Listening to and paying attention to the cues given by Noble Cornerstone has produced positive results for trainer Tom Morley in 2015.
The gelding needed time to grow up at the end of his 3-year-old season, Morley gave it to him and he returned to the races even more successful this year.
Noble Cornerstone will try to continue his strong 4-year-old season in today's $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes for New York-breds at Saratoga Race Course. He faces a strong group in the 6 1/2-furlong Morrissey, including Grade 1 winner Palace and defending champion Weekend Hideaway.
"He had a long year of racing for us last year," Morley said Wednesday morning. "He's a very big horse and he's a gelding, so we decided to give him a bit of time off through the winter. We gave him a real chance to grow and fill out, and he did both . . . and he's a very imposing individual now."
The Morrissey marks Noble Cornerstone's third start at Saratoga after winning a 6 1/2-furlong allowance-optional last summer and finishing sixth in the Grade 1 King's Bishop. Noble Cornerstone won his only start of 2015 - a 6-furlong allowance-optional June 26 at Belmont.
"He ran very creditably (in the King's Bishop), he was beaten 4 lengths," Morley said. "It was his first start in a graded stakes for me, and he didn't get the best setup that he really wanted in the race. He got caught very wide on the turn and he ran fine, he ran very creditably in there. So we know he fits with those sorts of horses."
To read the rest of the Morrissey preview, download Thursday's digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland.