Trainer Ken McPeek said Noble’s Promise, a disappointing fifth behind Line of David in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park, is doing well and will ship to Churchill Downs Wednesday morning with a possible run in Kentucky Derby 136 in mind.
The third-place finisher behind Vale of York and juvenile champion Lookin At Lucky in last year’s Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) and narrow loser to the latter in the Rebel (GII) at Oaklawn Park in his 3-year-old debut got off to a rough start in the Arkansas Derby and failed to seriously threaten the winner. He sustained some cuts on his front legs during the race, but McPeek is encouraged by his progress, although Noble’s Promise is being treated for a lung infection discovered after the race.
The colt is currently at McPeek’s Magdalena Farm near Lexington after flying to Lexington from Hot Springs, Ark. on Monday.
“He’s going to gallop Thursday after the break and we are intending on working on either on the 20th or 21st of the month,” McPeek said. “We’re going to need to work him and know that he’s good enough to work. He seems to be okay. We’ve got the cuts under control; I think they’re a short-term issue and relatively solved already. The lung infection that we were dealing with, it’s going to depend on how he responds to all that.”
McPeek is not ready to say Noble’s Promise is “definite” for the Derby, but he clearly feels better about that possibility than he did a couple of days ago.