Who Will Find Their Mojo in The Peter Pan?

The Peter Pan (Grade 3)- $350.000 Purse
BEL- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
May 12, 2018

The Peter Pan can be a race that is often overlooked at the time that it is run, falling in the week between the KYD and the PRK, but after it is run, it is normally looked back at often. Just two years ago, in 2016, Black Mojo won the race with a not much fanfare when it happened, but a month later he was finishing second in the BEL. That was just the start of bigger and better things for the 2017 BC Classic winner, who continues to perform at a high level. After 2016, the race was downgraded from a Grade 2 to a Grade 3, and while it remains a Grade 3 this year, the purse has risen significantly, going from its traditional $200.000 level to now being $350.000. Our field for the race is exciting, attracting those who came up just short in the KYD hunt, to late bloomers that want to make the summertime be the time they make their headlines. Let’s take a look at our field for the 13th running of this exciting race!

#1- What Have You Done (Mb Stables, ridden by J Rosario)- This is a race that Mb Stables has not yet won, and we can really begin the countdown now to his 500th career graded win. He is currently at 490, so given his level of success, it probably happens either this month or in the first half of June. What Have You Done provides a great chance to increase that number, as he actually did have enough points to qualify for the KYD. Second in the TAM Derby as well as the Jerome got him those points, but a lack of a win in those races likely is why Mb Stables did not make him one of his eligible three for either this, or the PRK next week. This is a great chance for the horse to prove himself here, and he is one of the favorites.

#2- Achilles (Diablo Diablo, ridden by J L Ortiz)- Coming into the race on only two weeks of rest, but as he is lightly raced in his career to this point, that is not something that I am concerned with. His last two times on the track have seen him come from off the pace in the stretch, and narrowly miss out on a win, getting a pair of seconds. Neither was at this level, and this is his stake debut, of any type. Achilles should like the stretch here at BEL, and this will be a great chance for the trainer to see where he stands in regards to some of the best in division, without worrying about the elite.

#3- Table Stakes (Pan Farms, ridden by A A Gallardo)- There was a time, mainly right after the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at KEE, where Table Stakes was seen as one of the top two year olds in the game. Surely, he would emerge as a KYD contender, but that seems like a long time ago, and it really never came to fruition. Former trainer Barcelona Farms sold him off, and did so for a hefty $400.000 price tag, and Pan Farms has not yet got any sort of payback on that investment. Table Stakes has had two up the track performances, and was an afterthought as we got closer to the KYD. This would be a good spot to turn it around, but I am not going to give him the benefit of the doubt as I have in other recent previews.

#4- Dastardly Havoc (Smokey Stover, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Another horse, who in mid-April, took the Mb Stables to Smokey Stover private sales express. This was a $255.000 transaction that occurred two days following a disappointing finish at the AR Derby. To this point, Dastardly Havoc needs to show he can do more then contend late in a race, as he still only has his maiden victory to his credit in nine races. He makes money, though, by keeping close to the front. The AR Derby was the exception to that, but it may have been a bad tactic used there as he was much further back early then he usually is. This is the type of race that Dastardly Havoc needs to step up in, as a lot of money has been paid by the new connections, who race him for the first time.

#5- Sacred Sacrifice (Fractious, ridden by R J Albarado)- In four starts, this up and comer has won twice, but neither of those wins are going to intimidate any of today’s rivals. We last saw him run in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, in April, in a race that may have been a last second attempt at the KYD. His finish there didn’t get him any points, but running sixth and only missing by a length is an otherwise promising result for a horse that was making his stake debut. In the Peter Pan, Sacred Sacrifice will not have to worry about the elite of the division, and in this race I am more intrigued by the late bloomers like him then those who need to give their career a jolt. He’s working really well, and coming into his own right now.

#6- Stainless Metal (John Henry, ridden by C Landeros)- With just one win in ten starts, Stainless Metal is hoping that John Henry can be the trainer to get him in the winners circle more often. He’s been sold a few times now, including twice in the last three months. Despite the lack of a recent win, the purchase price is going up, as John Henry showed $190.000 worth of faith in him. May be possible that he heads back to the turf, eventually. Stainless Metal has some solid works, but nothing that most others in this race aren’t also putting up. His last three starts have seen him beaten three lengths each, so I am going to have to see a better effort first before I can pick him.

#7- Wild Fame (Estero Farms, ridden by F Pennington)- The great F Pennington, winner of both the KYD and KYO last weekend, hooks up with Estero Farms here once again. Look forward to covering the PRK and Pretty Ferro next week after that amazing run, but first, the Peter Pan and Wild Fame. This will be his debut for Estero, as the trainer acquired him on the same day that Smokey Stover acquired Dastardly Havoc, with a strong $325.000 tag on him. That’s nothing compared to what prior trainer Jive Inc paid Mb Stables in early March, $650.000. There’s a lot of money on this winner of two out of six. He’s working well coming him, but based on those prices, I imagine that good works have never been an issue.

#8- Bad English (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by T C Baze)- The trainer has always had high hopes for him, entering him in two ungraded stakes as a maiden. As often happens, those races did not got well, and Bad English broke his maiden the conventional way, after all. That came just after Christmas, and Bad English has continued to run with the CA-bred condition ever since, and has been able to maintain having T C Baze as the jockey. He still has not won again, but works are trending in the right direction to give him the shot here. Also, despite the good mile works, his attempts at running long have been among the worst lines in his past performances. That should change, eventually.

#9- Maniaco del Controll (Threshold, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- After winning a turf maiden race at TUP, the trainer made what seemed to be an aggressive move in elevating him in class to the Grade 3 Davis Stakes at TAM. Though he did not beat anyone that day, Threshold kept at it, and ran him in the Grade 1 SA Derby. That time, he was able to beat a few, but still finishes seven lengths up the track. That race, by the way, was won by Pretty Ferro and also had KYD runner up, Centerpiece (though Centerpiece was not himself that day). One cannot deny the confidence and faith that he has in him, but the speed figures, and even the works to an extent are showing him to not quite be up to the level of the best three year olds in the game. This is a drop down, but is it enough of one? I’m not sure, actually.

#10- Minutes Hand (Fractious, ridden by L H Colon)- This one also got a chance to run against the top two finishers from the KYD in his last race, the SA Derby. Like Maniaco del Controll, he was also beaten by seven lengths, though had better luck in the final finishing order. Minutes Hand started going long this year, but his two career wins have come when the finishing time would be under a minute. The last time L H Colon was aboard was likely his best run of the year, where he closed well to finish third in the Grade 2 Felipe.

#11- Rumble (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- On the far outside, a spot that Pretty Ferro proved that it was still possible to win from last week, we come to Rumble, and I am rather intrigued. D J C Racing Stables has had a successful season with three year olds, and this one might be approaching the level as the others. In fact, with a little more luck, he might already be there. He’s won three of seven, which is a nice stat, and has been in the money five times. In all seven of his races, he has been within a length of the winner, including his only real TC prep race, the LA Derby. Somewhere, I see a big win or two in this horse’s career, and it could come here.

Prediction: 1-5-11-2

— NS



Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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