Derby Dreaming: Noble Indy Wins Louisiana Derby

2018 Louisiana Derby Credits: THEPICKSPARLEY

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Noble Indy took the lead, lost it and regained it again on his way to winning the $1 million, Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fairgrounds on March 24. Racing for the partnership of WinStar Farm and the Long Island-based owner Mike Repole, the 3-year-old colt earned 100 Kentucky Derby Points and vaulted him to the top of the leader board for the May 5 running of the celebrated race.

One race earlier, Chocolate Martini came from next-to-last in a field of seven to win the $400,000, Grade 2 Fairgrounds Oaks to earn the top spot on the leader board for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on the day before the Derby.

Noble Indy and Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez survived a bumping incident coming out of the starting gate for the mile and a furlong race and then settled into second position behind the pace setting Marmelo who would eventually stop in the home stretch and finish last. After gaining the lead near the half mile pole, Noble Indy lost it to Lone Sailor and jockey James Graham as the field hit the home stretch.

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Velazquez went to work on the son of Take Charge Indy from the Storm Boot mare Noble Maz and urged him on to win by a neck over Lone Sailor in 1:50.28 over a fast track. My Boy Jack was third and Givemeamint took fourth money.

Noble Indy's win earned the Todd Pletcher trainee 100 Derby points for a total of 110 and a sure shot to get a starting gate stall on Derby Day. Lone Sailor moved to the list to eighth position with 42 points. My Boy Jack has 32 points, 20 more than Givemeamint.

Double Doors Racing's Chocolate Martini and local rider Mitchell Murrill took the overland route around the far turn to challenge Classy Act and Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano for the lead in the home stretch. After getting to the front at the sixteenth pole, Chocolate Martini crossed the wire a head to the good of a fast closing Eskimo Kisses and Florent Geroux. Classic Act ended up fourth in the 8-1/2 furlong race run in 1:44.44.

Chocolate Martini, who races out of Bret Calhoun's shed row, now sits atop of the Oaks qualifiers list with 100 points. Eskimo Kisses joined the list in eighth place with 40 points one spot below Wonder Gadot who moved up to seventh with 44 points.

Derby Standings

As of March 25

Here are the current standings of the top 20 horses racing in North America that are trying to qualify for the May 5 running of the Kentucky Derby. A field of 20 will be selected that may include one representative from Europe and one from Japan. In the event of a tie in qualifying points, purse earnings in unrestricted races will be used to break the tie. Under the system formulated by Churchill Downs, there is no advantage in qualifying first; nor is there a disadvantage in qualifying 20th.

110 points — WinStar Farm's Noble Indy, Trainer Todd Pletcher, $640,000

64 — Ruis Racing's Bolt d'Oro, Trainer Mick Ruiz, $780,000

63. — Godolphin's Enticed, Kiaran McLaughlin, $360,880;

54 — Calumet Farm's Bravazo, D. Wayne Lukas, $349,913;

52 — Robert J. Baron's Promises Fulfilled, Dale Romans, $256,480

50 — Lowana and Robert E. Low's Magnum Moon, Todd Pletcher, $540,000, and WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International and SF Racing's Quip, Rodolphe, Brisset, $212,000

42 — GMB Racing's Lone Sailor, Tom Amoss

40 — Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman's McKinzie, Bob Baffert, $320,000

34 — e FiveThoroughbred Racing and Stonestreet Stables' Good Magic, Chad Brown, $1.2 million, and Zayat Stables' Solomini, Bob Baffert, $516,000

32 — Don't Tell My Wife Stable's and Monmoy Stables' My Boy, Jack, Keith Desormeaux

30 —  John C. Oxley's Flameaway, Mark Casse, $472,260 and Mr. Amore Stable's Firenze Fire, Jason Servis, $582,500

24 —  Albaugh Family Stables LLC's Free Drop Billy, Dale Romans, $497,200

22 — Bloom Racing Stable's Snapper Sinclair, Steve Asmussen, $301,810, and Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton's Combatant, $300,000

20 — Courtlandt Farm's Strike Power, Mark Hennig, $199,560 and Fred J. Brei's Old Time Revival, Kenneth Decker, $80,000;

19 — OXO Equine LLC's Instilled Regard, Jerry Hollendorfer, $196,000

14 — Robert V. LaPenta and Madaket Stable LLC's Catholic Boy, Jonathan Thomas, $330,000, Godolphin's Avery Island, Kiaran McLaughlin, $320,000.

Oaks Standings

Here are the current standings of the top 14 fillies racing in North America that are trying to qualify for the May 4 running of the Kentucky Oaks. A field of 14 will be selected. In the event of a tie in qualifying points, purse earnings in unrestricted races will be used to break the tie. Under the system formulated by Churchill Downs, there is no advantage in qualifying first; nor is there a disadvantage in qualifying 14th.

100 Points— Double Doors Racing's Chocolate Martini, trainer, Bret Calhoun, $240,000

60 — Allen Racing and J.C. Bloom Racing's Midnight Bisou, Bill Spawr, $200,000; and William H. Wilmot and Joan M Taylor's Midnight Disguise, Linda Rice, $180,000;

54 — Monomoy Stables and Michael Dubb's Monomoy Girl, Brad Cox, $206,150

52 — Nonna Lee Stockseth and Todd Dunn's Cosmic Burst, Donnie Von Hemel, $192,500;

50 — Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi's Rayya, Doug Watson, $200,000.

44 — Gary Barber's Wonder Gadot, Mark Casse, $360,002

40 — Magdelena Racing, Gainsway Stable and Harold Lerner's Eskimo Kisses, Kenny McPeek, $80,000;

30 — Peter Deutsch's Take Charge Paula, Kiaran McLaughlin, $325,720, and Carl R. Moore Management's Classy Act, Bret Calhoun;

24 — Zoom and Fish Stable, Charlie Spring and Newtown Anner Stud's Caledonia Road, Ralph Nicks, $1,180,000

21 — Arnold Zetcher's Thirteen Squared, Bob Baffert, $32,000.

20 — Novogratz Racing Stable's Amy's Challenge, McLean Robertson, $160,000; Three Diamond Farm's Go Noni Go, Mike Maker, $85,056; Godolphin Racing's Expressly, Charlie Appleby, $85,056; 

15 — Craig D. Upham's Patrona Margarita, Bret Calhoun, $40,000.

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