Trip Handicapping The Peter Pan Stakes

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Saturday, May 8, 2021

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 wire.

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 done.

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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