Equibase Analysis: Master Plan Eyes Graded Stakes Success In Belmont’s Peter Pan

The 63rd running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes is historically a prep race for some horses hoping to vault into the Belmont Stakes, this year to be run on June 10.

The race attracted a field of six but five of them have every right to run well enough to win. Master Plan is one of two likely to be getting the most attention as he was unable to get into the Kentucky Derby field last week as an also-eligible and finished third of 16 in the Group 2 U.A.E. Derby in his most recent start. The other horse bettors may have in their sights is Timeline, an impressive 13 length winner of his most recent race.

However, Meantime appears to have an edge in the “early pace” department as he led from start to finish when winning his most recent race decisively on April 22. That effort came at the same nine furlong trip as the Peter Pan. There is only one other horse in the field (Lookin At Blessing) that won leading from start to finish, but that win came last September, after setting slow fractions. In his career debut in February, Meantime earned a 102 Equibase Speed Figure that was very strong for the maiden level and is the best maiden figure of any horse in this race. Meantime gets the services of Jose Ortiz, a strong gate jockey who can hustle the colt out from the opening bell, get him to relax and probably get him to find enough to hold off the closers and improve enough off his last effort (with a 93 figure) to win the Peter Pan.

Master Plan started his three year old campaign off with a win in the OBS Championship Stakes in January with a 94 figure. He improved to a 107 figure when third in the U.A.E. Derby last month, beaten just over a length in a field of 16. With the Derby winning team of Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez in his corner and the ground saving rail as well, Master Plan appears to have all the credentials to continue improving in only his third race of 2017 and could prove formidable in this situation.

Timeline is a perfect two-for-two in his career, both wins coming around one turn. He earned a 92 figure first out then ran a stakes quality effort with a 115 figure last month in his second start when coasting to a 13 length win. However, that win came in a field of six and at the first allowance condition so this graded stakes level may be significantly tougher. Nevertheless, if Timeline repeats his last race and none of the others improve significantly, he will be very tough to beat.

The rest of the Peter Pan field, with their best representative figures, is Impressive Edge (89), Lookin At Blessing (93) and Take Your Guns (95).

My Selections:
Master Plan

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