06/04/2011 6:37PM

Churchill Downs: Victory in Aristides makes Noble's Promise a millionaire

Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs
Noble’s Promise, with Alan Garcia up, defeats Atta Boy Roy (right) and Capt. Candyman Can (center) in the Aristides.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Noble's Promise had the lead with a quarter-mile to go in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, only to fade to fifth. Saturday, the colt found the front at a more opportune time before edging away in the final 100 yards to win the 23rd running of the Grade 3, $110,300 Aristides at Churchill Downs.

Always in a perfect striking position under Alan Garcia, Noble's Promise went up to challenge front-running Atta Boy Roy after turning for home in the six-furlong Aristides, then forged ahead late for his fifth victory in 14 career starts. The winner finished in 1:08.74 over a fast track and returned $5.20 as the favorite in a field of eight older horses.

The triumph was worth $66,336 and pushed Noble's Promise, owned by the Chasing Dreams Racing LLC, past the seven-figure earnings mark to $1,027,774.

"He's just a nice, honest horse with a lot of ability and a lot of desire," said McPeek.

On an uncomfortably hot afternoon, Atta Boy Roy got the best of Cash Refund on the lead after they went in fractions of 21.41 and 44.46 seconds, but then Noble's Promise came to call. While Atta Boy Roy, a 13-1 shot under Jesus Castanon, clung grimly to the lead, Noble's Promise was relentless, prevailing by a length.

"When the other horse came to me, my horse was trying so hard to keep up," said Castanon.

Capt. Candyman Can, the 2-1 second choice, rallied mildly under Calvin Borel to be third, another 1 1/2 lengths back, with Good Lord finishing fourth. Here Comes Ben, winner of the Grade 1 Forego last summer, was the disappointment of the race, finishing sixth as the 9-2 third choice.

Victory in the Aristides, which honors the first winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1875, was the second in three years for McPeek, who sent out Bold Start to win in 2009. McPeek also won the Grade 3 Dogwood earlier on the Saturday card with Salty Strike.