William K. Warren’s Charitable Man, impressive winner of the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II), will make his next start in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed May 20.
Charitable Man was one of the most promising 2-year-olds last year, breaking his maiden by 11 1/2 lengths and then winning Belmont’s Futurity Stakes (gr. II) defeating Flying Pegasus and Friesan Fire. A saucer fracture to his shin, that required surgery, sidelined him for seven months. He returned in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), finishing seventh over the Polytrack, which McLaughlin said he didn’t care for.
That race set him up for his 3 3/4-length score in the Peter Pan, in which he defeated the likes of Imperial Council and Hello Broadway. McLaughlin feels the son of Lemon Drop Kid is ready for a big effort in the Belmont.
“It’s not like a Derby fever situation or anything; we’re going to be 4-1 or less,” McLaughlin said. “He hasn’t missed a day of training since he’s started back. Hopefully he can duplicate his Peter Pan performance four weeks later in the Belmont Stakes. He’s just a neat horse and everything has gone right for us.
“He’s three-for-three on the dirt and we’re really looking forward to the Belmont. The way we’re looking at it, there’s no reason not to run. If Rachel Alexandra comes, it’s hard on her running three races in 37 days. Mine That Bird is a nice horse and he’d probably be the favorite if Rachel Alexandra doesn’t run, and we’d be second choice. Our horse will get the mile and a half, he’s doing great, and he’s two-for-two at BelmontPark. So, we feel everything is in our favor going into the Belmont.”
Other probables for the Belmont are Mine That Bird, Chocolate Candy, Dunkirk, Flying Private, Mr. Hot Stuff, Summer Bird, Miner’s Escape, and Luv Gov. A decision on Rachel Alexandra will likely be made next week.