Bobby Zen

With a long-term eye on a title defense in this fall’s GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Nobals (Noble Mission {GB}) has begun gearing up for his 2024 campaign.

The gelded 5-year-old has posted four breezes at trainer Larry Rivelli’s Hawthorne base this spring, most recently stopping the timer for four furlongs in :52.60 (50/51) May 19.

“He’s doing good, real good,” Rivelli said. “I gave him time just for no reason. I haven’t really picked out anything yet (for his return); within his next couple of works, we’ll probably start dialing in on something. They got those races (turf sprints) everywhere. It could be at Colonial, Churchill, Ellis, Indiana for his comeback race. The goal is to win the Breeders’ Cup (Turf Sprint) again, so we’ll just try to get a couple of preps in before that race.”

Nobals won four of seven starts during his 2023 season, capped by a narrow decision in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Nov. 4. A front-running, upset winner at odds of 38-1 in the GII Twin Spires Turf Sprint S. on the GI Kentucky Derby undercard, Nobals showed a different dimension at the Championships, rallying from seventh following a masterful ride from Gerardo Corrales to light up the tote board once again at odds of 12-1. Both wins earned Nobals matching 102 Beyer Speed Figures.

Nobals, just a $3,500 FTKOCT yearling, was purchased privately by Vinnie Foglia’s Patricia’s Hope and transferred to Rivelli following a debut win as a 2-year-old for owner/trainer Leland Hayes at Presque Isle Downs. One of eight graded winners for Frankel (GB)’s full-brother Noble Mission, Nobals was produced by the Dr. John A Chandler homebred and two-time winner Pearly Blue (Empire Maker).

“It’s good because you just let him run his own race, and if he’s where he’s at, he fires either way,” Rivelli said of his charge’s versatility. “That was not the plan obviously, they just got away from him (at the Breeders’ Cup). He plain and simple wasn’t fast enough. The trip was perfect. Everything had to work out–the rail opened up just enough and we got through and held on.”

Rivelli continued, “A lot of those guys that were in that race last year kinda fell off the map. I’m hoping that we made the right move by just giving him a break. Hopefully, those horses are all (worn) out by that time of the year and we’re just coming back with a pretty nice fresh horse.”

Larry Rivelli & Gerardo Corrales celebrate at the Championships | Benoit

It was a career year for Rivelli in 2023. In addition to saddling his first Breeders’ Cup winner, he also came within a length of capturing the GI Kentucky Derby with three-time graded winner and young WinStar stallion Two Phil’s (Hard Spun). The Chicago native posted a record of 276-85-59-30 and a personal-best $4,992,862 in earnings last season.

“It was the best year we’ve had in my career,” Rivelli said. “Almost winning the Derby with Two Phil’s, then winning the Breeders’ Cup all in the same year, it was great. Two Phil’s is doing good at WinStar now, I think his book is full. Everything is going good, knock on wood.”

Rivelli concluded, “I got a bunch of babies–a bunch of ’em–that aren’t named yet that are just getting to the point where the light bulb is going off. There’s a lot of could be’s right now, which is good.”

Who knows? There ‘could be’ a repeat Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner in his barn as well.

REPLAY: Nobals wins the $1 Million #BreedersCup Turf Sprint! Congrats to all connections! #BC23

— Breeders’ Cup (@BreedersCup) November 4, 2023

The post ‘The Goal is to Win the Breeders’ Cup Again’ – BC Turf Sprint Winner Nobals Gearing Up for Return appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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