The Peter Pan often produces a few horses for the Belmont Stakes four weeks later. The Grade III, $200,000 stakes is named for the 1907 Belmont champion, not the boy who could fly and refused to grow up. Trainer Chad Brown doesn’t think that Timeline, Saturday’s undefeated Peter Pan winner, is mature enough to tackle the “Test of the Champion” June 10.
“He doesn’t strike me as a mile-and-a-half horse,” Brown said. “I’m not going to declare him out of the race, but the Belmont wasn’t part of my plan for him.’’
So don’t expect Timeline to get the opportunity to emulate Tonalist, who three years ago won the Peter Pan on an off track and derailed California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid. Peter Pan runner-up Commissioner completed the exacta in the Belmont, too.
Timeline, the 2-5 favorite, had to work to catch front-runner Meantime, taking the lead inside the eighth pole and drawing away to beat him by 3½ lengths under Javier Castellano at chilly, rain-drenched Belmont Park. The time for 1 1/8 miles on a sloppy track was 1:51.62, with a final furlong in 13.25 seconds.
“The horse ran great, he earned everything,” Brown said. “He cut the corner entering the stretch when the leader went wide and got to the better part of the track. Javier said he had to use him a couple of times. He told me the impressive thing is how many runs you can make with him and he’s there for you.’’
Timeline paid $2.90 for his third victory, and second in a row on a wet track. He earned $120,000, raising his total to $263,000 for Woodford Racing LLC.
Brown spoke to Woodford’s racing manager, Bill Farrish, earlier in the day. “We said if he had some success here, the Haskell is a race [July 30 at Monmouth Park] we have a lot of interest in, with maybe one race between now and then.”
Castellano thinks the son of Hard Spun has a future.
“All you have to do is push a button and he goes forward,” he said. “He was really professional. I think he can improve a lot, too.”
Notes & quotes: Ireland-based filly Zhukova ($3.80) dominated males by six lengths in the Grade I, $400,000 Man o’ War, going 1 3/8 miles on the yielding inner turf. The time, a crawling 2:25.31, was 14 seconds off the course record . . . Hawksmoor ($9.60) led throughout on a yielding Widener course and beat Dacita by a head in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade III Beaugay for older fillies and mares . . . Highway Star ($12) held off 6-5 favorite Bar of Gold by a half-length in the Grade II, $250,000 Ruffian Handicap for older fillies and mares.