The last horse to win the Peter Pan Stakes, then come back to win the Belmont Stakes was A.P. Indy, 10 years ago. That year, A.P. Indy had been scheduled to start in the Kentucky Derby but missed the race with a bruised foot.
This year, Sunday Break did not get into the Derby because he didn't have enough earnings. Instead, trainer Neil Drysdale brought him back in the Peter Pan and the Japanese-bred colt responded with a comfortable, 1-length victory over Puzzlement.
Barring any complications, Sunday Break will move along to the Belmont in two weeks' time. There, he will try to spoil War Emblem's Triple Crown hopes and deal Baffert his third loss in a Triple Crown attempt.
Oh, and Drysdale also trained A.P. Indy.
"Using the Peter Pan to lead into the Belmont has worked for a few other trainers, as well," Drysdale said. It's happened six times. "Any extra time with a 3-year-old will help. This race should help him a lot."
Winning rider Gary Stevens said Sunday Break "was stronger today than he had been in the past....If we make it to the Bemont, I hope I'm the spoiler. If I can't win, I would love to see a Triple Crown."
Puzzlement also probably will move along to the Belmont, said trainer Allen Jerkens. "You don't get too many shots like this and stranger things have happened," he added.
In other Belmont developments:
--Like a Hero cruised to a 1 ½-length victory over World Light in Thursday's $75,000 Alydar Stakes at Hollywood Park and trainer Beau Greely said he is evaluating his options for the Pleasant Colony colt. "We're nominated to the Belmont, so we can look at it," Greely said. "At the same time, we'll look at the Swaps and the Travers, hopefully, if he's good enough in the summer."
--Lone Star Derby winner Wiseman's Ferry breezed a half mile in 48.60 Saturday at Churchill Downs for trainer Niall O'Callaghan, who has been red hot in recent stakes events. "The thing I like most about the work was that he did it very easily," O'Callaghan said. But he said he will await one more outing before deciding whether to start the colt in the Belmont.
In other weekend racing:
Quiet Resolve, the heavy favorite, took charge in the final furlong of Saturday's $150,000 Connaught Cup, blowing by the early leaders and winning off by 3 ¾ lengths. No Comprende was second and the pace-setter, Gone Fishin, barely held third. Quiet Resolve, a 7-year-old Affirmed gelding, ran 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:40.88 under jockey Todd Kabel.
See How She Runs shipped from Texas to Toronto to win the Grade I Victoria Day feature, the Selene Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. With Don Pettinger up, the Donnie Von Hemel filly rated early, then took charge in the stretch and won by 5 ½ lengths. The win left the Maria's Mon miss with a perfect, 5-for-5 career record. "We were a little concerned whether she was going to rate today," said Von Hemel. "It did look like there was going to be plenty of pace andhe got her to settle 3 or 4 lengths off of it. I was glad to see that." Ginger Gold was second and Mulrainy was third.
Azeri led all the way in Saturday's $200,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap, winning by 3 ½ lengths, ridden out. Affluent was second with Collect Call third. Azeri, a 4-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter, ran the 1 1/16 mile under Mike Smith in 1:42.02. "She is scary good," said Smith. Added trainer Laura de Seroux, "She broke running and I don't feel she has to have a target because of all her natural speed. So he (Smith) rode it the way it came up and that's all I wanted him to do." She said Azeri will start in the June 22 Vanity Handicap, then perhaps have one more race before the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.
Sunday, Crowned Dancer rolled to a 5-length score in the $65,000 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old non-winners of two. The Tactical Advantage colt, with Alex Solis up, needed only a tap on the shoulder to take command and embarrass a half-dozen rivals. He ran 5 furlongs in 57.86 seconds. "Boy, he can really run," Solis commented. Trainer Chris Paasch said he will keep Crowned Dancer on a light schedule. "I think the easier you go on these guys this early, you'll have a lot more horse in the fall and in the spring of next year," Paasch said.
Lone Star Park
Spring Meadow shipped in from California to take the winner's share in Saturday's $150,000 Stonerside Stakes. Bumped at the start, the Meadowlake filly sat behind a fast early pace, took charge in the lane and won by 1 length over Gilded Wings. Savorthetime was third. Spring Meadow ran 7 furlongs in 1:23.79 with Marlon St. Julien up. "It's exciting to get the first stakes win," said owner David Shimmon (Fog City Stable) from California. "This was a breakthrough race for her." Spring Meadow now has two wins, a second and a third from six starts. Her races include efforts against some of the top Southern California competition.
Calder Race Course
Jennasietta rallied around the leaders at the top of the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap by 1 length over Wander Mom. Platinum Tiara was third. Jennasietta, a 4-year-old daughter of Septieme Ciel, got the 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:42.45. "At the quarter pole, I put her on the outside and she had a good finish," said jockey Abdiel Toribio. "She is really nice. She won fresh." Trainer Ralph Ziadie said he has not picked out the next race for the filly, who is not Breeders' Cup nominated.
Take Charge Lady, second in the Kentucky Oaks and scratched from last week's Black Eyed Susan with a lung infection, got back to the winner's circle with a vengeance after Saturday's $100,000 Dogwood. The Dehere filly won by 1 ¾ length over Charmed Gift, with Allamerican Bertie third. Winning rider Tony D'Amico said he "still had a lot of horse under me in the stretch," although he kept Take Charge Lady to task. "She's fun to ride. She's just a Cadillac," he said. The filly now has won seven of her 10 lifetime starts.
Hawthorne Race Course
Jockey Rene Douglas had too much horse and too little room as the field turned into the stretch run in Saturday's $100,000 Summertime Promise Breeders'Cup Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. As a result, he was forced to the far outside with his mount, Maliziosa. As it turned out, the Dynaformer filly was more than equal to the task. "If I would have known she could run like that, it wouldn't have bothered me to run her 10-wide," Douglas said after the Bill Mott trainee got home first, 4 lengths ahead of Sarah Jade. "All I had to do was show her the stick. I didn't have to hit her. She's just that good." Maliziosa finished the 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:44.40. It was her fourth victory in seven starts and her third straight win.
Key Lorry led almost all the way to a 1-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Red Bank Handicap. Key Lorry, a 7-year-old son of Key to the Mint, dueled Pyrus into submission, then held off a late challenge by Sardaukar for the victory. Spruce Run was third. Key Lorry ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.92.
Celtic Sky ran down Reluctant Groom in the stretch to win Sunday's $75,000 Kingston Handicap for New York-breds by ¾ length. I'm All Yours, the mutuel favorite, was third, just a head farther back. Celtic Sky, a 4-year-old son of Sky Classic, got the 9 furlongs on the inner turf course in 1:47.03. "The goal now will be the stakes at Saratoga," said winning trainer Christophe Clement, "and we'll probably run in between."
Running Tide remained undefeated with a 1 ¼-length win in Saturday's $75,000 Legal Light Stakes for 3-year-olds. The Run Softly colt came from off the pace, finishing the 6 furlongs in 1:11.13 under Ramon Dominguez. Boston Common was second and Calends was third. "I was happy to see the speed duel, especially between two very fast young horses," said Dominguez. "So I am sure they were giving it their all early on." Running Tide now has won all four of his career starts.
One Fine Shweetie went to the lead at the top of the stretch and scored by nearly 2 lengths over True Tear Drops in Saturday's $60,000 Bob Bryant Stakes for Iowa-bred 3-year-old fillies. Ridden by Cindy Noll, One Fine Shweetie completed the 6 furlongs in 1:10 1/5. "She has a tremendous stride. She just eats up the ground," said Noll. "She doesn't feel like she's moving that fast. I think she'll do even better going long."
Native Desert came from off the pace to win Saturday's $55,000 Foster City Handicap by ½ length over Cat Flight. R McLennon was third. Native Desert, a 9-year-old gelding by Desert Classic, ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:42.64. "He's a neat old horse," said winning rider Jason Lumpkins. "He's a very game horse."
Sunday, A B Noodle took the lead turning for home in the $55,000 Bay Meadows Oaks and held on to beat a late-running Doc's Lil' Angel by ¾ length. Lost At Sea was third. A B Noodle, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Alphabet Soup (get it?), ran 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:43.11. "She likes being on the lead and she bore down in the stretch," said Lumpkins, who doubled up his weekend stakes wins. Trainer Chuck Jenda said he hasn't yet picked the next race for A B Noodle.
Vito Corleone shipped in from California for Saturday's $35,000 St. Paul Stakes and made the trip worthwhile. Stalking the early pace, the visitor got room on the inside late to pick up the win, running 6 furlongs in 1:09.67. Fonner Park shippers Montana Rush and Strawberry Kid finished second and third.