It's not the Kentucky Derby, nor does offer the run for the
roses' $3 million jackpot, but $200,00 in prize money ain't bad in the PeterPan Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon.
Let's take a crack at trip handicapping the race to see how
we think it might play out. A field of six of will race 1 1/8 miles on
Belmont's main track. Belmont is of the few (maybe the only?) where a race this
long has just one turn. The distance is likely to favor stalkers/closers with
that long backstretch, sweeping banked turn and short sprint out of the turn to
The field lacks a true frontrunner with a bunch of 1s across
his past performance lines. That means the early pace is likely to be moderate.
WOLFIE'S DYNAGHOST (PP: 4 ML 9/2) or PROMISE KEEPER (PP: 3 ML 7/2) will likely
break one-two and set the pace for the quarter and half mile calls. We give the
edge to WOLFIE'S DYNAGHOST to be on the front.
Jockey Junior Alvarado will probably put NOVA RAGS (PP: 2 ML
5/2) right behind the leaders and save as much ground and time as possible to
save enough to try and hold off the closers late. Trainer Chad Brown most
likely believes NOVA RAGS is the horse he has to beat with morning line
favorite RISK TAKING (PP: 6 ML 7/5). Brown will probably have jockey Irad
Ortiz, Jr. take up right behind NOVA RAGS and sit to his outside into the turn.
OVERTOOK (PP: 1 ML 6-1) and I AM THE LAW (PP: 5 ML 30-1) are
closers. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche is an aggressive rider. So, expect him to
try to keep pace with NOVA RAGS and RISK TAKING. In fact, it would not be
surprising to see Carmouche take his horse to the front. Surely, jockeys and
trainers see the same lack of true speed we see. Carmouche and trainer John
Terranova, II might decide to send their horse and see what happens.
WOLFIE'S DYNAGHOST's pace is a little too much for PROMISE
KEEPER as they head into the turn. NOVA RAGES and RISK TAKING swing outside to
get past a weakening PROMISE KEEPER. The two favorites make their moves forward
halfway through the turn with NOVA RAGS pulling alongside WOLFIE'S DYNAGHOST as
the exit the turn.
Alvarado and NOVA RAGS take the lead with RISK TAKING inching
closer. The pair pull away from WOLFIE'S DYNAGHOST and make a dash for the
wire. It's clear one of them is going to own the Man O' War hardware.
From the back of the pack OVERTOOK starts his charge in the
stretch, trying to get by the tiring legs of the early leaders. I AM THE LAW is
As they approach the wire, NOVA RAGS and RISK TAKER are
battling step by step with NOVA RAGS beating the chalk to winners' circle by a
head. WOLFIE'S DYNAGHOST is a clear third with a photo for fourth between OVERTOOK
and PROMISE KEEPER.
Now let's see how close our attempt at trip handicapping
plays out on the track!
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