Most of the attention this week and next is focused on Pimlico in Baltimore, Md. but Saturday’s $200,000 Peter Pan (G2) could produce a major foe for Kentucky Derby winner Orb in four weeks in the Belmont Stakes.
A field of 11 will line up, and they may have to deal with a wet track as there is rain in the forecast for Friday night into Saturday.
The Todd Pletcher trained Abraham is the 7-2 morning line favorite. Pletcher was blanked in the Derby with his five starters, who all are sitting out the Preakness next Saturday. Abraham makes his first start since running fourth behind Departing in the Illinois Derby (G3) at Hawthorne on April 20.
The second choice on the morning line is the Nick Zito trained Declan’s Warrior, who won the Bay Shore (G3) at Aqueduct going seven furlongs on April 11. Zito has indicated that he is not pointing the colt to the Belmont Stakes.
Kiaran McLaughlin is hoping for a strong performance by the well-bred Incognito, who makes his stakes debut in the Peter Pan. The colt has a very appealing pedigree for an off track and he looks as if he has enough pedigree power to handle the 1 ½ mile distance of the Belmont. The colt is by A.P. Indy out of the multiple stakes winner Octave.
The only other stakes winner in the field is the Pletcher trained Battier (8-1) who won the restricted Fit to Fight at Aqueduct on April 7.
While there is not a lot of star power in this field, there are several contenders including my top pick that have long-winded pedigrees and could add to the drama if Orb is able to win the Preakness next week.
Check out my latest article for Bleacher Report: 10 Things You Need to Know About Orb’s Triple Crown Chances.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs. Click here for all of today’s handicapping reports.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Peter Pan G2 (Post time 5:17 ET)
10 Incognito 5-1
8 Declan’s Warrior 4-1
7 Saint Vigeur 6-1
5 Abraham 7-2
Analysis: Incognito just beat Alw-1 foes last out by a nose in his first go against winners but did have a bit of trouble in the stretch. This guy should only get better as he stretches out and a good run in this race will set him up for the Belmont Stakes. The colt is bred to run all day and handle a wet track. He is by A. P. Indy out of the multiple graded stakes winner Octave ($1.6 million). It took four tries for him to break his maiden but note three back he was beaten just a neck by Mr Palmer, who came back to win the Private Terms and then ran fourth in the Wood (G1). We have not seen the best out of this guy yet.
Declan’s Warrior made a good late rally to win the Bay Shore last out by a head going seven furlongs and goes a route of ground for the first time here. Zito said he is not pointing this guy to the Belmont. He has shown improvement in each outing and should have no problem handling the added ground. The barn is 19% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. The colt is a half to stakes winner Canonize ($271,234).
Saint Vigeur started off his year by breaking his maidens at Gulfstream Park two back and the effort was flattered when runner up, third, and fourth place finishers all came back to graduate in their next starts. Last out the Chad Brown trainee tracked a slow pace and was able to get up late to beat Alw-2L foes over a muddy track. They went real slow early ion that race and that may be a reason the last out speed fig came back on the light side. He figures to move forward here and the 6-1 looks fair enough to toss him in the mix here.
WIN: #10 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 8,10 / 5,7,8,10
TRI: 8,10 / 5,7,8,10 / 2,3,5,7,8,10
Michael Dempsey’s Preakness Day Report
Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Preakness Day card from historic Pimlico. Michael is a Maryland bred and knows the circuit from the backstretch to the finish line.
The second jewel of the Triple Crown will be run on Saturday May 18 at Pimlico. The big day of racing has five supporting stakes including the $150,000 Gallorette Handicap and the $100,000 Allare Dupont Distaff Stakes.