NEW YORK (AP) — Madefromlucky is headed for the Belmont Stakes after rallying to beat Conquest Curlinate by a length Saturday in the $196,000 Peter Pan Stakes for 3-year-olds.
The 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan is a traditional prep for the final jewel of the Triple Crown on June 6 at Belmont Park.
"The Belmont is something we talked about a while back," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "He earned his way in, if he comes out of this well and trains accordingly."
Madefromlucky and jockey Javier Castellano angled four wide entering the stretch and prevailed for his first stakes victory, and third win in eight starts.
Madefromlucky faced Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah in both previous races, finishing second to him in the Rebel Stakes and fourth in the Arkansas Derby.
He had enough qualifying points to run in the Kentucky Derby but a poor workout convinced Pletcher and the owners, Cheyenne Stables and Mac Nichol, to skip the race.
The time was 1:48.36
Madefromlucky improved to 3 for 8, paying $11.40, $5.50 and $2.80.
Conquest Curlinate returned $6.90 and $2.90 in his first race since finishing second by a nose in the Illinois Derby last month.
Two Weeks Off, Pletcher's other runner, finished third as the 4-5 favorite and paid $2.20 to show.
"He's still a bit inexperienced," Pletcher said about the colt making only his fourth start. "I don't think he would be moving on to the Belmont."
In other stakes: Twilight Eclipse edged the pacesetting War Dancer by a neck in the $400,000 Man o' War Stakes on the turf.
Javier Castellano rode for trainer Tom Albertrani as the 6-year-old gelding ended an eight race losing streak with his seventh victory in 24 starts.
He paid $5.90 to win. The time was 2:14.44 for the 1 3/8 miles.
Wedding Toast, the 3-5 favorite, won the $250,000 Ruffian Stakes for fillies and mares by four lengths over Princess Violet.
Jose Lezcano was aboard for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin as the 5-year-old improved to 6 for 9, paying $3.30 to win. The time was 1:34.86 for mile.
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