With a courageous stretch
run Noble Moon backed up the
confidence of the betting public by winning the Jerome (G2) at odds of 4/5. Noble Moon, who broke sharply today,
took the lead after a half-mile and held off challenges first from the third
place finisher Scotland and then from
the place horse Classic Giacnroll.
Trained by Leah Gyarmati and owned by Treadway Racing Stable, Noble Moon is a
Virginia-bred son of Malibu Moon. Jockey Irad Ortiz took the mount on Noble
Moon from Alex Solis who was aboard the second place finisher Classic
Noble Moon won his first
race at Belmont Park in September with an easy gate to wire effort. However in
the Nashua (G2) in November he was very badly bumped leaving the gate and had
to rally from 12th place to finish a very game third behind Cairo Prince.
Today, Noble Moon was back
to what seems to be his preferred running style of being close to or on the
lead. He sat in second after a quarter mile in :24.07 on an Aqueduct inner
track which had been producing very slow times all day. Noble Moon took the
lead after the first four furlongs went in :48.34.
Ortiz kept Noble Moon busy
down the two-path in the stretch as he held off the challenges on the inside
from the maiden Scotland and on the outside from Giacnroll, who had been running
at Parx and Laurel before today. The winning margin was two lengths
as Noble Moon paid $3.60 to win.
The 2014 trail to the
Kentucky Derby began in New York today with the Jerome. This is the first race in the new year to
offer the 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby Prep Season points. For the next three months
on the first Saturday of each month there will be a Derby prep race at
Aqueduct. The chart below offers a little bit of historical information about
the four New York races.
Gyarmati gave her take
on Noble Moon’s effort, "I told [jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.], 'If he gets out and gets a clear
lead and can do it easily, great. If somebody else wants it, let them have it
and get outside.' And then, all of a sudden, there was a second wave of horses
on him. I just kept thinking back to his maiden win when I thought that he
might get a little leg weary, but he didn't want to let anybody by him."
a good sign that he can win and go two turns and fight them off, whether he's
on the lead or not. As a rider, you can maneuver him, so that's always handy.
He's going to have to step it up again, obviously, because there are some nice
horses out there beyond Aqueduct."
Later on this week, I will
post my second edition of the New York contenders for the Kentucky Derby. Noble
Moon’s win in the Jerome gives him a total of 10 Road to the Derby qualifying
points, which is third highest amongst those New York contenders behind the 14
points of Havana and Honor Code.