Peter Pan Stakes 2022: Colts line-up for possible stepping stone to the Belmont S.
Race 9: 1 1/8th (Dirt), Peter Pan Stakes (G3), Purse $200k, 3 (Saturday)
Since the 2014 running of the Peter Pan Stakes, trainers have hoped that they could replicate the success that Christophe Clement enjoyed when his young colt, Tonalist, won the race, then entered and collected the August Belmont Trophy in early June. That is not an easy gauntlet to run. This is probably the one opportunity that colts have after the Kentucky Derby to try and make the starting gate for the last leg of the Triple Crown. Despite such long odds, we know that some strong runners have visited the winner’s circle … they include the likes of Unified, Timeline, Blended Citizen, Global Campaign, Country Grammer, and last year’s victor, Promise Keeper! It should be another great edition of the “Pan” once again.
Now, let’s find out about this field…
#1 Set Sail (Jky: J. Rosario/Trn: R. Mandella):
Trainer Richard Mandella ships outside of SoCal intermittently, and he is hoping this son of Malibu Moon is ready to take on what looks like a strong group of colts. In a pair of MSW Co. races at Santa Anita, this 3-yr-old has elevated his game. The debut was a bit of a miss … 3rd … all 3 of the top finishers came back to win next time out. Mandella’s speedster won on the frontend, posting a solid speed fig going 1 mile on the MT. The switch was made to Joel Rosario, and he will be the one to sport the navy/yellow silks of LNJ Foxwoods. The distance test will be a chore, as this one ships in from West Coast.
#2 Electability (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: C. Brown):
It would not be a Belmont stakes race without the red-lettered “KS” of Klaravich Stables. That means Chad Brown is not far behind, and he is looking for his gelding by Quality Road to make it 3 wins in-a-row. Klaravich’s own will be getting a rider upgrade when Irad Ortiz hops aboard. His new mount has expert tactical ability, and if he gets loose at the top of the lane, then he could have this race wrapped up with a bow. He is coming into Belmont off victory in an OC80kn1x … the win was by a head. Brown’s numbers are very potent when it comes to situations like these.
#3 Complete Agenda (Jky: J. Ortiz/Trn: T. Pletcher):
It also would not be a Belmont stakes race without the presence of Repole and St. Elias Stables present. They work with Todd Pletcher, who is now a HOF conditioner … not surprising … The trainer tried to get this son of Curlin to break his maiden down in Florida, but it didn’t take. Races at Gulfstream and 1 at Tampa were all misses. Then, the colt came to Aqueduct just before the Meet closed, and he got the job done going 1 1/8th on the MT against MSW80k Co. The rider switch from Irad to Jose Ortiz did the trick, I suppose. This one is a player, and deserves respect, especially when you consider that he has the most experience going this distance. Still, more to prove …
#4 We the People (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: R. Brisset):
After his 2nd career race, this colt by Constitution was thought to be an alternative pick to D. Wayne Lukas’ Secret Oath in the Arkansas Derby (G1). If you watch the replay of both of those races, you will find a colt that exhibited some strong foot when it counted the most. So, it made sense that trainer Rudy Brisset would wade into deeper waters … at Oaklawn. Even though the result was a disappointment—7th, 13-lengths off—that doesn’t mean he cannot rebound this time around. Flavien Prat is going to try his best to regain this colt’s power that was exhibited back in March. If he ends up being a decent price, then you might consider using him underneath.
#5 Golden Glider (Jky: D. Davis/Trn: M. Casse):
Remember when this colt by Ghostzapper was a “hot pick” after he won convincingly in his 1st start of ’22? Some ‘cappers thought that was not all that impressive a win, and they predicted that his next start in the Sam F. Davis (G3) would not be a success … they were right … he ended up 5th. HOF trainer Mark Casse took him from the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) to the Blue Grass S. (G2), and he missed the board in both of those tough races. Coming to Belmont might not end up being any better, but the choice of Dylan Davis could make a difference. Then again … it just might be too steep a hill to climb.
#6 Western River (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: R. Brisset):
Here is the “other” Rudy Brisset-trained runner that is clearly on-the-make. The colt, who has a famous sire by Tapit, is coming off his 1st maiden win at Oaklawn Park against MSW90k-types. Now, he ships to Belmont looking for more. In what will be his 6th career race, this is the 3rd attempt in the current form cycle. The move to employ Luis Saez’s talents is superb, and I would not count this colt out. What he is going to need is a hot pace … something to run into. If he gets it, the late gears could be there to secure a victory.
#7 Cooke Creek (Jky: M. Franco/Trn: J. O’Dwyer):
We now know that the ’22 edition of the Withers Stakes (G3) was a heck of a contest, and one of those “exiting" races that has positively impacted both the Derby and Triple Crown Trails. Here is another alum from that race, who has not been seen since for Jeremiah O’Dwyer. The son of Uncle Mo was on the shelf, but recently he has worked hard down at Palm Meadows to get into shape. With “Blinkers On,” his trainer is going to try and give his charge some focus. It is not going to be an easy “go,” entering against a group like this one. O’Dwyer does not compete in many “stakes” contests, and that will make his entry a long shot come Saturday. Manny Franco will be aboard once again … tough race coming …
#8 State Planning (Jky: T. McCarthy/Trn: J. Vazquez):
It is nice to see a New York bred enter the “Pan” against a salty bunch like this one. Local trainer Juan Vazquez has this 3-yr-old by Liam’s Map headed into this tough spot. The colt does have 2 wins in-a-row to his credit (in a MSW70k and OC80kn1k @AQU), so there is that … With Trevor McCarthy aboard, the connections are hoping he can break cleanly, and take up a solid striking position. It is going to take more than just a game effort to win this Grade 3.
Join us Saturday for all of our selections! Should be a great set of races from beautiful Belmont Park! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!