05/08/2013 3:41PM

Belmont: Peter Pan first stakes test for Incognito

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Battier, winner of a restricted stakes last month at Aqueduct, is part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Peter Pan.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Coming off an adventurous entry-level allowance victory at Aqueduct four weeks ago, Incognito makes his stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park with an eye toward the Belmont Stakes.

A field of 11 was entered Wednesday for the Peter Pan, nine of whom are Triple Crown-nominated. The Peter Pan, run at 1 1/8 miles, is the local prep for the Belmont, scheduled for June 8.

Incognito, a son of 1992 Belmont winner A.P. Indy, was being considered for the Illinois Derby on April 20, but trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was leery his colt would not make it into the field due to lack of graded stakes earnings.

Instead, McLaughlin ran Incognito a week earlier, in a one-turn, one-mile allowance race at Aqueduct. Incognito encountered significant traffic trouble in the stretch, clipping heels and nearly going down before squeezing through a hole in midstretch and getting up to win by a nose.

“He’s battle-tested, that’s for sure if that comes into play for the Peter Pan. They use that term for the Kentucky Derby,” McLaughlin said. “He’s been through a lot. He’s overcome a lot. We’re excited to run him Saturday. He’s doing really well. He’s improving all the time.”

Given his pedigree, by A.P. Indy out of the Grade 1-winning mare Octave, McLaughlin hopes Incognito does enough Saturday to warrant consideration for the Belmont.

“We have to see how he runs in the Peter Pan and how the Belmont’s coming up and talk to Jimmy Bell,” said McLaughlin, referring to the head of Darley Stable USA.

Incognito will break from post 10 under Mike Luzzi.

Fear the Kitten, who was scratched off the also-eligible list from the Kentucky Derby, has shipped in for the Peter Pan. He finished fifth in the Blue Grass in his last start.

Trainer Todd Pletcher entered the uncoupled entry of Abraham, fourth in the Illinois Derby, and Battier, a recent purchase by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Battier as well as Go Get the Basil are not nominated to the Triple Crown.

Others entered in the Peter Pan include Freedom Child, My Name Is Michael, Narvaez, Saint Vigeur, Declan’s Warrior, and Infinite Magic.