05/01/2013 12:22PM

Churchill Downs: Noble Tune has taken detour to American Turf


Trainer Chad Brown’s original plan was to run Noble Tune last month in the Grade 1 Blue Grass. But after the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up did not work to Brown’s satisfaction over the Polytrack at Keeneland, he went to Plan B, Friday’s $200,000 American Turf at Churchill Downs.

Noble Tune tops a full field of 11 3-year-olds who will go 1 1/16 miles on the turf in the Grade 2 American Turf. Other key contenders include Admiral Kitten, War Dancer, Fire Guard, and Positively.

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Noble Tune has started once since rallying to finish second in the BC Juvenile Turf, again coming from near the rear of the pack at the top of the stretch before finishing full of run to capture an allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs on March 9.

“I just wasn’t comfortable running him in the Blue Grass since he just didn’t seem to be handling the synthetic track well at Keeneland,” said Brown. “But he’s trained super since we got him over to Churchill Downs and I expect him to run another big race on Friday.”

The steadily improving War Dancer had his head turned at the break, broke several lengths behind the field, trailed for six furlongs, and then unleashed a powerful closing surge down the center of the course to defeat Positively three weeks ago at Keeneland for his second straight victory. Positively ran well in defeat making both his  turf and 3-year-old bow and will add blinkers for his rematch with War Dancer.

Admiral Kitten, a minor stakes winner at 2, missed by a nose facing allowance horses last month at Keeneland while earning a career-best 87 Beyer Speed figure for the red-hot Mike Maker barn.