John Oxley's Noble Bird has been scratched out of the May 19 Pimlico Special Handicap (G3), a race he won last season by 11 1/4 lengths.
Trainer Mark Casse said Friday morning the son of Birdstone was in good order, but that they were going to give him a freshening to try and get him back on form. Noble Bird has finished off the board in his last four starts, never threatening last time out when he ran seventh in the Alysheba Stakes Presented by Big Fish Casino (G2) May 5 at Churchill Downs.
"When we came here, we said we're going to enter him and if we like the race and he trains good, we'll run him," Casse said. "He's going to go home for about a two-month rest. He hasn't had any time off in a long time and he needs to regroup."
Noble Bird captured the 2015 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) and used his outing in the Pimlico Speical last season to halt a four-race losing skid. The 6-year-old chestnut has seven wins from 23 starts with earnings of $1,327,945.