posted 5 years ago
$200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (G2)
Race 9 (Saturday, May 14, 2011: post time: 5:16 p.m./EDT; 2:16 p.m./PDT)
1-1/8 miles on the main track (3-year-olds)
What this year’s 3-year-old crop lacks in star power, it sure makes up for in depth. A full field of eleven runners is scheduled to greet the starter in this traditional prep race for the Belmont Stakes (G1), the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown.
A bunch of raiders have invaded Big Sandy for this event, including #4 PRIME CUT. This Neil Howard trainee is coming off a nice second-place finish in the Lexington (G3), which came at 8.5-furlongs. Today, he gets 9-panels, and the extra distance should do him good. He also has the tactical speed to get a nice forwardly placed trip. Horse Racing Odds 9/2.
#2 UNCLE BRENT ships in from the Midwest for 1992 Kentucky Derby–winning trainer Lynn Whiting after two nice efforts at Oaklawn Park. He’s another that should improve as the distances get longer, but keep in mind that he was a perfect-trip winner last time, and now he faces graded-stakes company. Horse Racing Odds 4-1.
#6 ALTERNATION exits the Arkansas Derby (G1), where he finished a closing fifth. Before that, he was riding a three-race win streak. If there’s a pace meltdown, he’ll be chugging along to pick up the pieces, but he’s a deep closer, so he’ll need everything to break just right for him.
#3 BEER MEISTER exits the Sunland Derby (G3), where he ran on late to finish fifth. He’s another deep closer that is at the mercy of the pace.
#9 NEWSDAD finished a troubled fourth in the Blue Grass (G1), and he has nice turf form at today’s distance. Even though I trust his trainer, Bill Mott, it’s impossible to ignore his one dirt try—a 21-length drubbing in his debut race. Then again, his breeding suggests dirt shouldn’t be a problem.
#10 JOE VANN has won his last three, including a dominating performance in the Illinois Derby (G3). He’s got sharp tactical speed and looks obvious to me.
#11 MONZON arrives in town from Tampa, where he disappointed in the Sam F. Davis (G3) back in February. If he runs back to his Count Fleet score, he’s a threat, but I can’t see beyond his loss against graded company.
I’m not crazy about the local runners, even though #8 ADIOS CHARLIE will take a lot of action off his last race, a monster win in the Jerome (G2). No doubt he’s talented, but that win came in the slop, and I don’t want to take a short price until I see one more.
Horse Racing Picks - Peter Pan Stakes 2011
1. #4 PRIME CUT – Looks to be peaking at the right time.
2. #10 JOE VANN – A repeat of his Illinois Derby (G3) will make him very tough.
3. #2 UNCLE BRENT – He gets a class test today, but I like the confidence of the connections.
LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #9 NEWSDAD – He might be a turf horse, but I respect his trainer too much to not use him underneath.
Horse Racing Bets WAGERING STRATEGY
This is a really tough race, and I find it hard to separate the top three. I hate not having a key horse to go to war with, so I’m going to punt here and do a simple three-horse exacta box with the top three—#4 PRIME CUT, #10 JOE VANN, and #2 UNCLE BRENT—and then a saver exacta using the same three with #9 NEWSDAD underneath: $6 exacta box: 2,4,10; $4 exacta: 2,4,10 with 9.