Noble Indy is led to the winner's circle wearing the Louisiana Derby garland at Fair Grounds Race Course

Noble Indy is led to the winner's circle wearing the Louisiana Derby garland at Fair Grounds Race Course

Nicole Marie

Noble Indy, Fair Grounds Winners in Good Order

Good Samaritan, Synchrony also reported well March 25. Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Noble Indy is scheduled to be reunited with trainer Todd Pletcher's contingent at Palm Beach Downs Training Center in South Florida March 26. From there, Pletcher will begin making plans regarding preparation for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).

"We haven't made any formal plans yet," Pletcher said. "Currently, the only plan is that he'll come back to Palm Beach Downs on Monday. We'll regroup there. If everything holds true between now and Churchill, we could ship in 12 to 13 days before the Derby and have a breeze over the track."

Owned by Repole Stable and WinStar Farm, Noble Indy sits atop the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 110 points following Saturday's victory where he earned 100 points. He got 10 for finishing third in the Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford (G2) last month.

Meanwhile, G M B Racing's Lone Sailor, who earned 40 points with a runner-up finish in the Louisiana Derby, emerged from his performance in good order and will ship to Churchill Downs April 2 along with Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Chocolate Martini.

"Both horses look good, and physically they're fine," trainer Tom Amoss said. "They will ship with the rest of the stable after the meet is over on the day after Easter."

Chocolate Martini was claimed by Amoss for Double Doors Racing three starts back for $25,000 and has won both of her starts under the care of her current trainer. 

WinStar Farm CEO Elliott Walden believes better days are ahead for New Orleans Handicap (G2) winner Good Samaritan, a 4-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday.

"Were hoping to win a grade 1 with him," Walden said. "He's a high quality horse that is able to do a bunch of different things. I think that as long as we keep him in the right spots, then he shows up every time."

While Walden did not specify where Good Samaritan would run next, he did mention the $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park June 9 and the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs June 16 as options. 

"They could be on his radar," Walden said. "He's a horse that really has been so consistent for us on the dirt and the turf, and he's a high class horse, so we're blessed to have a number of options with him."

A victory in the New Orleans Handicap pushed Good Samaritan's career earnings over the seven-figure mark at $1,191,116. The New Orleans Handicap was his third graded stakes victory. As a 2-year-old, he won the Summer Stakes (G2T) over the turf at Woodbine and the following year took the Jim Dandy Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) on the dirt at Saratoga Race Course.

Trainer Mike Stidham is considering the $500,000 Old Forester Turf Classic (G1T) on Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby undercard with Synchrony, who maintained a perfect record over the Fair Grounds turf, taking the Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2T).

"This was a pretty big step up in class," Stidham said of the son of Tapit . "It was a deep, contentious field. We're going to be looking at a lot of different spots. Certainly, we'll look at Churchill. Throughout the spring and summer, there are so many opportunities for this kind of horse."

Since switching to the turf, Synchrony has never finished worse than second in five starts on grass. In addition to the Muniz Memorial Handicap, he also won the Fair Grounds Handicap (G3T) in February in his first start in nearly nine months.