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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Dick's Picks: Abraham Seeks Better Trip in Peter Pan


By Dick Downey

The Road to the Kentucky Derby is behind us, but we still have the Grade II Peter Pan en route to the Belmont Stakes. I am going to try to win again with Abraham.

I picked Abraham in the Grade III Illinois Derby. He was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Departing after four bits of bad luck. He was bumped at the start, pinched back the first time down the stretch, wide on the second turn, and briefly taken up in the stretch. It was all too much to overcome. He has ascending Brisnet speed figures and ran well going a single turn in his debut on Jan. 17 at Gulfstream Park.

In case there is a sloppy track, Abraham handled that when breaking his maiden second time out. According to Todd Pletcher, this is a race unto itself for Abraham, not necessarily a stepping stone to the Belmont Stakes. He’s a horse that should keep getting better as he matures. He breaks from post 5.

Declan's Warrior, in post 8, steps up in distance after winning the seven-furlong, Grade III Bay Shore Stakes. The longest distance he's run so far is 7 1/2 furlongs. Declan’s Warrior will be waiting for some early speed to set up but should not be that far back. He closed from seventh of nine in the Bay Shore, but he was only four lengths in arrears after a quarter-mile.

Back on March 8, Nick Zito expressed his excitement about Declan's Warrior, but not as a potential Kentucky Derby horse. The trainer projected that he might be one "that could come around a little later like Bernardini did and take those big steps up each time." Zito's wife is the principal owner, and so it could be another special day for them. So far, Declan's Warrior has shown he is a one-turn closer, and this 1 1/8-mile race is one turn. So on Saturday, the distance is the question.

Incognito, exiting from post 10, ran one of the more impressive-looking races of the year on April 13 when he almost fell in the stretch yet came back to win by a nose going a mile at Aqueduct. Basically, he was ridden in by another horse, forced into a bad place, clipped heels, almost fell, then bulled his way between horses to get up for the win. Kiaran McLaughlin was also considering entering Transparent in the Peter Pan, but he’s chosen to go only with Incognito, who is certainly bred to get the distance. He faces tougher on Saturday but could certainly win.

Fear the Kitten might finally catch a break from post 4. He drew the 14 in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass; he ran up behind a tiring Mac the Man and had to check hard in the Grade III Spiral; and he did not particularly like the sloppy going in the Grade III Southwest. The Peter Pan is definitely a prep for the Belmont Stakes for Fear the Kitten. It’s time for Mike Maker to see how good he is without a bad trip note.

I see Abraham as the best forward speed in the race; Incognito and Declan's Warrior the best stalkers; and Fear the Kitten as the one to fear in the late running.

Freedom Child, who got hung up with an assistant starter in the Grade I Wood Memorial, breaks from the rail and should be part of the early pace.

My Name is Michael, from post 2, will try to come running late.

Battier, certainly not loved by Kentucky Wildcats fans, got post 3, steps up in class and should be in the early mix.

Narvaez, in post six, will try to carry his speed further than he did in the Grade I Florida Derby, when he finished fourth. Reverting back to one turn could aid his cause.

Saint Vigeur is another one stepping up in class and will probably be part of the early pace.  

Go get the Basil could surprise if he duplicates his effort two races back, but he looks overmatched considering what happened in the Wood Memorial – eighth place.

Infinite Magic makes his first start on dirt and is a complete unknown on the surface except for a couple of breezes at Belmont Park.



Saturday, R9
Grade II Peter Pan Stakes
Belmont Park
1 1/8 Mile
Post Time: 5:17 ET

Post   Horse ML  Jockey Wt Trainer
1 Freedom Child (KY) 12-1 L. Saez 116 T. Albertrani
2 My Name Is Michael (KY) 10-1 J. Alvarado 116 W. Mott
3 Battier (FL) SCR J. Rosario 118 T. Pletcher
4 Fear the Kitten (IL) 12-1 R. Maragh 116 M. Maker
5 Abraham (KY) 7-2 J. Velazquez 116 T. Pletcher
6 Narvaez (KY) 15-1 C. Velasquez 116 A. Bezara
7 Saint Vigeur (KY) 6-1 J. Castellano 116 C. Brown
8 Declan's Warrior (KY) SCR J. Lezcano 118 N. Zito
9 Go Get the Basil (NY) 20-1 I. Ortiz Jr. 116 R. Violetter Jr.
10 Incognito (KY) 5-1 M. Luzzi 116 K. McLaughlin
11 Infinite Magic (KY) 12-1 E. Prado 118 R. Ribaudo

All will run with Lasix except Incognito

Owners: 1 - West Point Thoroughbreds, St. Elias Stable and Spendthrift Farm LLC ; 2 - Butzer, Barry and Wachtel Stable ; 3 - Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Brahman Red LLC ; 4 - Irvin, Frank, D. ; 5 - WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC ; 6 - Stipa Racing Stable, Inc. ; 7 - Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren, Jr. ; 8 - Lucky Shamrock Stable ; 9 - Esposito, John T. and Logrippo, Anthony J. ; 10 - Darley Stable ; 11 - Team Valor International

Breeders: 1 - Spendthrift Farm LLC; 2 - Sun Valley Farm; 3 - Loren Nichols & Dr Joseph Tripi; 4 - Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey; 5 - Dixiana Farms, LLC; 6 - Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton &Silver Fern Farm, LLC; 7 - Pam and Martin Wygod; 8 - Lucky Shamrock Escrow; 9 - John T. Esposito & Anthony J. Lo Grippo; 10 - Darley; 11 - Grapestock LLC

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