05/14/2011 6:22PM

Belmont Park: Alternation wears down Adios Charlie to win Peter Pan

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Alternation and jockey Ramon Dominguez return after winning the Grade 2 Peter Pan.



ELMONT, N.Y. – Winning for the fourth time in six starts, Alternation ran to his strong route pedigree and nailed Jerome winner and lukewarm favorite Adios Charlie in the final strides of Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes for 3-year-olds.

If you thought the Peter Pan’s 57th running took a while to unfold, that is an accurate assessment. The Peter Pan’s final time of 1:49.53 for 1 1/8 miles was the slowest since Postponed registered a 1:49.71 clocking to win in 2000. Beyond that, you have to go back to Lost Mountain (149.40 in 1991), Back Bay Barrister (1:50 in 1984) and Keenation (1:50 in 1960) to find comparably pedestrian times.

Though he didn’t bust any stopwatches, Alternation ($9.40), a Pin Oak Farm homebred out of two-time Robert G. Dick winner Alternate, showed sufficient stamina to wear down Adios Charlie by a head under Ramon Dominguez, who was aboard the Distorted Humor colt for the first time.

“The front wasn’t really coming back at all and my horse just kept grinding and tried pretty hard,” said Dominguez. “It was good to see that, as big as he is, he’s also got tactical speed and more than one gear.”

Coming out of a fifth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby, Alternation was notching his first win in a graded stakes.

“We’ll probably go back to Arlington, but we’ll certainly keep all our options open,” said winning trainer Donnie Von Hemel.

Adios Charlie, making just his fourth start, chased Bold Deed through early fractions of 23.78, 47.14 and 1:11.90, moved to a two-length lead in midstretch after a mile in 1:36.87, but could not hold off the winner while drifting out slightly in deep stretch.

“We’ll probably look ahead at something like the Jim Dandy or the Haskell, with a race before that,” said his trainer, Stanley Hough.

Prime Cut finished third, and Joe Vann finished fourth in the 10-horse field.