Photo: Kevin Creative (Kevin House)
No horse was traveling faster through the Belmont Park stretch in the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan on May 12 than Street Life.
After trailing in the field of 10 through a half-mile in a scorching
45.35 seconds, Street Life swung to the outside under jockey Jose
Lezcano and turned it on to pass most of the field and wind up third,
beaten just 1 ¾ lengths by winner Mark Valeski.
Now, the son of Street Sense will attempt
to go from that strong effort at 1 1/8 miles to the 1 ½-mile “Test of
the Champion,” and trainer Chad Brown expects nothing but the race of
“I’m confident my horse is in tip-top
shape, and I’m confident this horse is going to run the fastest number
he’s ever run,” said Brown. “I don’t think anybody can go into this
race feeling confident that they’re definitely going to win, but I am
confident we belong in the race and that he’s sitting on a top effort.
Whether his top effort is good enough against these, you don’t know
until you actually do it.”
Street Life is the son of a Kentucky Derby
winner out of a mare by another Kentucky Derby winner, Grindstone. The
pedigree, however, did not put him on the Derby trail as he didn’t
make his career start until January 5 at Gulfstream Park, a
six-furlong sprint in which he finished a sluggish eighth.
In his second start a month later,
however, Street Life was sent routing on the Aqueduct inner track, and
he came from eighth and last to crush a field of maidens that included
Belmont starter Five Sixteen by 2 ½ lengths. He won the Broad Brush
Stakes in his next start, finished sixth in the Grade 1 Resorts World
Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes and then made his big late
run in the Peter Pan.
The pace of the Peter Pan was hot, and Brown knows it could be different in the Belmont.
“Of course the pace is going to be
different going a mile and a half, so the race will unfold differently,
but as my horse matures I’m sure he’ll be more adaptable in his
races,” he said. “If the pace is slower, he’ll probably lay closer. He
has a tremendous amount of stamina. He’s not a big horse, but he can
get the mile and a half. The question is how fast can he go.”