Noble Tune turned in another impressive performance to take the $150,000 Pilgrim S. (G3) Monday at Belmont Park, setting the 2-year-old Unbridled's Song colt up for his next start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. The Pilgrim is part of Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race series, giving Noble Tune's connections free entry for the $1 million race.
Unbridled's Song is likely to be well represented for the year-end championships the first weekend of November. Emcee is a candidate for the Sprint (G1), while Unbridled's Note and Inspired are under consideration for the Turf Sprint (G1).
The 1 1/8-mile Pilgrim was the second lifetime start for Noble Tune, who broke his maiden in style Sept. 3 on the turf at Saratoga. Much like that race, Noble Tune was in sixth for the first half-mile before Ramon Dominguez swung wide about three furlongs from the wire. Noble Tune rocketed to first in short order, then held his position easily in the final furlong to win by 2 1/2-lengths in 1:47.81 over a yielding turf.
“At the three-eighths pole I was towards the outside,” said Dominguez. “I wanted to keep my options open to have first run at them if I could. Having said that, they were spreading out enough where to continue my run on the outside I was going to really have to go wide throughout the whole turn. So, I chose to go on the inside and sort of cut the corner. I just had to push the button towards the middle of the turn because I could have been stuck. As soon as I asked him he just took off and cut the corner beautifully and got into the clear. I was very impressed by that move.”
“(This race) was much like his debut,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “I thought he was very professional; he did some things you see experienced horses do. It’s always encouraging to see a horse with this much class who has the sense to maneuver around, slip inside, slip outside, accelerate, and switch off early in the race.”
Noble Tune, co-owned by his breeder, Dell Ridge Farm LLC, and Martin Schwartz, is the first foal out of the stakes-winning mare Serena's Cat, daughter of the incomparable Serena's Song. With the Pilgrim victory, his career earnings stand at $141,000.