Noted Looks To Write a Victory in $100K Pulpit

December 6, 2023

Noted after capturing the Sapling Aug. 26 at Monmouth Park (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

David Joseph/Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.— Repole Stable’s Grade 2-placed Noted, well-beaten by stablemate Fierceness in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last month, shortens up for his return to the grass in Saturday’s $100,000 Pulpit at Gulfstream Park.

The Pulpit for 2-year-olds anchors an 11-race card co-headlined by the $100,000 Wait a While in Race 6 for 2-year-old fillies, both going 7 ½ furlongs around two turns on Gulfstream’s new turf course. First race post time is 12:10 p.m.

A gray or roan son of Cairo Prince, winner of the 2014 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream, Noted fetched $200,000 as a yearling last fall. He had two wins and two seconds in his first four starts before finishing off the board for the first time when last of nine in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.

It was the second time on dirt for Noted, winner of the one-mile Sapling Aug. 26 at Monmouth Park in his only previous try. Second by a length that day was Dornoch, a full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and Florida Derby runner-up (G1) Mage that was a comeback winner of the Dec. 2 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct.

“We were kind of torn,” Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He had trained well enough on the dirt and he had that good win in the Sapling over what’s turned out to be a nice horse, but it didn’t work out in the Breeders’ Cup.

“Now we’ll head back to the grass and see what that does,” he added. “He’s run very well on the turf and I’d have to say at this stage he’s a little better on the grass, but we’ll not rule out giving him another try on the dirt at some point.”

Noted made his first two starts on the grass, running second a five-furlong maiden special weight June 22 at Belmont Park before graduating going 1 1/16 miles July 22 at Saratoga. Following his win in the Sapling, Noted came up a nose short of Can Group in the 1 1/16-mile Bourbon (G2) Oct. 8 at Keeneland. The winner came back to be fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

“That was a tough beat,” Pletcher said. “He just couldn’t get his nose on the wire, but he ran great so we’re looking for him to bounce back with another good effort.”

Pletcher won last year’s Pulpit with Ari Gold as well as 2016 with Tapwrit. Irad Ortiz Jr., aboard for four of five starts, is named to ride Noted from Post 8 in a field of 11.

Trainer Mike Maker is also a two-time winner of the Pulpit, with Swagger Jagger in 2015 and Henley’s Joy in 2018, and he will be represented this year by Robyn Kaiser’s Liam’s Journey. Yet to win through three starts, the Liam’s Map colt was second in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight Sept. 10 at Kentucky Downs and hasn’t raced since dead-heating for third, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Pletcher-trained Agate Road, in the 1 1/16-mile Pilgrim (G2) Oct. 4 at Aqueduct.

Reminder breaks his maiden Sep. 15 at Gulfstream Park (Coglianese)

Among five horses trying turf for the first time are Reminder and Okiro. Tami Bobo’s Reminder, a $180,000 son of 2018 Florida Derby winner Audible, has made four starts over Gulfstream’s all-weather Tapeta course, most recently finishing third in the one-mile, 70-yard Armed Forces Nov. 4.

Yutaka Enterprises Corp.’s Okiro has also raced exclusively on Tapeta, including a runner-up finish behind Mattingly in the five-furlong Hollywood Beach Sept. 30. The son of Japanese-bred Yoshida will add blinkers after running second by a length in a 5 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance Nov. 3.

“He’s training very good,” trainer Jose Garoffalo said. “He came back after the last race very good. We’re going to try him on turf. I think that he can handle the surface very good. We’re happy how he’s been. He’s been running very good and training excellent. We have no issues with him, so I think we have a shot with him in the Pulpit.”

Okiro drew outermost Post 11 in the Pulpit under jockey Leonel Reyes, up for each of the last two starts.

“We have some concern about the post position but he has some speed and maybe it’ll be good for him,” Garoffalo said. “He’s got some tactical speed, so I think he’s going to handle the position very well.

“He’s going to go two turns, but I think he can handle the distance. When he’s been running short he has shown some finish. He closes hard. He’ll get the distance, without a doubt. The main for thing is going to be the surface,” he added. “We always had in mind to try him on turf. His pedigree suggests some turf influence so I think he’s going to handle it. The only way to find out is to try.”

Boardshorts Stables’ Double Your Money is trained by Brian Lynch, who won the 2021 Pulpit with Red Danger. The bay colt wound up eighth after taking a short lead into the stretch of the Bourbon, beaten less than three lengths, after graduating in a one-mile maiden special weight Sept. 9 at Kentucky Downs.

Prevent, second in the Armed Forces on Gulfstream’s Tapeta Nov. 4; Palm Tree, racing first time as a gelding after running seventh in the Bourbon; Ship to Shore, third in the six-furlong Smoke Glacken on dirt Sept. 9 in his latest start; Summer Storm Stric, General Ledger and Tocayo are also entered.

@jonathanstettin Well done per usual. A true horseplayer who can articulate nicely #keepitup.

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