The 10-year-old gelding was winless in five starts this year. For his career, Noble Falcon won 55 of 277 races and earned $1.15 million. He will spend his retirement at the farm of owner Francis Azur in western Pennsylvania.
“He just hasn’t been his old self the last four or five starts,” McDermott said. “I’m absolutely thrilled we’re retiring him sound. I have to give Fran all the credit in the world; he did the right thing by the horse.”
|USTA/Ken Weingartner photo|
|Trainer Kevin McDermott feeds Noble Falcon a morning treat.|
As a 2-year-old, Noble Falcon was the Ohio Sire Stakes champion. After joining McDermott’s stable toward the end of his 3-year-old season, the son of Nobleland Sam-Falcon Ground worked his way into the open ranks.
From ages 4 through 9, Noble Falcon won 46 times and earned $1 million while averaging 40 starts per year.
Yet for all his accomplishments, Noble Falcon might be best remembered for beating Blueridge Western in an exhibition race at the Orleans County Fair in Vermont in 2009. Azur, a Vermont native, brought his two stars to the fair to promote harness racing. Noble Falcon paced the fastest mile in state history, winning by a nose in 1:56.2.
Now Noble Falcon will join Blueridge Western in retirement at Azur’s farm.
“He’s probably the best horse I ever had,” McDermott said. “He acts like a human; he eats human food. He’s bailed me out of more jams than you could ever imagine, winning races left and right. He’s a dream. I could never ask for another horse like him.”