Mark Valeski wins Peter Pan
by Ashley Herriman
May 14, 2012 | 8735 views | 0 0 comments | 210 210 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After a pair of narrow defeats in Kentucky Derby prep races this spring at Fair Grounds Race Course, Mark Valeski earned his first graded stakes win Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park when he captured the 58th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes, the local springboard to the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 9.

Mark Valeski’s final time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:48.31. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 10, he returned $4.70.

“The horse felt great and did everything right,” said winning jockey Rosie Napravnik. “I was a little worried about all the ground we were losing, but at the same time with the fast pace I didn’t want to tuck in and get stuck behind, because I knew I was on the best horse.”

Originally pointed for the Kentucky Derby, the colt was rerouted to the Peter Pan after failing to dazzle owner Brereton C. Jones and trainer Larry Jones in what was to be his final pre-Derby work at Churchill Downs on April 30.

“I kept thinking to myself ‘Well, if we win this thing by a bunch I’m going to wonder if I should have been at the Derby,’ but we made the right decision,” said Larry Jones.

Now, Mark Valeski has run his record to 3-2-0 from six starts and earned $430,952 and Larry Jones thinks his colt could be ready to take on the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes here next month.

Wager on The Preakness at area tracks

On May 18 and 19, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack will have simulcast action from Pimlico Race Course, home of the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

On Friday, May 18, Belmont and Aqueduct will offer wagering on the 13-race Black-Eyed Susan Day card at Pimlico, as well as advance wagering on Saturday’s Preakness. Also available is wagering on the Pimlico Special/Preakness Double.

On Preakness Day, Saturday, May 19, first post at Pimlico is 10:30 a.m. Accordingly, parking gates at Aqueduct and Belmont will open at 9:45 a.m., with admission gates following at 10 a.m. Voucher sellers, live tellers and self-service windows will commence business at 10 a.m. on the first floor at both tracks and the Belmont Café at Belmont.

Windows will remain open in all areas until after the Preakness (approximate post 6:18 p.m.), after which clerks will be available only on the first floor at Aqueduct and the Belmont Café at Belmont.

Live Triple Crown action returns to New York on June 9 with the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes.

Stay connected at The Stakes

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has launched a GroupMe group for the Belmont Stakes, allowing fans to stay connected through mobile devices and the web leading up to the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Before the big race on June 9 at Belmont Park, fans can create a custom group and invite their friends to join by visiting the GroupMe Belmont Stakes landing page or by downloading the GroupMe app on their mobile device, available for free on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.

Once a custom group has been created, members can message one another as well as share photos and locations. Reminders can also be set so that no one misses an important race or gathering.

Additionally, NYRA will be able to send out messages to anyone that is part of a group that was created on the GroupMe Belmont Stakes group on topics such as post times, special events, fun facts, contests, and much more.

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