by Bill Finley and Stefanie Grimm
Mike Repole has had dozens of top horses and has won a slew of 2-year-old maiden races in Saratoga over the many years he's been a force in the ownership ranks. But, usually, Repole's strength is with young dirt horses. It might be time to rethink that.
Repole is the co-owner of what is arguably the top grass horse in the sport in the 4-year-old Up to the Mark, the winner of this year's GI Turf Classic S. at Churchill Downs and the GI Manhattan S. at Belmont. And now he's got another one that could some day follow in his footsteps.
The team of Repole, Todd Pletcher and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. teamed up to win Saturday's first race at Saratoga, a mile-and-a-sixteenth maiden special weight race on the grass with a $136,500 purse with 3-5 favorite Noted (Cairo Prince). A $200,000 Keeneland September purchase, it was his second career start after he finished second in his debut in a five-furlong turf maiden at Belmont. Clearly relishing the stretch out in distance, Noted stalked the pace set by Fortune Seller (Kitten's Joy) before grabbing the lead at the top of the stretch. Noted edged clear of Fortune Seller at the sixteenth pole and then had to hold off a bid from Spirit Prince (Cairo Prince), who was making his debut for trainer Christophe Clement. Sons of Cairo Prince finished one-two.
“We entered him in a dirt race that didn't fill, so we opted to try the turf,” Pletcher said. “He had enough pedigree to suggest he would take to the turf.”
“I was happy with the win,” Repole said. “He needed more ground after his first start. He was training well on the dirt but we decided to try him on the turf early on. I think it's paying dividends.”
— NYRA (🗽) (@TheNYRA) July 22, 2023
Bred by Brereton C. Jones, Noted is out of Sea View Millie (Proud Citizen) and was the dam's first winner.
Pletcher said the GIII With Anticipation S. on Aug. 31 would be next for Noted.
Pletcher has still another top turf horse in his barn in the 3-year-old Far Bridge (English Channel), who is owned by LSU Stables. Far Bridge is coming off a win in the GI Belmont Derby Invitational S.
Out of a full-sister to MGSW Mark Valeski and a half to GSW & GI Haskell Invitational S. runner up Albano (Istan), Noted has a yearling half-sister by Global Campaign while his dam reported a filly by Upstart this spring.
1st-Saratoga, $105,000, Msw, 7-22, 2yo, 1 1/16mT, 1:46.57, gd, 1/2 length.
NOTED (c, 2, Cairo Prince–Sea View Millie, by Proud Citizen) Sales History: $200,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $75,750. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.
O-Repole Stable; B-Brereton C. Jones (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.