Birdstone’s 5-year-old son Noble Bird has already taken owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse to a Grade 1 win at Churchill Downs, and if the handsome chestnut’s performance in the Oct. 1 Lukas Classic is any indication, another victory at the highest level just might be in their future. He took Churchill’s Stephen Foster Handicap last year.
Noble Bird, ridden by Julien Leparoux, reveled in the wet-fast conditions and led throughout the nine furlongs to reach the wire 1½ lengths ahead of Hawaakom.
A solid middle-distance performer like his sire, Noble Bird has won races from 1 mile to 9½ furlongs, including the 2016 Pimlico Special (G3).
Jack Swain bred Noble Bird in Kentucky out of the Tiznow mare Anyhow. Second dam is the stakes-placed mare Charlotte Augusta (by Chief’s Crown), a third-generation Shawnee Farm homebred whose dam Noble Damsel won the Grade 3 New York Handicap in the early 1980s.
The family has royal ties: Fifth dam Camilla Edge is a daughter of Carrozza, a filly who won the Epsom Oaks for a young Queen Elizabeth II in 1957.
Just shy of seven-figure earnings ($944,945), Noble Bird looks ready to join Birdstone’s other millionaire sons, classic winners Mine That Bird and Summer Bird.