Eleven 3-year-olds, some with their eye on the June 8 Belmont Stakes and others looking beyond, will assemble at
Park on Saturday afternoon for the 59th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan.
Likely to attract considerable support is Grade 3 Bay Shore
winner Declan’s Warrior, who will be stretching out to 1 1/8 miles for
the first time. Trained by Hall of
Famer Nick Zito, the Majestic Warrior colt is 3-1-0 from four starts,
including a last-to-first maiden victory at
Belmont last October.
“Obviously, the good thing is, we’ve always thought he was a
terrific horse,” said Zito of Declan’s Warrior, who carries the colors
of Lucky Shamrock Stable. “He’s getting
better, and this is a good time to be getting better. It’s a good time
to stretch him out.”
Since his narrow victory in the Bay Shore, in which he swept
five-wide to rally from seventh, Declan’s Warrior has had two works over
the training track at Saratoga
Race Course, most recently breezing a half-mile in 48.16 on May 4.
“He’s doing very well,” said Zito, who owns two Belmont Stakes
victories but has never won the Peter Pan. “We’re not really looking at
this as a prep for the
Belmont, but as a stakes race in its own right. He’s a good horse, and down the road he’s got a great future and a great career.”
Jose Lezcano has the return call aboard Declan’s Warrior, who drew post position 8 as the 4-1 second choice on the morning line.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will be represented by newcomer
Battier, recent winner of the Fit
to Fight overnight stakes on April 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack, and WinStar
Farm’s Abraham, the 7-2 morning-line favorite who most recently was
fourth in the Grade 3 Illinois Derby.
Second to Mr Palmer in the Private Terms on March 9 at Laurel Park, Battier was purchased
by Eclipse Thoroughbreds and sent to Pletcher shortly after his 1 ½-length victory in the one-mile Fit to Fight.
“I haven’t really looked at this as a
prep, but as a nice race on its own,” said Pletcher, who won the Peter
Pan in 2004 with Purge and in 2006 with Sunriver. “Abraham ran a very
good race in the Illinois Derby; he had a pretty
difficult trip through no one’s fault. He’s an improving horse.
Battier, whom we’ve had for a couple of weeks, is coming off a good
race. He breezed well [5 furlongs in 1:01.19 on May 5] and we’ll see how
he fits in.”
John Velazquez will ride Abraham as he leaves from post position 5, while Joel Rosario
will be in the irons for Battier, who drew post position 3 at 8-1 on the morning line.
Making his first start on conventional dirt is Team Valor International’s Infinite Magic, who began his career in
Europe and who on April 14 was a nose
winner of a turf allowance at Keeneland Race Course. The More Than Ready
colt was 2-2-0 from five starts on synthetic surfaces in
England, including the 1 ¼-mile Blue Square Bet Handicap in February at Lingfield.
be easy to keep him on the grass – there’s a grass overnight stakes
[on the day of the Peter Pan] – but when people invest money and take
shots with 3-year-olds they’re hoping they can do something they haven’t
done yet,” said trainer Bobby Ribaudo of Infinite Magic, who has
breezed twice on Belmont’s main track, most recently
traveling five furlongs in 1:01.15 on Sunday. “It’d be nice to see if
he can handle the dirt, and then there’d be a lot of options for him.
You don’t want to compare him to Animal Kingdom, but [Barry Irwin of
Team Valor] did the same thing with Animal Kingdom,
and everyone thought he was nuts. He ran on the synthetic, and the next
thing you know he’s in the 
Derby on the dirt and he wins.”
Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado will be aboard Infinite Magic, who will run on Lasix for
the first time, when he leaves from post position 11. He was listed at 12-1 on the morning line.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who saddled Charitable Man to victory in the 2009 Peter Pan,
will send out Darley Stable’s Incognito, who is using his stakes debut as a possible audition for the
The A.P. Indy colt broke his maiden on March 16 on Aqueduct’s inner
track and next defeated older horses on April 13 in an optional claimer,
both at a mile.
“We know Incognito wants [1 ½ miles],” said McLaughlin of the colt, who will run without Lasix. “It’s a great
tune up for an important race, and we think Incognito could go on to the
Belmont if he runs well.”
Mike Luzzi will ride the 5-1 third choice on the morning line from post position 10.
out the field are Freedom Child, who was declared a non-starter after
being compromised at the break in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial;
My Name Is Michael, seventh in the Grade 1 Blue Grass last time out;
Fear the Kitten, who was entered in but failed to make the field for the
Kentucky Derby; Narvaez, seventh in the Illinois Derby, the Chad Brown-trained Saint Vigeur, winner of both his starts
in 2013, and Go Get the Basil, eighth in the Wood.