Updated on 10/08/2012 4:16PM

Belmont Park: Noble Tune earns trip to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf with Pilgrim victory

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Noble Tune, with Ramon Dominguez up, wins the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y – Trainer Chad Brown will bring a strong hand to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf next month at Santa Anita.

One day after Balance the Books earned his way into the race by winning the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland, Noble Tune punched his ticket to the $1 million Juvenile Turf with a visually impressive 2 1/2-length score in Monday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park.

Under Ramon Dominguez, Noble Tune made an eye-catching move that carried him from fifth to first in a sixteenth of a mile despite having to go five wide. Once he struck the front turning for home, the result was no longer in doubt.

Notacatbutallama finished second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of the pacesetting Special Skills. Quinzieme Monarque, Saint Vigeur, Cerro, and West Hills Giant completed the order of finish.

Noble Tune, a son of Unbridled’s Song, will now head to Santa Anita 2 for 2, while Balance the Books, a son of Lemon Drop Kid, will enter the Juvenile Turf 2 for 3 with two stakes wins.

“It’s really worked out well,” Brown said. “We separate the horses when we can, and him and Balance the Books are both very, very nice prospects. I couldn’t separate the two right now.”

[Breeders’ Cup Challenge 2012: Replays of all the Win and You’re In races]

Over a yielding turf course, Noble Tune was reserved in sixth position, while Special Skills raced uncontested through six furlongs in 1:16.73.

Around the far turn, Dominguez guided Noble Tune inside of stablemate Saint Vigeur before tipping five wide approaching the quarter pole. Noble Tune struck the front at the top of the stretch and drew clear from there.

Noble Tune covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.81 and returned $4.60.

“I had to push the button towards the middle of the turn because [Saint Vigeur] was on the outside and gaining enough ground where I could have been stuck,” Dominguez said. “As soon as I asked him, he just took off, cut the corner beautifully, and got in the clear, and I was very impressed with that move.”

Though Noble Tune was making just his second start, Brown felt he ran like a horse with more experience.

“He did a lot of things you’d like to see, he switched off early and wasn’t pulling, he slipped inside of a horse, he slipped outside, later he accelerated when cued,” Brown said.

A previous version of this article had the distance of the Pilgrim as 1 1/8 miles. It's is 1 1/16 miles.

Chris Butler More than 1 year ago
Hey Barry Irwin, I guess your jockey didn't listen to all of those instructions you gave him in the paddock; how else could CERRO run so poorly - or - could CERRO just be ANOTHER Team Valor European import stiff!