The $100,000 Peter Pan Stakes (G3) will be run Thursday as Race 9 at historic Saratoga.  The 1 1/8-mile race is for 3-year-olds and is part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series with 50-20-10-5 points going to the top four finishers. Going this distance on the main track usually favors horses that get involved in the early pace. This year, the main track has been completely renovated with a stone base put down. It would seem to make the track play even more to speed but we will have to wait and see.  

Top Picks for the Peter Pan

  • #3 Modernist
  • #4 Celtic Striker
  • #6 Mystic Guide
  • #2 Country Grammer

Betting the Peter Pan

  • $20 win
    • 3
  • $10 exacta
    • 2,4,6 with 3

Peter Pan Stakes Contenders

#1 Mo Hawk broke his maiden in his career debut last September in California then ran evenly there in two sprints. Switched to Rodolphe Brisset, he won going two turns on the turf and now tries two turns on the dirt. At least he has pedigree, an inside post and Joel Rosario in the irons – 21% with his route mounts.

#2 Country Grammer raced evenly in his career debut on the turf then dame back and romped going two turns on the Aqueduct main track at today’s distance. Off for three months, he didn’t run that bad in the Fountain of Youth (G2) then lost all chance last out after a poor start behind a runaway winner. I’m not crazy about the gaps in his schedule and will be up against the prevailing bias.

#3 Modernist won going this distance on a dull Aqueduct main track then shipped to the Fair Grounds and upset a Risen Star division (G2). There was no way he could overcome post 14 in the Louisiana Derby (G2) but was awful in the Belmont Stakes (G1). If he can get involved early, he has a chance and trainer Bill Mott has been red hot.

#4 Celtic Striker is hard to gauge off his last start when he won the Easy Goer S. by 19 lengths against only one rival. But, at least the race came up fast and he has the right running style. I remember once I ignored the great Arrogate in the Travers (G1) since he was coming out of a three-horse allowance race.

#5 Candy Tycoon won his two-turn dirt debut in his fifth career start then did not threaten in his next two starts against graded stakes foes. Last out, he dropped back down to allowance company at Oaklawn Park but was second behind Rushie who was a decent third in the Blue Grass (G2) last Saturday.  

#6 Mystic Guide romped by five lengths second time out in his two-turn debut at the Fair Grounds. He came back at Belmont Park with a second behind a fast winner and now goes back to two turns for Mike Stidham. Jose Ortiz has to try to keep from being wide on the first turn but if he can get through that he has a shot against these.

#7 Caracaro held well going 7 furlongs in decent time at Gulfstream Park then romped there going a one-turn mile in good time. Off for 187 days, he is training bullets down in Florida for Gustavo Delgado who wins 18% in this spot.

#8 Chestertown is only in the conversation since he sold for $2 million as a 2-year-old last year. Son of Tapit was soundly beaten against New York-breds last out on a muddy track and draws poorly. He adds blinkers for the first time but would have to improve enormously today.

#9 Katzarelli moves up in class from a wide draw with little chance.