12/18/2010 1:44PM

Noble's Promise, Fly Down work in Florida

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MIAMI – Two of the top handicap horses stabled in south Florida this winter, Noble’s Promise and Fly Down, were on the work tabs this morning at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows.

At Gulfstream, Noble’s Promise worked five furlongs in 1:01 for trainer Ken McPeek. Noble’s Promise finished fifth after making the lead turning for home last spring in the Kentucky Derby. He then journeyed to England where he finished fifth in Ascot’s Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes before being given the summer off. The son of Cuvee returned in top form from that layoff when rallying to an impressive 2 1/4-length victory turning back to six furlongs for the Jimmy V. overnight stakes on the undercard of the opening day Breeders’ Cup program on Nov. 5.

McPeek expressed his desire to keep Noble’s Promise at shorter distances following the Jimmy V. with next Sunday’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita, which would be his final chance to race exclusively against 3-year-olds, or the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 15 among his most imminent options.

At Palm Meadows, Fly Down breezed an easy half mile in 49.45 seconds, his first work since finishing third behind Blame and Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The Breeders’ Cup capped off a successful albeit somewhat frustrating 3-year-old campaign for Fly Down who won the Grade 2 Dwyer but was beaten a nose in the Grade 1 Travers and less than a length when also second in the Belmont Stakes.

Trainer Nick Zito has targeted the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 5 for Fly Down’s 4-year-old debut.