Louisiana Derby runner-up Mark Valeski arrived at Belmont Park from
Kentucky Sunday afternoon in advance of his next start, Saturday’s Grade
2, $200,000 Peter Pan. Trainer Larry Jones said the 3-year-old Proud Citizen
colt would likely work Monday morning with regular jockey Rosie Napravnik
aboard in preparation for the 1 1/8-mile race.
Although Mark Valeski had qualified for the Kentucky Derby with
earnings of $310,952, Jones and owner/breeder Brereton C. Jones withheld him
from the race after he failed to dazzle in his final pre-Derby work.
“We’re OK, we’re happy with our decision,”
added Jones, who said he planned to arrive in New York on Wednesday. “We were going
to have to try and be working out a trip like so many others were [in the Derby].”
While the long-range plan for Mark Valeski is Saratoga Race
Course’s Grade 1, $1 million Travers on August 25, the trainer did not
rule out a start in the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 9.
“If he runs like a crazy machine Saturday we’d consider
it,” he said. “But our plan is to have him ready for the Travers
and a campaign in the fall.”