Race of the Week 2017

Future Bright for Anchor Down, Peter Island

Anchor Down with Javier Castellano after winning at Gulfstream Park 01.25.2014
In addition to the $200,000 Swale Stakes (G2) and $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3), Saturday's program at Gulfstream Park also spotlighted a pair of races for 3-year-old colts whose winners have bright futures. 
Anchor Down, bet down to 2-5 following an impressive debut at Gulfstream on January 25, confirmed his early promise with a popular victory in the fourth race, a $48,750 allowance contested at seven furlongs. Three races later, Peter Island made an eye-catching move to secure his career opener going 6 1/2 panels in a $39,000 maiden special weight. Both colts are gray sons of Tapit.
Favored versus five rivals, Anchor Down pressed the quick pace and was hand-ridden by jockey Javier Castellano through the stretch. He hit the wire 1 1/2 lengths in front of the game Myositis Dan, and stopped the clock in 1:21.67 for the seven-furlong test.
"He broke really cleanly and put himself in a good position," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "I thought he ran very well. We'll continue to stretch him out, in a stakes probably, but I'm not sure which one yet."
A half-brother to Test Stakes (G1) heroine Sweet Lulu, Anchor Down was purchased as a yearling for $250,000 by Alto Racing. He broke awkwardly in his January 25 career opener at Gulfstream, but settled the matter quickly with a four-wide move and went on to score by two lengths.
Peter Island, bred and raced by Robert S. Evans, had worked with highly regarded stablemate Top Billing two weeks ago and was the third choice in the wagering in the seventh race. The leggy colt didn't flash much speed in the early stages, but began to gather momentum quickly under jockey Joel Rosario. He ranged up five wide entering the stretch and put away Moon Song en route to a 1 1/4-length success.
"I thought he would run well--whether he would win or not, I didn't know," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "He's a big, tall colt and he broke fine, but he didn't really know about running away from there. When I saw him coming up the rail, I thought, 'Well, at least he'll get a good education.' But then when they got to the middle of the turn, I felt he could win if they backed up a little bit.
Evans purchased the Pleasant Colony mare Resort for $260,000 in 2010 when she was carrying Peter Island in utero. Twice placed in Grade 1 events, Resort had previously produced Grade 2 winner Sightseeing.
"I was pleased," McGaughey added. "We'll stretch him out after this."


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