Noble Bird (right) finishing second in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland – Keeneland Photo
Churchill Downs Press Release: John C. Oxley’s Noble Bird, sixth in the June 11 Metropolitan Handicap (GI) at Belmont Park, will return to the New York oval July 9 for the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (GI) following a half-mile drill in :49.40 over the Churchill Downs main track on Saturday morning.
“He worked real well this weekend and we like the timing of the race,” said trainer Mark Casse’s son and assistant Norman. “He already has a race over that track.”
Casse reflected on the son of Birdstone’s most recent outing in the Met Mile.
“We ended up being on the rail and we kind of felt that we had to really send him away from the gate,” Casse said. “He’s just a really tricky and quirky horse, everything’s kind of got to go his way and I don’t think he was comfortable that day. He’ll get to go a mileand-a-quarter in the Suburban. He’ll be comfortable and he’ll get to be on some high cruising speed which is the best thing for him.”
Casse also plans to send Catch a Glimpse and Airoforce, who finished one-two in the June 4 Penn Mile (GIII), to Belmont Park where they’ll run in the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational (GI) and $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational (GI), respectively, on the Suburban undercard. Catch a Glimpse put in a five-furlong work over the Keeneland main track Saturday in :59, while Airoforce breezed the same distance Saturday at Churchill in 1:00.80
“She’s been preparing over at Keeneland,” Casse said of Catch a Glimpse. “We have her over there since she really likes it there and it’s a little more quiet and laid back.”
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