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Churchill Downs: Noble Tune best in American Turf
By Mike Welsch
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A couple of hours after their Wave Theory stumbled and lost her rider at the start of the Edgewood Stakes, trainer Chad Brown and owner Martin Schwartz were able to smile again following Noble Tune's 1 3/4-length victory over Admiral Kitten in Friday's $200,000 American Turf at Churchill Downs.
Wave Theory suffered small cuts, "minor things," but will be okay, said Brown in the winner's circle after the Grade 2 American Turf. His mood was a lot brighter after Noble Tune registered his fourth win in five career starts, the 3-year-old's lone setback being a second-place finish in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
With Javier Castellano aboard for the first time, Noble Tune saved ground while racing within easy striking distance of the pacesetting Anyriderill Do, found ample room along the rail to challenge for command near midstretch and gradually edged clear. Admiral Kitten rallied fastest of all from between horses to finish second, a half-length before War Dancer. Noble Tune covered the 1 1/16 miles on grass in 1:41.63.
Noble Tune ($5 as the favorite), a son of Unbridled's Song, won his only previous start at 3 when he overcame an unlucky trip to capture an allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs on March 9. Brown had hoped to run him back in the Grade 1 Blue Grass but canceled those plans after watching him train over the Polytrack at Keeneland.
"We ran him at Tampa to get ready for the Blue Grass, but he just wasn't handling the track when we worked him at Keeneland," said Brown. "We have a great ownership team, and they listened to me when I told them he needed to stay on the turf. So we zeroed in on this race, and I'm glad we did. He wouldn't have run any good in the Blue Grass the way he breezed over that track."
Brown credited Castellano with a great ride in the American Turf.
"It was an awesome ride, a patient ride," said Brown. "It's how he rides a lot of my horses."
Brown said he had no plans for Noble Tune's next start but assured that wherever and whenever it comes, it will be on the turf.
"He'll never leave the grass as long as he's with me."
As for the earlier incident in the Edgewood, Brown was just glad Wave Theory appeared to be okay.
"Thank God she's going to be all right," said Brown. "That's part of racing. You work so hard, I thought we had her primed for a similar effort [as Noble Tune], but you never know. We'll take her to New York, and she could show up in the Sands Point, but we'll have to see if she's okay."
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