• Discussing the Peter Pan with TCI

    POSTED May 11, 2012
    Those who follow me on Twitter know that I'm hardly Bernardini's biggest fan.

    As a sire of runners, I find him to be overrated--lots of flashy maiden and allowance wins, but not a lot of follow through in the big races. Through his first two crops, only Stay Thirsty has won a Grade 1 race, and overall he has just 5.3% blacktype winners from foals.

    All that is not to say that he is a bad sire--far from it. He is the leading third crop sire by progeny earnings and clearly is capable of getting good horses in bunches even if none of them have turned out to be great yet, but from his own class of sires, both Artie Schiller and War Front have stood taller for a cheaper price for awhile now, and I'll Have Another's Kentucky Derby win adds Flower Alley to the mix of more accomplished sires than Bernardini.

    All that is to say that it can be lucrative to bet against the Bernardini hype machine from time to time (although Algorithms' in the Holy Bull certainly offered value in retrospect), but the Peter Pan Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park is an opportunity to maybe cash in on the sire's style at a decent price.

    I'm not sure how many of this dozen want to go 1 1/8 miles even if it around one turn, and I was super impressed with Le Bernardin's maiden win on March 10 when streaking six furlongs in 1:11.80 for a BRIS Speed Rating of 99 after running his final furlong in :11.80. He followed that with a sharp entry-level allowance race with sub 12-second furlongs through the first half-mile of the one-turn mile race.  There is plenty of speed signed on in this race for Le Bernardin to sit and kick again.

    Incidentally, there are several other Peter Pan entrants by third crop sire, including Summer Front, by War Front, who will be maknig his dirt debut after a runner-up finish behind bomber All Squared Away in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes. He's 8-to-1 on the morning line, but I can't imagine that price will hold considering he was bet down to 2.3-to-1 favortism off a 9-to-2 ML in the Lexington.

    If Le Bernardin wins maybe I could afford to eat there.


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