Old Friends Welcomes Graded-Stakes Winner Noble Indy

The 8-year old bay gelding, who ran in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, ended up racing in Puerto Rico where he was retired

GEORGETOWN, KY – Dec. 8, 2023 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky., is happy to announce that, through a group effort, Noble Indy arrived at the farm for his retirement on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.

The 8-year old bay gelding, who ran in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, was repatriated from Puerto Rico thanks to the efforts of Fred Hart, who became a big fan of Noble Indy due to his ownership of the horse’s dam, Noble Maz; Kelley Stobie, owner of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare, which has assisted in helping many Thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico; and Mike Repole, Noble Indy’s original owner who paid to transport the horse home to the United States and to Old Friends.

Bred by WinStar Farm, Noble Indy, who is by Take Charge Indy–Noble Maz, by Storm Boot, was foaled in Kentucky on March 31, 2015.

Originally trained by Todd Pletcher for owner WinStar Farm, Noble Indy began his racing career in 2017 as 2-year old and won his first start in a maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 3. He came back in 2018 as a 3-year old and won his first start of the year in an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park.

Then, following a third in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) presented by Lamarque Ford (G2) at Fair Grounds, he scored his first graded-stakes victory in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. That win punched his ticked into the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs where he finished 17th.

The once promising thoroughbred was never able to recapture his pre-Derby form and began to drop down the racing ranks. In 2019 as a 4-year old, he only won once. It came in his seventh start in an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park. At the time, Pletcher was still his trainer, but Repole was the horse’s only owner.

In 2020 as a 5-year old, he opened the year with a win in an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park, his only win of the year. Then, as a 6-year old in 2021, he won a claiming race at Gulfstream Park, and was claimed by trainer Joseph Saffie Jr, and owner Ken Copenhaver for $35,000.

Noble Indy raced five times for them that year, and once in 2022 as a 7-year old and never won a race. However, that one race in 2022 was a claiming race at Gulfstream Park where he finished third and was claimed by trainer Gustavo Delgado and owner OGMA Investments.

Then, following an 11th in the Mr. Steele Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream Park on May 21, Noble Indy was shipped to Puerto Rico. There he ran at Camarero in three races in 2022, with a best finish of second in an allowance race, and two races in 2023, with a best finish of third in another allowance race, still under the care of Delgado, but a new owner, Skull Stable PR.

It was around this time that Hart got involved and wanted to retire Noble Indy. In an article in the Thoroughbred Daily News, Hart said, “I became sentimentally attached to this horse and was afraid harm would come to him if he stayed in Puerto Rico. I just wanted to get him out of there.”

Hart contacted Stobie, and the two worked together to try and retire the horse. The problem they ran into was that the owner, Skull Stable PR, was asking too much for the horse. However, they persisted, but the asking price remained too high. Then, following an injury to Noble Indy, Skull Stable PR finally lowered the price, and Noble Indy was retired and sent to Stobie’s farm.

“It was a tense time since Indy came to Puerto Rico, knowing if we would be able to get him off the island in one piece,” said Stobie. “Thankfully his surgery back in February of this year did not go as planned, so he could no longer race and the owner agreed to retire him to CTA. We are grateful to Repole Stables for their generous donation, which did not only help Noble Indy, but will pay for two other horses in need to get home. Also thank you to Winstar Farms for stepping up and sending a donation.”

“We are all very excited that Noble Indy will spend the rest of his life at Old Friends in Kentucky,” said Repole. “This was an amazing team effort by so many to bring Noble Indy back from Puerto Rico and to give him the great retirement that he deserves.”

Added, Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends, “Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to allow us to enjoy Noble Indy’s retirement. His story will make him a magnet for racing fans. Come visit.”

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