After learning the hard way that graded stakes races are another level, Noble Indy rebounded in the 2018 Louisiana Derby with a victory that now sees him as one of the threats to take the Kentucky Derby.
Marmello settled in to the lead right at the quarter mile mark in a time of :22.97, but the 99/1 longshot was never ever meant to spoil the party. He was stalked by Noble Indy, who was happy to surrender the early lead to sit back and draft. Bravazo, who shared 5/2 odds with the eventual winner, was in third position while My Boy Jack started out way out in dead last as the 3/1 favorite.
Hitting the half-mile at a brisk :46.61, Noble Indy took over easily as Marmello faded as the 2018 Louisiana Derby field came alive around the second turn with a three-quarter mile fraction of 1:11.47.
My Boy Jack came surging wide along the outside to try and chase down the lead, while Lone Sailor emerged through the middle as an exhilarating 9/1 outside shot stealing the lead with just a few lengths to go. But Noble Indy wasn’t done, and rallied to take the wire by a neck in what was virtually a photo finish. The bodies of My Boy Jack, Lone Sailor and Noble Indy were all within a length of each other.
Noble Indy rewarded $7.80 in first, as did Lone Sailor in second thanks to his long odds. My Boy Jack was worth $3.20 in third place and fought a hard race despite taking a poor path.
The connections for 2018 Louisiana Derby winner Noble Indy were obviously elated with much their colt persevered after falling well short of the mark in the Risen Star. “Todd [Pletcher] has done a great job with him. He won his first two starts and came here and got a real education,” said owner Elliott Walden, “but he grew up today. He’s still only run four times. He’s bred for the Kentucky Derby, and as we saw today, distance is not a problem.”
“He’s still green,” jockey Velazquez remarked of Noble Indy, who gave up the lead twice in the 2018 Louisiana Derby. “But when he saw that other horse, he came back and fought.”
Bravazo, who had beaten Noble Indy in the Risen Star as a longshot, fell back to earth in 8th place.
Thanks to the 100 point victory, Noble Indy is now the points leader on the Kentucky Derby board.