The Peter Pan isn’t residing at its usual spot on the calendar, having this year been transferred to Saratoga, but it has nevertheless attracted a solid group of improving 3-year-olds. I’m not trying to beat the likely favorite MYSTIC GUIDE (#6), who I believe is just a bit better than his rivals. I’m still of the opinion that this horse could have a strong campaign in stakes during the second half of the season, having done little wrong through his first three starts.
Mystic Guide was no match for the enigmatic Tapit to Win in his first start against winners at Belmont, but he put in a deceptively strong effort that day. After attaining a good spot in mid-pack down the backstretch, Brian Hernandez Jr. attempted to send him through between horses around the far turn and Mystic Guide just never looked comfortable in that precarious position, ultimately having to back out of there before awkwardly altering course at the quarter pole. All things considered, he stayed on well to be second, easily getting the better of today’s rival Country Grammer. If he continues progressing at this rate, this son of Saratoga Grade 1 winner Music Note can notch his first stakes victory in this Peter Pan.
I’m not against rival Country Grammer (#2), but I just think he’s going to be overbet in this spot as the only Chad Brown entrant with Irad Ortiz Jr. named to ride. The most intriguing new face in this bunch may be Caracaro (#7), who comes off a fast maiden win at Gulfstream back in January. He’s clearly good enough to win a race like this if he’s ready off the layoff, but going nine furlongs in a stakes after being off for so long is a tall order.
Exacta: 6 with 2,3,5,7
Trifecta: 6 with 2,7 with 2,3,5,7,8