Tonalist followed up his victory in last year's Peter Pan Stakes by taking the Belmont Stakes, and trainer Todd Pletcher is hopeful that Madefromlucky can make it a trend.
Pletcher swept just about everything but the Kentucky Derby last weekend at Churchill Downs. The seven-time Eclipse Award winner stayed on a roll Saturday as Madefromlucky took the 11/8- mile Peter Pan under Javier Castellano by a length over late-running Conquest Curlinate.
After Madefromlucky finished far behind eventual Derby hero American Pha- roah twice at Oaklawn Park, Pletcher brought him to Louisville. Eight days before the Derby, he turned in a poor workout, so Pletcher decided to skip it and reserve Madefromlucky for the Grade II Peter Pan. His Belmont Park debut was easily his best performance yet.
"He didn't like the track at Churchill," Pletcher said, "and the Belmont Stakes and the mile and a half was something we'd talked about a while back. We thought he would keep going and going and going, and we wanted to see where he fit.
"The Peter Pan historically has been a good prep for the Belmont. He earned his way in if he comes out of this well and trains accordingly."
Pletcher said Madefromlucky had trouble handling the turns at Oaklawn and thought he'd do better on Belmont's wide, sweeping bends. "Javier said he ran the turns very well today, and that's what we were hoping for. This was a perfect prep for the Belmont."
The son of 2011 Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky paid $11.40 after running 9 furlongs in 1:48.36 on a fast track on a cool, cloudy day. He earned $120,000 for his third victory, and first stakes win, in eight starts, raising his career total to $378,700 for Cheyenne Stables and Mac Nichol.
"I think he's a Belmont Stakes horse," Castellano said. "The way he did it today, why not? He settled beautifully, finished strong and galloped out strong."
Pletcher also saddled the Peter Pan's 4-5 favorite, Two Weeks Off, who ran third. He's not being considered for the Belmont.
'Edge,' Stanford out of Preakness. In Preakness news, Pletcher all but ruled out running standout miler Competitive Edge ("very unlikely") and Stanford ("I don't think so") Saturday at Pimlico. As for Derby also-rans Carpe Diem and Materiality, he said, "I think we'll have something firmed up by Monday."
Maryland Jockey Club spokesman David Joseph said Danzig Moon, fifth in the Derby after a rough trip, is a go for the Preakness. Trainer Mark Casse said Julien Leparoux will ride him again.
'Eclipse' wins Man o' War. Twilight Eclipse ($5.90), trained by Tom Albertrani and ridden by Castellano, ended an eight-race losing streak by taking the Grade I, $400,000 Man o' War by a neck over War Dancer. The time for 13/8 miles on firm turf was 2:14.44 . . . Wedding Toast ($3.30) dominated the Grade II, $250,000 Ruffian by four lengths for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin . . . Front-running Discreet Marq ($5.60), trained by Christophe Clement, won the Grade III, 11/16 -mile Beaugay for fillies and mares on turf.