According to the New York Racing Asscociation press office, probable for the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes on May 11 are Abraham, Battier, Declan's Warrior, Freedom Child, Incognito, Infinite Magic, Narvaez, Saint Viguer, Sr. Quisqueyano and Transparent.
The well-traveled Infinite Magic, formerly trained by Graham Motion, has taken up residence in Bobby Ribaudo’s barn at Belmont Park and will try to step toward the Belmont Stakes in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan.
Infinite Magic began his career in England, where he won two of five starts, all over synthetic surfaces. After winning a 1 1/4-mile handicap at Lingfield on Feb. 1, he was purchased by Team Valor International and taken to the United States.
He has made one start in the United States, rallying from last to win a second-level allowance by a nose on Keeneland’s turf course on April 14 for Motion. The Peter Pan will be the colt’s first start for Ribaudo.
“It’d be easy to keep him on the grass – there’s a grass overnight stakes [on the day of the Peter Pan – but when people invest money and take shots with 3-year-olds they’re hoping they can do something they haven’t done yet,” said Ribaudo. “It’d be nice to see if he can handle the dirt, and then there’d be a lot of options for him. You don’t want to compare him to Animal Kingdom, but (Barry Irwin) did the same thing with Animal Kingdom, and everyone thought he was nuts. He ran on the synthetic, and the next thing you know he’s in the Derby on the dirt and he wins.”
Infinite Magic has had one workout at Belmont, breezing four furlongs in :50.11 over the dirt main track on April 14. Ribaudo said the son of More Than Ready is scheduled to breeze again on Sunday.
“It was an easy breeze, but he travels well on it, and we make sure to train him every day on the main track and take him to the paddock,” said Ribaudo. “Nothing seems to bother him. There’s nothing we don’t like about the way he travels, but in the afternoon you have to get dirt in the face, and sometimes that’s what they don’t like.”
McLaughlin with Two
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said he plans to run a pair of Darley Stable colts in the Peter Pan -- Incognito and Transparent, both exiting allowance wins at Aqueduct.
Incognito has won two straight at the Big A, having broken his maiden by 3 1/4 lengths on March 16 over the inner track in his fourth start and returning to capture an optional claimer by a nose on April 13 over the main track. In that race, Incognito was shut off for most of the stretch and clipped heels with one of his opponents before he found space and made a late surge to get up at the wire.
“He had a crazy race last time where he was in tight and clipped heels and came on to win,” said McLaughlin. “A really nice horse, but he has to keep stepping up.”
After graduating by 5 3/4 lengths on the inner track Jan. 26, Transparent was sixth in the Grade III Gotham on March 2 before rebounding to win an allowance by 10 3/4 lengths on April 4 against three opponents.
“It seems like he was laying there in good position on the first turn, and then he flattened out,” said McLaughlin of the Gotham run. “I think the next start, Irad (Ortiz) took him back a little bit and settled in fourth, and maybe if we can ride him that way and be patient, it will be helpful. We felt like we learned something about him.”
McLaughlin said the Peter Pan could be a Belmont Stakes audition for Incognito, but that Transparent is unlikely to continue to the Belmont.
“We know Incognito wants (the Belmont distance),” said McLaughlin. “We’re not sure with Transparent. It’s a great tune up for an important race, and we think Incognito could go on to the Belmont if he runs well."
Also likely to test the waters for the Belmont Stakes in the Peter Pan are:
--WinStar Farm’s Abraham, most recently fourth in the Grade III Illinois Derby;
--Battier, winner of the restricted Fit To Fight overnight stakes at Aqueduct;
--Freedom Child, who raced for purse money only in the Grade I Wood Memorial after getting tangled up with an assistant starter when the gate opened;
--Narvaez, seventh in the Illinois Derby;
--Saint Viguer, who beat older horses going nine furlongs in an optional claimer on April 13;
--Calder Derby winner Sr. Quisqueyano.
Declan’s Warrior, who won the Grade III Bay Shore for Nick Zito, is said to be possible.
Edited NYRA release, with additional content by Dick Downey