Undefeated Strategic Bird the first stakes winner for Noble Bird
Saturday, December 4, 2021

Strategic Bird (inside) holds off Devine Charger to win the $100,000 Sandpiper S. - SV Photography

A very determined Strategic Bird held off Devine Charger by a neck in the $100,000 Sandpiper S. on Dec. 4 at Tampa Bay Downs to become the first stakes winner for freshman sire Noble Bird.

The 2-year-old filly was coming off a dominating 12 ¾-length first-time out score Nov. 13 at Gulfstream Park. Like she did in that race, Strategic Bird went right to the front out of the gate, with Devine Charger her closest a couple lengths behind down the backstretch. The margin tightened up on the turn, and the two fillies were less than a length apart coming into the stretch. Strategic Bird showed her mettle the rest of the way, never relinquishing the lead to get the six furlongs in 1:10.05 on a fast track.

“She laid down some good fractions (21.93 seconds for the quarter-mile and 44.91 for the half) and won, so we’re really happy with the result,” said trainer Mark Casse’s assistant Jimmy Miranda. “When you get one who wins first time out like she did, you just want to see if they’ll take the next step, and she handled everything well today. She’s a good-minded filly.”

Strategic Bird is owned by Gary Barber and has earned $57,000 in her two victories. She was bred by the John Oxley Living Trust. Strategic Bird’s dam Strategize produced a full brother to the winner in 2021 and was bred back to Noble Bird for 2022.

Noble Bird is the sire of eight winners to date and in addition to Strategic Bird is responsible for the stakes-placed filly Rufa Red Knot. Noble Bird will stand the 2022 season for $4,000 S&N.

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