First Time Open Winner Bound to Be a Star

Owners Dennis and Simone Noud have had horses at Saratoga Casino Hotel going back a couple of decades. The Saratoga Springs residents’ horses were trained by Simone for much of that time. The Noud stable featured Spa veteran Paradise Willie for the entire duration of his lengthy career. Paradise Willie was forced, by USTA rule, to retire from pari-mutuel races at the conclusion of his fourteen year old season in 2017. That rule rarely comes in to play of course because a very small percentage of horses are healthy and still potent enough to compete at that advanced age. When Paradise Willie’s career came to an end, he had earned over $304,000 in an incredible 402 lifetime starts. The Nouds did a good job of keeping Willie healthy which is a combination of a good job of taking care of their former stable star and of course a fair amount of luck as well.

As Paradise Willie was wrapping up his career, the Nouds had some other horses emerging as the new key members to their stable. Entrusting their prized pacers to a couple of other trainers, the Nouds saw a new trio come to the forefront for them. Sassy Hanover, Brigadoon and In A Single Bound all displayed a fair amount of talent in the early going of their careers and each of them have gone on to enjoy success in the past few years. Sassy Hanover began under the guidance of trainer Cheryl McGivern for the Nouds who have wound up bringing him to a host of different trainers over the years, both locally and out of town. Sassy Hanover hasn’t only been a “solid” horse during his time but has won the local Open on two occasions. In each of the past two seasons, Sassy Hanover has recorded one win in the Open Pace. Currently trained by Jaymes Mcassey, Sassy Hanover may be a notch below Open caliber at this point in the eight year old’s career but he is still racing at a pretty high level. On Saturday night, the veteran finished fourth in a $10,000 pacing event at the Spa just two weeks removed from a local victory while competing in a lower class. Sassy Hanover is just a few thousand dollars shy of reaching the $300,000 plateau in career earnings for the Nouds.

Brigadoon has followed a somewhat similar career path to Sassy Hanover for his owners. Starting out of the McGivern barn before moving on to several different trainers’ stables, Brigadoon had his breakout campaign in 2016 as a three year old. Competing in large part in the Excelsior A division of the New York Sire Stakes, Brigadoon enjoyed an eight-win sophomore season and recorded nine second-place finishes as well en route to almost $90,000 in earnings. Simone currently trains Brigadoon who has three races under his belt in ’19, winning one of them. Much like Sassy Hanover, Brigadoon usually resides in the upper level conditions and classes just below the Open in his local starts.

While Sassy Hanover and Brigadoon continue to compete at a high level, it is In A Single Bound who has emerged as the star for the Nouds. Under the guidance of trainer Monica Krist, In A Single Bound was impressive right from the get-go. In his two year old season, In A Single Bound rattled off four consecutive victories and headed into his three year old campaign as a star in the making. And a star he became. In A Single Bound’s sophomore season saw him race just fourteen times and record an incredible ten wins. Making those stats even more impressive is the fact that most of his winning was done while competing in the NY Sire Stakes. Before his stakes season got underway, In A Single Bound competed in and won the JP Morel Memorial Pacing Series at Saratoga in the spring. Comprised of young pacers, the 2017 Morel Series was dominated by In A Single Bound who won the $31,600 Final which, at the time, was his largest purse win. Unfortunately, health issues ended the talented pacer’s season a bit early but not before he amassed an impressive $184,000.

After being lightly raced in 2018, In A Single Bound has come back gangbusters in his starts at the Spa in ’19 for Krist and the Nouds. Following a pretty unsuccessful stint at the Meadowlands this winter, In A Single Bound thrived immediately upon returning to Saratoga. After registering two wins and two seconds, In A Single Bound made his debut in the $15,000 Open in late March. Following a third and a fourth place finish in his first two local tries, on Saturday night April 6th, the five year old won the local Open Pace for the first time. Leading driver Billy Dobson navigated a pocket trip for the Krist stable star and they emerged victorious in 1:53.2 to record the 19th career win for In A Single Bound in his 43 lifetime starts. Last weekend, the talented star drew the outside post as he sought to repeat among the track’s top pacers. The trip got the best of him and though he had to settle for a fourth place finish, it was a hard-closing fourth in what was the fastest mile of the year thus far at Saratoga (1:50.4!). In A Single Bound has reached the summit of local pacers at the Spa as he has gone from Sire Stakes star to Open force over the course of what thus far has been a brief but terrific career.

Though In A Single Bound has been the Nouds’ most successful horse in 2019, there is a young member of their stable who is showing several similarities to In A Single Bound in what has been a terrific kick-off to his season. Energyzone Hanover looked very promising as a two year old in ‘18. He won his final start last year and took a lengthy layoff before prevailing in a March qualifier at the Spa. Another Noud-owned Krist trainee, Energyzone Hanover competed on Wednesday seeking his third consecutive win of the year and again was the public’s 1-9 betting favorite. After coming from off the pace to score his first two victories of the year, Energyzone Hanover displayed early speed on Wednesday afternoon and simply shined as he set a 1:55.2 lifetime mark to move his win streak to four. While the path for Energyzone Hanover remains to be seen, the plan for the three year old is to follow in In A Single Bound’s footsteps to compete in the spring JP Morel Pacing Series. With his most recent charted lines, Energyzone Hanover appears to be the favorite in the seventh annual Morel Pace which begins on Saturday night as he has simply dazzled in the early stages of 2019. He may well be next in the growing line of Noud pacing stars to emerge at the Spa.

Live racing takes place at Saratoga on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon this week beginning at 12 noon and on Saturday night with first post time set for 6:45pm. There is no racing on Easter with Sunday action set to resume next week. Until next week, I’m Mike Sardella wishing you the best of luck and we’ll see YOU at the finish line!

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