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The racing action rolls on this weekend, with Belmont Park taking center stage, running five stakes races on their Saturday card. The Peter Pan Stakes serves as a major prep event for the upcoming Belmont Stakes (G1), which is back at its rightful place at Belmont Park this year, after the pandemic forced it to be contested at Saratoga last season. Scheduled as race 9, the race has drawn a field of 6, with post time coming at 5:12 PM ET.
Leading the way in this contest is the Chad Brown trained Risk Taking, who won the Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct two starts back. His last start did not go as planned, though, when the colt finishing a dismal seventh in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2). He’ll look to rebound today, breaking from post 6, while picking up the services of Irad Ortiz Jr. once again today.
Recent Hall of Fame inductee Todd Pletcher has entered two into the race, including Withers Stakes (G3) runner up Overtook, and recent Keeneland allowance winner Promise Keeper. Both colts seem to be on an upward swing coming into the race, trying to become a solid horse within the division during the second half of the season. Overtook will have John Velazquez aboard, breaking from the rail, while Promise Keeper will break from post 3, with Luis Saez in the irons.
Another horse that has performed well in stakes company in this field is Nova Rags, who finished second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs two races back. He followed that up with a decent showing in the Florida Derby (G1), finishing fourth, despite breaking from the rail. Today, he breaks from post 2, with Junior Alvarado in the saddle.
The full field from the rail out includes: Overtook, Nova Rags, Promise Keeper, Wolfie’s Dynaghost, I Am the Law, and Risk Taking.
#3 Promise Keeper – After a total disaster two races back in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), this horse woke up in a major way in his next start, winning an allowance race at Keeneland going this distance by 5 1/2-lengths. If he can repeat that sort of effort, the rest of these could be running for second, as that speed figure stands out amongst the rest of this group. The horse has early tactical speed; however, he doesn’t need the lead, so look for him to stalk the pace and pounce at the top of the stretch.
#2 Nova Rags – This horse has been consistent all season long, while he also exits the strongest race of anyone else in this field. That effort came in the Florida Derby (G1), where he ran decent to finish fourth at odds of 11-1. Two starts back, he was second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3), and three starts back he opened up his season with a win in the Pasco Stakes. He’s back in with Grade 3 horses today, which is probably where he belongs. He’s the one you can count on to show up and run a solid race.
#6 Risk Taking – He looked like he was on his way to the Kentucky Derby after an impressive Withers Stakes (G3) romp; however, he did not run well at all in his next start in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) where he finished seventh. The horse does have two victories at this distance, though, while it’s a positive that Irad Ortiz Jr. is back for the ride. If he bounces back to that Withers type of effort he’ll definitely have a shot in this one.
#1 Overtook – After breaking his maiden two races back, this horse ran well last time out in the Withers Stakes (G3), finishing second to Risk Taking. We haven’t seen him since, though, which is the main concern today. He’s never shown a real solid turn of foot; however, he should continue to improve when running at this distance. There’s definitely a chance he can make some noise in this spot.
#4 Wolfie’s Dynaghost – It’s good to see this horse back in action today. After breaking his maiden in impressive fashion on debut at Aqueduct, this horse hasn’t been seen again for 175 days. He was able to defeat Weyburn, Unbridled Honor, and Dynamic One in that maiden victory, all of which have turned out to be decent horses. Who knows what we’ll see from him off the layoff, but he’s been training well, and it’s a good sign that Jose Ortiz has jumped aboard for this contest.
#5 I Am the Law – This horse is still a maiden, which is obviously not the best thing to see when handicapping a stakes event. His pedigree suggests he will like this stretch out in distance; however, it’s hard to back him based on his last two races.
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