasing Dreams Racing.
Willie Martinez guided the winner to victory and they covered 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack in 1:43.12.
Making his second start at Keeneland, Noble’s Promise was never far off the pace set by Soundman, who led the full field of 14 through splits of: 23.68 and :47.73. Dixie Band, No Shenanigans, and Wildcat Nation were close to the early pace.
As they approached the second turn, No Shenanigans made his move to the front, but he was quickly joined by Noble’s Promise, who was full of run from his four–wide position. The bay colt would never relinquish the lead again, as he came off the turn with a head of steam, led by 2 1/2 lengths at the eighth-pole, and held off a game run from Aikenite in deep stretch.
Aikentite and Alan Garcia finished three lengths in front of Roman Invasion for runner-up. Make Music for Me was fourth.
"Willie sat on him perfect," said McPeek. "We were a little worried about the race unfolding and him going fast too early. I just told (Willie), 'Just be patient. If you take him back and he gets beat, I'll take the heat.' He rode him to a 'T.' The horse is fast."
McPeek confirmed that Noble's Promise would go on to the Breeders' Cup.
Nobel’s Promise, based at Churchill Downs for McPeek, broke his maiden at second asking Sept. 5 on the Ellis Park turf. He was then shipped to Presque Isle Downs where he scored the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile by 3 1/4 lengths under Martinez.
Bred in Kentucky by C. Kidder, N. Cole, and B. Kidder, Noble’s Promise is out of the Clever Trick mare The Devil’s Trick. He has earned $385,500.
The winner paid $27.80, $13.20, and $8.20. The exacta (6-8) returned $209.20 and the trifecta (6-8-12) was $4,363.
Piscitelli was fifth, followed by Stately Victor, Hockley, Backtalk, Soundman, Dixie Band, Hurricane Ike, Callide Valley, No Shenanigans, and Wildcat Nation.