By Jon Forbes
Trainer Chad Brown initially thought Noble Tune was destined for the dirt before the colt posted a pair of “exceptional” breezes on the Oklahoma turf course, and on Monday the great-grandson of Serena’s Song made it clear that he prefers the grass by unleashing a strong turn of foot to take his debut by 3 ½-lengths.
Noble Tune raced behind cover in sixth along the inside before ranging up between horses on the final turn, finding a wide opening turning for home when the pacesetter drifted outwards, and blowing away his opponents once set down by Ramon Dominguez.
“After seeing his turf works, I wasn’t expecting him to run that well, but I was expecting him to run well,” said Brown.
Off as the 5-2 favorite, Noble Tune paid $7.30 and completed 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf course in 1:43.08.
Noble Tune’s third dam, Serena’s Song, won 11 Grade 1 races, all on the dirt, but she went on to produce Sophisticat, a Group 1 winner in England, and Schramsberg, who took a Grade 3 on the turf. In addition, Grand Reward placed in group stakes in England and Ireland before he won the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on the dirt.
Another foal out of Serena’s Song, Serena’s Tune, won stakes on dirt and turf before going on to produce two-time Irish Group 3-winning colt Vocalised and filly Serena’s Cat, who won the Klassy Briefcase turf sprint at Monmouth Park. Noble Tune is the first foal out of Serena’s Cat.
Noble Tune’s first 12 workouts came on the dirt before Brown switched the Unbridled’s Song colt to the turf, and Brown said Noble Tune’s improvement was remarkable after the switch.
“When I got him, I trained him like he was going to be a dirt horse,” said Brown. “He has that kind of look about him. When he didn’t turn our heads on the dirt, we put on the grass, and he did a 180. He was marginal on the dirt, but he’s such a well-bred, good-looking colt that it seemed like there was more in the tank we were trying to get out of him. It’s nice seeing him run to his turf works.”
Noble Tune races for his breeder, Dell Ridge Farm, who campaigned Serena’s Cat after purchasing her for $1.4 million as a weanling.
Brown said he will decide on Noble Tune’s next start at a later date.