05/05/2009 11:00PM

McLaughlin picks Peter Pan

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Adam Coglianese
Charitable Man will run in Saturday's Peter Pan rather than next weekend's Preakness.

ELMONT, N.Y. - There's a part of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin that regrets not running Charitable Man in the Kentucky Derby. The rational side of McLaughlin is glad he didn't.

With a second opportunity to run in a Triple Crown race in front of him, it appears that reason has once again won out. Instead of running in the Preakness, McLaughlin and owner William Warren have elected to run Charitable Man in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park.

Charitable Man drew post 3 in a seven-horse field for the Peter Pan, the traditional local prep for the Belmont Stakes on June 6.

In the Peter Pan, Charitable Man returns to the track over which he won the Grade 2 Futurity last fall. Charitable Man then sustained a knee fracture training to the Champagne. He resumed training in the winter, and in a last-ditch effort to make the Kentucky Derby, Charitable Man, off a seven-month layoff, ran in the Blue Grass Stakes, where he finished seventh.

McLaughlin chose the Blue Grass over dirt races such as the Wood Memorial, Arkansas Derby, and Illinois Derby because he felt the horse could bounce back quicker from a race run over Polytrack.

"It's not as hard on a horse, [and] I thought it was going to be lesser quality - we didn't have I Want Revenge or Old Fashioned, among others, to face,'' McLaughlin said. "The good thing is he came out of the race fabulous, like we thought that he would come out of a race on Poly. He cooled out in five minutes, was not tired, did not blow at all. So we did have him fit enough to run a mile and an eighth, it's just that he did not like the track.''

After deciding not to run in the Derby, McLaughlin said he thought about starting over in a second-level allowance race and then point to races such as the Dwyer and Jim Dandy or Haskell. Though the Peter Pan has the likes of Imperial Council and Hello Broadway, they too are eligible for the second-level allowance condition.

"It appears the Peter Pan is a Grade 2 'two-other-than,' '' McLaughlin said. "They're all eligible for the same allowance race that we were thinking about.''

Charitable Man is the only graded stakes winner among the seven entered for the Peter Pan. Scorewithcater, who defeated Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in the Sunland Derby, ships in from California for Doug O'Neill. Al Khali, Hello Broadway, Imperial Council, Stately Character, and Brave Victory are also entered.

Imperial Council, who flipped over in the Aqueduct paddock prior to the running of the Wood Memorial, schooled in Belmont's paddock prior to Wednesday's fourth race. He did not saddle in the regular saddling stalls, and after one turn around the paddock he began to give his handlers a rough time heading back to the barn.

Pletcher thinks Belmont for Dunkirk

Dunkirk, who finished 11th in the Derby after stumbling at the start and having his left hind foot stepped on at some point, resumed training Wednesday and is possible for the Belmont Stakes, trainer Todd Pletcher said Wednesday.

"He's healing up pretty well," Pletcher said. "I don't anticipate it being a real problem. The Belmont is a possibility if everything goes well. If I feel like I needed more time, I'd wait for the Dwyer.''

The Dwyer, run at 1 1/16 miles, is scheduled for July 4.

Dunkirk was sent off the second choice in the Derby, based on two dynamic victories and a runner-up finish to Quality Road in the Florida Derby.

By the Light, Legal Consent take stakes

The $200 supplemental nomination owner Samantha Siegel paid to have By the Light run in Wednesday's $73,250 Elizabeth Bay Stakes proved well worth the investment as her New York-bred filly ran away from Carolyn's Cat in the stretch for a 1 3/4-length victory.

The win improved By the Light's record to 10 wins from 15 starts and increased her bankroll to $859,685.

By the Light, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr. and ridden by Edgar Prado, covered seven furlongs in 1:25.32 and returned $4.10.

Precious Kiss was pulled up at the half-mile and vanned off with an injury that was diagnosed as a fractured sesamoid to her left foreleg. She was to undergo further evaluation.

In the $68,250 Professor Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds, Legal Consent ($7.90), under Ramon Dominguez, outdueled 3-5 favorite Montecore in the stretch for a 1 1/2-length victory. It was 5 1/2 lengths back to Uncle T Seven in third.

It was the second straight win for Legal Consent, who will most likely start next in the Mike Lee Stakes on June 21.

Legal Consent, a son of Officer owned by Lansdon Robbins and trained by Carlos Martin, covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.45.

Bribon on track for Met Mile

Bribon, winner of last week's Westchester, is on target for the Metropolitan Handicap, trainer Robert Ribaudo said Wednesday. Bribon earned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his Westchester win.

"So far he hasn't shown me any reason not to,'' Ribaudo said of running in the Met. "We haven't been able to do much with him because of the weather.''

Spa job fair this weekend

The New York Racing Association will be conducting an open house job fair this weekend for persons interested in working at the upcoming Saratoga meet. Among the positions available are turf work, general labor, greenhouse work/planting, betting clerks, security, ushers, parking attendants, and admission cashiers.

The Saratoga open house will be held this Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. as well as June 27-28 and July 11-12. Candidates should enter the East Avenue gate and interviews will be conducted in the racing office.

Applicants must be at least 16 years old with working papers and must bring with them a photo identification. For more information, call (718) 659-3550.

* Jockey Paco Lopez, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice of 2008, went 3 for 3 on Wednesday's card. Lopez is expected to start riding regularly at Monmouth Park this weekend, but will make weekday trips to Belmont through the month of May.