Kiaran McLaughlin has been saying for several weeks that Charitable Man is one of the most talented 3-year-olds in the country and he only needed some more seasoning to show it. On May 9 in the $200,000 Peter Pan (gr. II) (VIDEO), the son of Lemon Drop Kid backed up his trainer’s words, taking over at the top of the lane and powering to a 3 3/4-length score under Alan Garcia.
Making just his second start since having surgery to repair a saucer fracture of his shin, Charitable Man received a perfect stalking trip in back of Hello Broadway, who was wearing blinkers for the first time and rushed out to a big lead while running an aggressive :44.84 half-mile and 1:08.93 for six furlongs. Charitable Man inched closer to the speedy pacesetter around the turn, took over when they straightened away and easily held off a bid from Imperial Council.
“He broke good today," Garcia said. "He was on the lead, and then he wanted to kind of slow a little bit and I saw (Hello Broadway) run away from him and I thought, `OK, let me see,’and I thought it was going to be a clear trip. Quarter for quarter, I felt the other horse (Imperial Council) coming a little bit and then (Charitable Man) switched the lead and he started running; he took off."
The final time for 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track was an impressive 1:47.13. Imperial Council was a clear second under Edgar Prado, 1 3/4 lengths better than third-place Brave Victory.
It was the third win in four starts and second graded stakes score for Charitable Man, who is owned by Suzanne and William Warren. The dark bay colt’s other graded stakes victory also came at Belmont in last September’s Futurity (gr. II).
Charitable Man was thought to be one of the top juveniles in the nation in 2008 after his one-length Futurity win, but just two weeks after that race he was diagnosed with the saucer fracture that required surgery. The colt was sent to Florida for the winter and because McLaughlin was so impressed with his speedy recovery, he entered him in the April 11 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, where he finished seventh. McLaughlin said the colt did not care for the surface that day.
"(After the Blue Grass) he cooled out in five minutes He disliked the Polytrack," McLaughlin said. "We figured that, and Mr. Warren was very kind enough and patient enough not to wheel him right back in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness.
"We’ll talk with Mr. Warren about the possibility of the Belmont (gr. I, June 6). We’ll take a look and see how the Preakness goes. But he is definitely bred to get a mile and a half (Lemon Drop Kid won the Belmont in 1999) and he likes this track and he did it the right way today, so we’ll look at it."
Charitable Man was bred in Virginia by Edward Evans and is out of the Saint Ballado mare Charitabledonation. The $200,000 yearling has now earned $307,200.
Sent off as the favorite in a field of seven, the winner paid $5.40, $3.60, and $3. The exacta (3-6) returned $17 and the trifecta (3-6-4) was $88.50.
Imperial Council trainer Shug McGaughey said that his colt would be pointed to the $200,000 Dwyer (gr. II) July 4 at Belmont.