Friday, May 8, 2009

Peter Pan S. (G2)

Belmont Park
Peter Pan S. (G3)
1-1/8 Three-Year-Olds $200,000

After Mine That Bird’s upset victory in the Run for the Roses any horse exiting the Sunland Derby will merit reassessment. One of those colts is Scorewithcater, who bested the Derby winner by ¼ length while finishing 3rd. Three weeks prior he scored a neck victory over him in the Borderland Handicap. Scorewithcater likes to come from off the pace. The Peter Pan field is filled with colts that like to be forwardly placed so the race sets up well for him. Also, his pedigree (Even the Score – Runaway Cater by Runaway Groom) suggests that he would benefit from moisture in the surface and after a week of clouds and rain in New York he’s likely to get that. Saturday’s forecast is also calling for morning showers. But, the question remains: is he good enough to win? I don’t think so. But he will have a good pace to close into and I expect the Doug O’Neill trained colt to hit the board.

All eyes will be on Imperial Council. During the prep season the 2-1 ML favorite was considered by many to be a top Derby candidate. His Wood Memorial put the final nail in the coffin of those hopes and now he’s back to prove that the talk wasn’t just hype. Both of his stakes appearances- Wood Memorial (G1), Gotham (G3) - were around two turns and the results were less than stellar. The one turn Peter Pan should be more to his liking. Although his pedigree says distance he has yet to prove that he can win over a route of ground in graded company. He shows a very interesting work tab since the Wood M. There are three tightly bunched works on 4/14, 4/17, and 4/19. I can only imagine he was kicking the barn down and they had to do something with him. He shows a 5f work on 4/26 in 1:02 and a bullet on 5/3. It appears to me that this is a horse that is ready for war. My concern is that he will be too sharp. I won’t be surprised if he wins, but I think he’ll fade approaching the wire and settle for second place money.

I had a very difficult time convincing myself Hello Broadway would win because I really don’t think the distance suits him. My instinct tells me he’ll come up short. However, his pedigree and his 6f work on 4/27 in 1:11 convinced me to give him the benefit of the doubt. That workout is much better than any other he shows at that distance. He then returned with a bullet work on 5/3. He is adding blinkers today and that should help him stay focused; his PP’s hint at him losing interest when he’s in front. Like Imperial Council, I think he’s a better one turn horse. Another point of confidence is that Garrett Gomez is in the irons. Hello Broadway has done his best running when creating the pace, but I’m expecting a different strategy on Saturday. I think they will try to get him to relax a few lengths off the pace, give him a target to run at – Imperial Council - and kick past at the wire. At 5-2 I’m not sure there is value in the wager but if he floats up to about 7-2, as I think he will, I think he is worth a wager. I’m giving him the nod over Imperial Council.

The sleeper in the race is Charitable Man. He may be the best horse in the field. But he’s going to have to prove it by beating me this race. Since moving to Keeneland and now Belmont his works do not instill confidence. At 3-1 on the ML I don’t like the risk. However, I think he is a horse that one should consider in exotics.

The Picks:
Win: Hello Broadway --- Stretches his limit to score the victory.
Place: Imperial Council- Too keen early and is beat at the wire.
Show: Scorewithcater ------------- The race sets up well for him.

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