Grade 1 Winner Noble's Promise Now "Possible" For Preakness

BALTIMORE,MD  05-03-10---The story added another twist as the field for the 135th Preakness® Stakes continues to take shape. The $1 million classic is the headline event of a 13-race card at historic Pimlico Race Course next Saturday, May 15.

Noble’s Promise, who had the lead in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby at the quarter pole but was overtaken by Super Saver and Calvin Borel and finished fifth, has been moved from “doubtful” to “possible” by trainer Kenny McPeek after meeting with the managing partners of Chasing Dreams Racing 2008 this afternoon at McPeek’s Magdalena Farm in Lexington.

It had been reported that the son of Cuvee was heading to Royal Ascot for the St. James’ Palace (Group I) to be run at a mile on the grass on June 15.

“We discussed the race in England, which we think would be a fantastic race but we’re concerned about the expense of going over and back plus the purse on that race was modest compared to the Preakness,” McPeek said. “We felt like it would be more prestigious to run in the Preakness.”

Noble’s Promise has 9/3-3-1 career record, including a victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last October. During his sophomore campaign he was nipped at the wire by Lookin At Lucky in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, then was fifth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby before a game effort in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

“He ran a great race,” added McPeek. “ He is a special colt. Does he have distance limitations? We have to admit he might have them. Do we tinker and see if we can get him to go that far? We’re willing to try.”

This would be McPeek’s fourth Preakness starter. He saddled Tejano Run to a ninth place finish in 1995 then had a pair of fourth place finishes with Harlan’s Holiday and Racecar Rhapsody in 2002 and 2008 respectively.

“It’s an excellent weekend of racing and we’re excited to be a part of it,” said McPeek. “We think it would be great to come up there and do really well. Right now it’s just possible. We’re going to watch the next few days and I want to do blood work. He scoped clean after the race and we were pleased with that. He ate up since then. Those are good signs.”

The Preakness is limited to 14 starters. The post position draw will be held at Pimlico next Wednesday, May 12 at 5 p.m. and televised live on HRTV.

Currently there are 17 horses under consideration at varying levels.

•  Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver is confirmed and will arrive at Pimlico on May 12.
•  Dublin (who is scheduled to arrive May 11), Jackson Bend, Aikenite, A Little Warm, Caracortado, Hurricane Ike,
    Pleasant Prince, Schoolyard Dreams and Turf Melody are probable.
•  Paddy O’Prado, Lookin At Lucky, Conveyance and Noble’s Promise are possible for Maryland’s marquee race.
•  Ice Box, Make Music for Me and Bushwhacked are longshots to enter the middle jewel.

If more than 14 starters are properly nominated, the starters will be determined with the first seven horses given preference by the highest lifetime earnings in graded stakes. The next four starters will be determined by the highest lifetime earnings in all “non-restricted stakes,” which means those stakes whose conditions contain no restrictions other than age or sex. The remaining three starters will be determined by the highest lifetime earnings in all races.