Adventist expected to face Unified in Peter Pan
Edited NYRA press release
Treadway Racing Stable's Adventist, who climbed as high as No. 22 on the Kentucky Derby (G1) points list, highlights the expected field for Saturday's 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan (G2), the traditional local prep for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1) on June 11.
The Leah Gyarmati-trained bay colt has posted three consecutive third-place showings in graded stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, including a strong finish last time out on April 9 in the Wood Memorial (G1) when he rallied from sixth at the stretch to finish just 2 1/4 lengths behind winner and Derby starter Outwork.
"He's doing really well," said Gyarmati. "I think this track [Belmont Park] will help. He has a lot of room; nice wide turns and [we'll] try to keep him clear. He's had some chances to be in the clear but things happen and horses come out and bump him. But that's racing. You need to be able to handle that."
"I'd like [the Belmont Stakes] to be the long-term goal. We'll see how he runs in the Peter Pan."
Centennial Farms' Unified has a small but impressive body of work, taking the Bay Shore (G3) at Aqueduct in his second start. The James Jerkens-trained bay colt won the seven-furlong race in 1:22.86 to best an impressive field that featured next out Gold Fever winner King Kranz.
Governor Malibu, trained by Christophe Clement, will be making his graded stakes debut after winning two of his last three starts. The Jump Sucker Stable's chestnut colt, 2-3-1 from six starts, finished first by a nose on April 9 in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park but was disqualified to second.
Also targeting the Peter Pan is Awesome Speed, a son of 1998 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Awesome Again who was declared the winner of the Tesio for his second win in three starts this year. [Like Adventist, Awesome Speed had also been mentioned as a candidate for the Preakness (G1) May 21.]
Making their stakes debuts would be Wild About Deb, who broke his maiden at Santa Anita last month for trainer Philip D'Amato, and the Nick Zito-trained Singleton, who will be looking for his first career win after going 0-1-1 in four maiden races.
Belmont Park will feature a quartet of graded stakes on Saturday, headlined by the first Grade 1 of the spring/summer meet, the $400,000 Man o' War on the turf. Defending champion Twilight Eclipse, Biz the Nurse, Kaigun, Morandi, Wake Forest, and Can'thelpbelieving are probables, while Money Multiplier is possible.
The one-mile Ruffian (G2) is expected to attract Cavorting, Carrumba, and Include Betty. Calamity Kate, Call Pat, Camille Claudel, Makena, and Sarah Sis also are possible.
The Beaugay (G3) on turf could feature the Chad Brown duo of Ball Dancing and Wekeela. Also likely are Evidently, My Miss Sophia, Recepta, Sistas Stroll, Strike Charmer, Tapitry, and Ticking Katie.
Adventist photo courtesy NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand.