After two impressive wins to start his career, Robert and Lawanna Low's Intrepid Heart will seek a graded stakes caliber victory when he headlines a field of five in Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Peter Pan at Belmont Park.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 3-year-old son of Tapit enters the 1 1/8- mile test for sophomores off of a half-length first level allowance victory over the Keeneland main track on April 5 when sitting just off the pace.
He showed speed in his career debut on February 18 at Oaklawn Park going one mile, winning by 7 ¼ lengths.
“Hopefully he continues improving,” Pletcher said. “Both of his first two races were very good. He seems to have the right kind of pedigree for stretching out. So far, so good.”
Intrepid Heart is out of dual stakes winner Flaming Heart who produced Mythical Bride – the dam of Grade 2 winner Vino Rosso – as well as three-time graded stakes winner Commissioner, who was second to Tonalist in both the 2014 renewals of the Peter Pan and Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and also was conditioned by Pletcher.
“He's probably a little quicker than Commissioner was, but hopefully he has the same kind of ability to stay the route of ground,” Pletcher said. “He's been pretty straight forward so far once we got him going. They have some similarities, but I'd say that Intrepid Heart was a little later to blossom. Commissioner was a very mature two-year-old early on.”
Hall of Famer John Velazquez guided Intrepid Heart in both of his career starts and will be back aboard Saturday emerging from the rail.
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and Winchell Thoroughbreds, Intrepid Heart was purchased by his owners for $750,000 from the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale last year.
Pletcher and the Lows also have entered Federal Case, who was third in the Robert Hilton Memorial on April 20 at Charles Town last time out and breaks just to the outside of his stablemate.
The graded stakes-placed son of Gemologist won his first two career starts, breaking his maiden on October 19 at Keeneland before winning at Gulfstream two months later in December. A distant seventh in his stakes debut in the Grade 2 Holy Bull, he finished second in the Grade 2 Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park two starts back. He will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.
Also featured in the Peter Pan is Global Campaign, who has not raced since finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on March 2 at Gulfstream Park. The son of Curlin won his first two career starts, both of which took place at Gulfstream. Owned by breeders WinStar Farm in partnership with Sagamore Racing, Global Campaign was an impressive 5 ¾-length winner in his career debut on January 5 before defeating Grade 1 placed Standard Deviation in a first level allowance race going 1 1/16 miles on February 9.
“In the Fountain of Youth, he grabbed a quarter and so we were forced to get some time off and he missed two weeks of training,” trainer Stanley Hough said. “Lately, he's been training well. We wanted to get him going a mile, but we didn't get into the [Grade 3] Pat Day Mile [at Churchill Downs] last weekend so we decided to go here.”
The Peter Pan will be Global Campaign's first time around one turn since he broke his maiden at the seven-furlong distance.
“I like the one turn for him and this race will tell us a lot,” Hough said. “He shipped there this morning and will gallop the next few days and get a good taste of New York. I do think he's a very good horse. He had a couple of setbacks and hopefully they're behind him. I wasn't planning on going a mile and an eighth, but I don't think it will be a problem for him.”
Global Campaign will be guided by jockey Luis Saez from post three. He is out of the A.P. Indy broodmare Globe Trot who produced two-time Grade 1 winning millionaire Bolt d'Oro and dual stakes winner and multiple graded sakes placed Sonic Mule. He was purchased for $250,000 from the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Gary and Mary West's Final Jeopardy will look to make amends following a troubled and distant sixth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets. Trained by Jason Servis, the son of Street Sense is a two-time winner in his four career starts. He broke his maiden first time out over the main track at Gulfstream Park over eventual stakes placed Admiral Lynch. Third in the Limehouse in his second career start, he was again a winner third out when stretching out to a mile at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard for both of his wins, has the call in the Peter Pan from post five.
Tracy Farmer's Sir Winston has eight starts under his belt going into the Peter Pan for trainer Mark Casse but will seek his first graded stakes triumph when he breaks from post 4.
The son of Awesome Again went unplaced in his three starts on the Road to the Kentucky Derby but was a stakes winner in Canada at age two when taking the Display at Woodbine in his fifth career start.
Sir Winston is out of the stakes winning Afleet Alex broodmare La Gran Bailadora.
He will be guided by Joel Rosario.
The Peter Pan is carded as Race 4 on Saturday's 11-race program which features five stakes, four of which are graded. First post is at 1:30 p.m.
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