While the 2012 Kentucky Derby is in the books, there are still horses looking to make their way to the Triple Crown races, and the Peter Pan Stakes this weekend often acts as a stepping stone prep race to the Belmont Stakes in June.
Several horses that were once Derby prospects are taking a “better late than never” approach to getting back on the Triple Crown trail. The 5-2 morning line favorite Mark Valeski was second in both the Louisiana Derby and Risen Star Stakes earlier this year; Teeth of the Dog (6-1), The Lumber Guy (7-2), and Street Life (8-1) finished 3rd, 5th, and 6th respectively to Gemologist in the Wood Memorial in April.
The $200,000 Peter Pan is run at 1 1/8 miles so moving forward from there to the 1 1/2 miles Belmont will be asking a lot of these colts. However Belmont Park offers an incentive to do so: NYRA will waive the Belmont Stakes entry and starting fees for any of the first three finishers of the Peter Pan.
A trip to the Belmont Stakes would be nice but require some waiting, and some connections are actually eyeing the Preakness Stakes as their goal, making their status in the Peter Pan uncertain. Teeth of the Dog, trained by Michael Matz, and Zetterholm (20-1), trained by Richard Dutrow, are possible scratches. If the Preakness field isn’t packed yet, they would be pulled from the Peter Pan and pointed to Pimlico for next Saturday.
The Peter Pan promises to be an exciting exhibition of 3 year olds who may be down but are definitely not out. A.P. Indy was the last horse to win the Belmont Stakes after taking the Peter Pan, but can one of these talented colts be next? Don’t miss out on the great action at Belmont Park this weekend!