The Grade 3 $200,000 Peter Pan on Saturday will be run around one-turn at nine furlongs at Belmont Park. The Peter Pan serves as a prep for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (G1), the third leg of the Triple Crown for 3-year-olds
In 2014, Tonalist won the Peter Pan and then went on to win the Belmont, which was the first of four Grade 1 races that he would win for trainer Christophe Clement. In addition, Tonalist had victories in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) twice and the Cigar Mile (G1), which came in his career finale as a 4-year-old.
Here is a full field analysis for the Peter Pan, which will be run as race 9 out of 11, with morning lines odds provided by the Horse Racing Nation staff. Post time is scheduled for 5:12 p.m. EDT.
1. Overtook (4-1 – Curlin – Todd Pletcher / John Velazquez – 4: 1-1-1 - $107,380) Overtook, who sold for $1 million as a yearling, is owned by the formidable partnership of Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, and the Coolmore group. A three-time winner of the Peter Pan, Todd Pletcher took his time with the son of Curlin as he won his third career start at Aqueduct going a one-turn mile. In his second start, Overtook ran third in a maiden race that was won by Known Agenda with Greatest Honour in the place position. Most recently, he used his late-running style to finish second in the nine-furlong Withers (G3) on the Kentucky Derby trail in February behind Risk Taking. Win contender.
2. Nova Rags (3-1 – Union Rags – Bill Mott / Junior Alvarado – 5: 2-1-0 - $145,900) Nova Rags was a debut winner for Bill Mott on the dirt at Belmont Park last October. Typically, when Mott has a first-time starter win it tends to come the turf. Nova Rags moved right into stakes company with a fourth in the Nashua (G2) at Aqueduct and then had a promising victory in the Pasco at Tampa that launched the son of Union Rags onto the Derby trail. He was second in the Sam F. Davis (G3) and then fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) after a rough start. Win contender.
3. Promise Keeper (5-2 – Constitution – Todd Pletcher / Luis Saez – 4: 2-0-0 - $74,600) Promise Keeper is the winner of 2 out of 4 starts going a mile or more, first in a maiden on a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park and then in an allowance at the recent Keeneland spring meeting by more than five-lengths. This Pletcher runner prefers to race closer to the pace, as he has a victory on the front-end and then most recently while stalking. Between his wins, Promise Keeper finished last in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) after a troubled trip where he got off to a slow start, got rushed up into contention, and then had to steady in tight quarters exiting the final turn. Top choice.
4. Wolfie’s Dynaghost (6-1 – Ghostzapper – Tom Albertrani / Jose Ortiz – 1: 1-0-0 - $44,000) Wolfie’s Dynaghost was a rare debut winner for trainer Tom Albertrani, who has victories in this race in 2005 and 2013. Albertrani’s young horses usually need a couple of races to get in top form, so the win by Wolfie’s Dynaghost was an indication of the quality of this homebred colt who is a half-brother of the turf star Sadler’s Joy. In that maiden win at Aqueduct in November, he defeated subsequent graded-stakes winner Weyburn. He was then sent to Florida but did not make another start. It is interesting that Albertrani would choose to bring the son of Ghostzapper to this race off a long layoff. Live long shot.
5. I Am the Law (15-1 – Mshawish – John Terranova / Kendrick Carmouche – 2: 0-1-1 - $25,600) This late addition to the field is still a maiden after twice hitting the board at Aqueduct on wet tracks going a mile. His debut was in February where he stalked the pace, took the lead in the stretch, but got run down by two others. In March, he again stalked and rallied but this time he got up for second. Toss.
6. Risk Taking (5-2 – Medaglia d’Oro – Chad Brown / Irad Oriz Jr. – 5: 2-0-0 - $200,030) Risk Taking broke his maiden in his third start at Aqueduct in December when defeating The Reds, who recently won the Federico Tesio at Pimilico. Chad Brown then sent Risk Taking to the Withers (G3) where he raced from off the pace to defeat Overtook by almost four-lengths. Risk Taking did not make the Kentucky Derby after finishing seventh in the Wood Memorial (G2) when he came up empty following a less than ideal break from the gate. Trainer Chad Brown, who won the Peter Pan last year with Country Grammer, also won the race in 2017. Win contender.
Summary: The field of six in the Peter Pan has three horses that made brief appearances on this year’s Kentucky Derby trail and two of them are stakes winners. Nova Rags won the seven-furlong Pasco at Tampa and Risk Taking took the Withers going the nine-furlong distance. Overtook has been away since running second to Risk Taking in the Withers.
Those three seem like logical candidates to win the Peter Pan, but maybe this race will be won by a fresh face. For me, Promise Keeper is the horse that just might be the one. Some may view him as "the other Pletcher" in this field, but if that allowance win at Keeneland is any indication of what is to come he could be heading to the Belmont Stakes after winning the Peter Pan.