Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/11/12

In sticking with the Triple Crown theme this time of year, in this weekend’s Horse Racing preview we will be looking at the 2012 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park in New York. This years running of the Grade II, one and one eight mile race will be led by Mark Valeski and the speedy The Lumber Guy. As a side note, 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta was announced in foal again. (More on that later)

Peter Pan himself was a winner of 10 of 17 races including Belmont Stakes, the Brooklyn Derby and the Brighton Handicap and he was later inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame.

The Peter Pan is a key prep race for the final leg of the Triple Crown, the “Test of Champions,” Belmont Stakes to be run June 9.

Over the years some of the past winners include Gallant Man (1957), Coastal, who would go on to upset the great Spectacular Bid in the Belmont Stakes (1979), the good looking Tap Shoes (1981), perhaps the best looking horse I’ve ever seen in my life, Slew O’ Gold (1983), super sire Seeking The Gold (1988), and the great A.P. Indy (1992).

Belmont ParkMay 12, 2012

Race 9 – 5:06 PM

Peter Pan Stakes (Grade II)

Purse $200,000. For Three Year Olds

One And One Eighth Miles.











1 1 Right to Vote 3/G   A O Solis 116 E G Harty


2 2 The Lumber Guy 3/C L M J Luzzi 120 M E Hushion


3 3 Zetterholm 3/C L J Alvarado 116 R E Dutrow, Jr.


4 4 Le Bernardin 3/C L E Castro 116 K P McLaughlin


5 5 Mark Valeski 3/C L R Napravnik 116 J L Jones


6 6 Good Morning Diva 3/C L J R Leparoux 120 T A Hills


7 7 Hakama 3/C L J R Velazquez 116 M J Trombetta


8 8 Big Screen 3/C L R Maragh 116 T Albertrani


9 9 Master Rick 3/C L C S Nakatani 120 S M Asmussen


10 10 Teeth of the Dog 3/C L J Bravo 116 M R Matz


11 11 Summer Front 3/C L R A Dominguez 120 C Clement


12 12 Street Life 3/C L J Lezcano 116 C C Brown



1) Mark Valeski- once upon a time was ranked in my top 10 Kentucky Derby hopefuls, but a defeat (to 109-1 shot) Hero of Order in the Louisiana Derby April 1 erased all that. He may not be Kentucky Derby material (as Larry Jones stated several days before theDerby that “he didn’t think this horse belonged in the Derby”) but he’s still got some quality as the nose defeat to El Padrino in the Risen Star Starts prior to the Louisiana Derby would indicate.

He makes his Belmont Park (and New York) debut but I don’t see the surface change causing any problems as he worked a bullet  :59.3 on May 7 over this very track.

It doesn’t look like it’ll be easy for him, but he does look best on paper.

2) The Lumber Guy- I’m not sure what to make of this speedster by the recently deceased Grand Slam. He began his career by running his foes into the ground while winning his first two starts by a combined 13 ½ lengths.

He was then entered in the Wood Memorial against (Derby hopeful) Gemologist where he set the pace and tired late to finish a disappointing 5th. Now, was it a) facing the fleet Gemologist in the Wood Memorial in just his third career start, b) 1 1/8 miles is beyond his scope or c) was it both that caused that 5th place finish? Because after the Wood Memorial, he came back and torched the Jerome Mile in winning by 2 ½ lengths in a solid 1:36.

Add to the fact that there is other speed signed up in this race (so he may not have an easy time on the front early), and that the Wood Memorial race is sandwiched by a pair of very strong 96 speed figures and this guy has me thoroughly scratching my head.

3) Teeth of the Dog- has not been off the board in now four lifetime starts and, by his speed figures, he’s improved in each subsequent start as he scored (in order) a 57, 79, 83 and 93. That 93 was a good closing third to Gemologist in the aforementioned Wood Memorial. If he continues to improve this well bred bay colt (by Bluegrass Cat out a Deputy Minister mare) could have a say in the outcome. Heck, he actually finished ahead of the second choice in the Wood.

 Honorable Mentions:

Summer Front is a $475,000 Keeneland yearling from the Christopher Clement barn and if he can duplicate his grass and synthetics form to conventional dirt, he going to be a hand full down the stretch. He closed to strongly win his first three races (on the grass) and was a solid second in the Lexington Stakes (at Keeneland and over the synthetics)  in his last giving him a record of 4-3-1-0. Master Rick has improved leaps and bounds since being moved to the Steve Asmussen barn two races ago. He is 2 for 2 and in his last race, a stakes win in the Northern Spur at Oaklawn Park, he scored a 99 speed figure, which is the highest figure of anyone in this race. Zetterholm steps up in company but possesses a strong closing run.

Record: 6-23 = 26%

Little Bets N’Pieces

**** Black Caviar will return to Australia May 12 to compete in the group I Goodwood Stakes, her final race inAustralia before she heads to Great Britain for the Royal Ascot meet in June.

Australian news reports said the 5-year-old unbeaten mare will face eight others in the Goodwood, run at (about) six furlongs on the grass.

Black Caviar is 20-for-20 in her career and has earned more than $5.5 million.

Black Caviar is an amazing 20 for 20 in her career

**** Owners Jerry and Ann Moss said an ultrasound that was executed this past Tuesday confirmed 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, a winner of 19 of 20 races, is in foal to leading sire Tapit.

Tapit (by Pulpit), who was Kentucky Derby threat in 2004 after winning the Gotham, really hit his stride as a stallion. He is the leading General Sire this year (as of April 30th) and his list of runners is long, deep and successful. They include Stardom Bound, Trappe Shot, Careless Jewel, Concord Point, Zazu, Tapizar and 2011 Two Year Old Champion Hansen.

Zenyatta, with her Bernardini foal by her side, still resides at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky.

2012 Leading Sire Tapit's list of runners is impressive.

**** After recording his first win since the 2011 Preakness Stakes, Shackleford is being pointed to the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap at BelmontParkMay 28.

Shackleford won the Churchill Downs Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard this past Saturday after a pitched battle with champion male sprinter Amazombie.

“He looks so good that I think we ought to run him in the Preakness again,” half owner Mike Lauffer said tongue in cheek.

"Shack" will be on the attack again in the Met Mile later this month at Belmont Park

**** Grade I winner Aptitude died inArgentina about two weeks ago. The 15-year-old son of A.P. Indy was stood at Juddmonte Farms inLexington,Ky but was being shuttled to Haras Vacacion since 2007

Trained by Bobby Frankel, Aptitude really did his best running as a 4-year-old in 2001. He won the Jockey Club Gold Cup by 10 lengths, the Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Handicap and the Hollywood Gold Cup (via a disqualification.)

Aptitude (#4)

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.


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