Peter Pan Stakes
A showdown between Imperial Council, Hello Broadway and Charitable Man would have sounded like a major race in the division a few months ago but the Peter Pan is for those whose fortunes have faded. Aside from Scorewithcater, who was never expected to be very good, the gloss has been well and truly taken off the rest of the entrants through one or more poor performances. But they get a fresh start against their fellow under achievers for a chance to maybe step back into the limelight. He might be listed at 10/1 on the morning line but Scorewithcater will be what the British call a "steamer". He was a neck better than Mine That Bird in both his last two starts and it won't have escaped many people's notice that Mine That Bird has gone on to some success. His numbers don't look that great but neither did the Derby winners. I think he has a proper outsiders chance but I won't use him at all in the spots. Realistically he's not that good and his form has perhaps more consistent that some of the entrants in here I think too many here are capable of that brilliant performance which will prove just too good. The horse I can't quite figure out is Imperial Council. I thought he'd be a very good horse and maybe he still will be but his last race was terrible without a legitimate excuse. So what's to say he won't do that again? Imperial Council strikes me as the type of proposition that will either be first or last in this race. I think there are better risks to take. Charitable Man has a huge shot in this race. He could not have been reasonably expected to perform well in the Lexington. Everything was against him all at once. Back at Belmont with a little more fitness he's sure to run an improved race. The question with him is can he really get 9f? I think he'll be most comfortable at a mile but this race was just the most convenient. That leaves me with Hello Broadway, a horse that has perhaps been tarnished a bit more than is fair. I know he failed badly at Tampa and was taken off the Derby trail but if you look at his record with an open mind he doesn't look so bad. He lost his first start to Capt. Candyman Can who has since gone on to win another stakes race then after his bomb in Tampa he won an allowance at Keeneland. I'm not terribly put off by the TB Derby flop. Plenty of horses struggle with that surface and no less than 5 of the TB Derby entrants came back to win next out. If you can excuse that effort based on the surface he looks pretty tough in this spot. It is a slight worry that his two worst races came at Tampa and Belmont, tracks that are known for being more sandy than usual. But I'm willing to give him another shot here because I think he might be a bit of a forgotten horse in the wagering. He might even go up to 7/2. The confidence he gained from his last race should stand him in good stead.
I virtually never play a horse that is trying Turf for the first time after having some success on the dirt but I'm going to make an exception for Giant Moon. I think he is a standout in this restricted turf race. Giants Causeway's progeny have never seemed to struggle with any type of surface the question with his kids is usually "are they good enough?". In this case Giant Moon is more than good enough. He has lost a grand total of one race that wasn't a part of his attempted triple crown push. He wasn't that good at that time and still he's really not a horse that can compete in G-1 or G-2 races but against state-bred class he fits and maybe even towers over the rest. I know the defending champ Banrock is in here but Banrock hasn't had a chance to warm up his 6 year old legs in a prep race. I think he'll need the run. Giant Moon will be too classy for the rest. Icabad Crane is an interesting alternative who is trying dirt for the first time. I was very impressed with his turn of foot last spring. He's developed into something of an accomplished loser since then but maybe the surface change will shake him up.