Race Recaps

Blended Citizen Closes Late, Takes G3 Peter Pan

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

ELMONT, NY – Greg Hall and SAYJAY Racing’s Blended Citizen stamped himself a legitimate contender for the upcoming Belmont Stakes on Saturday after closing late to win that race’s local prep, the Grade 3, $350,000 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park.

2018 Preakness Stakes Wagering Guide

Breaking a bit slowly from post 4 under Kyle Frey, Blended Citizen found himself near the rear early while Just Whistle and the favored Core Beliefs pushed each other through fractions of :23.92, :47.07, 1:11.41, and 1:36.48 for the opening mile. Running four-wide off of the far turn, and down the stretch, Blended Citizen had to put forth every bit of effort down the stretch in order to wrangle a loose-on-the-lead Core Beliefs. With a furlong to go, Core Beliefs shied out from the rail and saw Blended Citizen rapidly making ground. Continuing to drive steadily through to the wire, Blended Citizen crossed in first by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:49.75 for the 9-furlong main track event.

Core Beliefs was much the best of the rest, taking second by 4 lengths over Just Whistle. High North had joined the winner in his bid off of the far turn but couldn’t match strides and never improved beyond his fourth-place finish. Zing Zang crossed ahead of Gotta Go to complete the order of finish. Diamond King scratched in favor of running in next week’s Preakness StakesTransistor was also scratched.

Blended Citizen’s win was his second graded stakes score following a narrow triumph in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park in March. After he finished fifth last out in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes, Blended Citizen remained short on points needed to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Doug O’Neill shipped him to Churchill Downs, hoping that another horse would scratch from the starting lineup and allow Blended Citizen to take its place, but it wasn’t meant to be. O’Neill knew that the 3-year-old son of Proud Citizen was ready to fire a big race and chose to unleash him in the Peter Pan to determine if he would enter the Belmont Stakes. It’s safe to say that he passed the test.

“We led him over here with a lot of confidence,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to O’Neill. “He’s such a big horse with such a big stride. We thought if he’s going to love any track in America, it’s going to be Belmont Park, so we weren’t surprised with the result today.”

Blended Citizen returned $11.40 to win, $4.40 to place, and $2.60 to show. Core Beliefs brought back $3.60 to place and $2.50 to show, while Just Whistle paid $2.50 to show.



  1. jay

    May 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Blended Citizen good looking win…but slow late fractions right? And what about the ride given Core Beliefs wow just all fail. Cooked on early pace and scrubbed on to the finish line. For heavens sake just ride the damn horse no need for kung fu. Belmont? seems like a lot to ask of any of these. and one last time, it was Jeff Ruby Steaks Stakes 😀

  2. jay

    May 12, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    To be fair i did not have a program for it but i streamed it and the announcer simply referred to it as the “Jeff Ruby Steaks(?)” which made me lol at the time and ever since. I noticed in the Derby they had the jockey pants sponsored and it read “Jeff Ruby Steakhouse” so maybe that how it was named and the announcer just said it wrong. Spilled my beer and stuff.

  3. Aaron Halterman

    May 13, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Jay, I’ve only seen it called the “Jeff Ruby Steaks.” Even on the Turfway Park website they only call it the Jeff Ruby Steaks: http://www.turfway.com/stakes

  4. Curtis Kalleward

    May 14, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Same for how they name it on Equibase: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Stakes&stkid=18862

    It’s a mind-you-know-what, that’s for sure.

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