Trainer Rodolphe Brisset saddled two entrants in the one-turn stamina test with We the People breaking alertly under Flavien Prat, while the awkward starting Western River, piloted by Luis Saez, trailed early in a race conducted through a driving rain over a good and sealed main track.
We the People took command through splits of 23.66 seconds and 47.24 with Electability tracking from second position to the inside of Cooke Creek. We the People widened his advantage into the turn as Electability continued to stalk with the slow-starting Set Sail surging up the rail and Western River attempting to rally into contention with a wide move.
Prat shook the reins on We the People at the top of the lane and the Constitution colt responded with a tremendous turn of foot, storming through the wire a 10 1/4-length winner in a final time of 1:48.27.
Golden Glider completed the exacta by a nose over Electability, who was a neck better than Western River. Rounding out the order of finish were Cooke Creek, Set Sail, Complete Agenda and State Planning.
Brisset said he was confident in We the People, who entered from a troubled seventh-place finish under Prat in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 9 at Oaklawn Park.
“We know how good he is, he’s just his own enemy sometimes just because he’s a little cocky. Today was good,” Brisset said. “He got a little warm in the paddock and we gave him a shower and you could see he kind of relaxed and was drying up. I thought the warmup was good compared to Arkansas. Of course, if we bring one all the way here it’s because we thought he had a shot to do that. He can run on anything. He’s one of those kind.”
Prat said We the People was hindered by a wide trip in the Arkansas Derby but more than redeemed himself on Saturday.
“Before [the Arkansas Derby] I thought we had a good draw. Everyone broke well and all sent [for the lead] so I found myself wide and had to take back, drop in, and he didn’t understand what I wanted from him from that point on,” Prat said. “Today, he broke well and got me into the race. I wanted a clean trip and to be in the clear and see what he could do from there. He responded really well.”
The Peter Pan is the traditional local prep race for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets which is slated for June 11. The last horse to complete the Peter Pan-Belmont Stakes double was Tonalist in 2014. Sir Winston finished second in the 2019 Peter Pan before capturing the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown.
Brisset said We the People is likely to make his next start in the “Test of the Champion” and his stablemate could join him upon further review.
“We [brought] both here to see if we could consider the Belmont. Obviously, We the People passed the test and I think I’ll have to watch the replay and take my time and wait 10 days to decide on Western River,” Brisset said. “He only got beat [less than] a half-length for second. I don’t think the race set up for him too because they went in 47 and one and it wasn’t really fast enough to make that big kick. We know the two turns may be the key, too, for Western River. We’ll see what happens. I can’t commit now.”
Dylan Davis rallied Golden Glider from fifth position to win the place photo over Electability.
“I was very happy with his run. It was his first time on a sealed track and he handled it well for me,” Davis said. “I was just bottled up inside for a little longer than I would have liked, but I liked what I saw. He really responded once I got a spot for him and opened up. He ran hard and I was happy to manage second. The winner looked like much the best. I was happy with the performance and I think he’ll have a good future ahead of him.”
We the People made his first three starts at Oaklawn Park, winning his debut in February traveling one mile before romping by five lengths traveling 1 1/16-miles in March in his first start against winners.
Bred in Kentucky by Henley Farms, We the People banked $110,000 in victory while improving his record to three wins from four starts. He returned $7.90 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at Belmont with a nine-race card featuring the $100,000 Gold Fever in Race 8. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Press Release
Photo: We The People (NYRA Photo)