Trainer Todd Pletcher is bringing Grade II Risen Star third-place finisher Noble Indy back to the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for next Saturday's Gr. II $1 million Louisiana Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com, but this time he will be accompanied by stable mate Hyndford.
Prior to finishing third in the Risen Star, the WinStar Farm LLC and Repole Stable-owned son of Take Charge Indy was a dual winner at Gulfstream Park in his prior two starts. He broke his maiden in wire-to-wire fashion by 8¾ lengths before a two-length victory against winners on Jan. 11. He currently has 10 points from his Risen Star effort and sits at No. 25 on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.
“We feel that he continues to mature and make progress,” Pletcher said. “It seems like he's really maturing the way we want him too. (Jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) been pleased with him and he has always liked him. The horse continues to show improvement.”
Donegal Racing's Hyndford on the other hand, was pointing towards the Gr. III $800,000 Sunland Derby at its namesake track on Sunday, Mar. 25.
“According to the stakes coordinator at Sunland he'd be on the also eligible list,” Pletcher said. “The plane to New Orleans leaves Tuesday so if on Tuesday if we're still on the outside looking in, we would run (in the Louisiana Derby) as opposed to not racing him anywhere.”
A son of Street Cry (Ire.), Hyndford was a $200,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016. He broke his maiden second time out for a $50,000 tag at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 19 and most recently was second behind stable mate Magnum Moon at Tampa Bay Downs last month.
“He put in a good effort at Tampa behind Magnum Moon and he's trained well since then,” Pletcher said. “It's an ambitious jump but it's that time of year to find out where we stand.”
Hall of Fame jockey and regular rider John Velazquez will pilot Noble Indy, who breaks from post two at 7-2 morning line odds. Joe Bravo has the mount aboard Hyndford.
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