Tomcito, who was denied entry into the Kentucky Derby, will try to use the Peter Pan as a prep for the Belmont.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Tomcito, who was denied entry into the Kentucky Derby, will try to use the Peter Pan as a prep for the Belmont.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Tomcito Hopes For Better in Peter Pan

The Street Cry colt has his sights set on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Jet Set Racing's Tomcito, one of four horses that did not make the cut in last week’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will be looking to make a splash in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) instead. To do that, the son of Street Crywill take the traditional route, entering in the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) May 10, a 1 1/8-mile contest that serves as the local prep for third leg of the Triple Crown.

Bred in Kentucky, but racing primarily in Peru, Tomcito will carry four more pounds than the other eight starters in the Peter Pan. Trained by Dante Zanelli Jr., Tomcito was a $7,500 Keeneland 2006 September yearling sale purchase. He was sent to Peru, where he won four of five starts, including a pair of group I events. One of those was the Derby Nacional (Per-I), which was run at 12 furlongs--the same distance as the Belmont Stakes.

Since coming to the states earlier this year, Tomcito hasn’t had the same kind of success. He was a distant third to Big Brown in the March 29 Florida Derby (gr. I), then ran sixth in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland April 19. It was that last performance that kept him from having enough graded earnings for the Kentucky Derby.

“It’s too bad, because I think he would have run a heck of a race in the Derby,” Zanelli said. ““He’s been special since day one. The Lexington wasn’t that bad, considering he gave six pounds to everyone, and the Polytrack was not to his liking. The ride wasn’t what we expected, either. He didn’t run a terrible race, but he didn’t make any money.

“The bigger the track, the better," Zanelli continued. "We are hoping to have a good showing on Saturday that will set us up for the Belmont. That’s the goal.”

Tomcito, who is out of the Eastern Echo mare Inside or Outside, worked three furlongs over the Belmont dirt May 6, stopping the clock in :35.19. Cornelio Velasquez gets the mount in the Peter Pan, breaking from post two. It will be his first time aboard the bay colt.

Tomcito is not the only foreign invader of interest. A pair of Japanese stablemates have entered the intriguing field, including Casino Drive, who is out of Better Than Honor. That mare produced the last two Belmont winners--Jazil and Rags to Riches. Both are trained by Hidetoshi Yamamoto and owned by Kazuo Fujisawa.

The better of the two looks to be Casino Drive, who was extremely impressive in his lone start, a 11 ½-length maiden score in Japan Feb. 23. Bred in Kentucky by Shell Bloodstock, Casino Drive is by Mineshaft . He was a $950,000 purchase at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale. Casio Drive had his first work at Belmont May 7, breezing five furlongs in :59.94.

Spark Candle is the other Japanese threat. The son of A.P. Indy was also purchased at the 2006 Keeneland September sale, going for $1.5 million. Spark Candle broke his maiden on his third try in Japan, but has been well back in two starts since then. He also breezed five furlongs  at Belmont May 7, doing it in 1:01.04.

Locally, Phipps Stable’s Cosmic could be a factor. The son of El Prado broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park by 2 1/4 lengths Feb. 24 , then won a 1 1/8-mile allowance-optional claiming event  at Aqueduct April 16. He is trained by Claude “Shug” McGaughey.

"His last three races have been pretty good,” said McGaughey. “We’ll see how he sizes up with these. At the point we are not aiming for the Belmont, but it’s certainly up for discussion.”

Golden Spikes could be sitting on his biggest performance, five weeks after running second to Recapturetheglory in the Illinois Derby (gr. II). The Seeking the Goldcolt is 2-2-0 from seven starts. Marty Wolfson trains.

$200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, 5:15 p.m.), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Casino Drive, 116, Kent J. Desormeaux
2. Tomcito, 120, Cornelio H. Velasquez
3. Mint Lane, 116, Eibar Coa
4. Deputyville, 116, Jose L. Espinoza
5. Spark Candle, 116, Jorge F. Chavez
6. Golden Spikes, 116, Edgar S. Prado
7. Ready's Echo, 116, John R. Velazquez
8. Cosmic, 116, Javier Castellano
9. Fast Talking, 116, Alan Garcia