Updated on 09/15/2011 12:18PM

Seeking that elusive Met Mile

Peeping Tom, shown winning the Carter Handicap, stretches out from seven furlongs for Monday's Met Mile.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Metropolitan Handicap, arguably the most prestigious mile race run in America, is one of the few prizes that has eluded trainer Shug McGaughey in his distinguished career. And it is one he highly covets.

"Always has been," said McGaughey, who has finished third three times in the Met Mile since 1990. "It's a great race, one that's high up on my list."

McGaughey hopes he can finally add the Grade 1, $750,000 Met Mile to his resume Monday at Belmont Park when he saddles the regally bred Traditionally against nine rivals. The Met Mile highlights a 10-race Memorial Day card that gets under way at 1 p.m. and includes a T-shirt giveaway. Post time for the Met Mile is 5:19 p.m.

A solid field was entered for the Met Mile, including Peeping Tom, winner of four straight, including the Grade 1 Carter Handicap; Alannan, who set a Churchill Downs track record for seven furlongs last out; and Trippi, winner of the Grade 1 Vosburgh over this track last fall.

Weather may help determine the outcome of the 108th Met Mile. Week-long rains have turned the track into a sloppy mess and showers were in the forecast through Monday.

"I wouldn't want a harrowed, wet-fast track that was very hard," McGaughey said. "A floated sloppy track wouldn't bother me."

With Traditionally being a son of Mr. Prospector out of the undefeated champion mare Personal Ensign, high hopes naturally accompanied him to the racetrack. Traditionally won just twice in his first 12 starts, including four starts on grass, where McGaughey chose to run him after the horse ran down in his hind ankles in the Wood Memorial.

But Traditionally came to hand this winter in Florida, winning twice in three dirt starts there before winning the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap in April. While those races were around two turns, he must cut back to one turn in the Met mile while breaking from post 10. Traditionally did win his maiden at a mile over this track as a 2-year-old.

"I don't think the mile will be any problem," McGaughey said. "It looks like it'll be a hot pace. It'd be even better if it was like we caught at Hot Springs. If something happens where it didn't come up fast, he's shown enough speed in his races where he won't be that far back. In most of his races, he was in front after a mile anyway."

While Traditionally tries to cut back to one mile, Peeping Tom will try to successfully stretch out to a mile. Peeping Tom, claimed for $40,000 in the winter of 2000, has won six of his last seven starts. His lone loss came in the Cigar Mile, in which he finished a late-running second.

Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Peeping Tom from post 8 under high weight of 119 pounds.

"If he duplicates his Cigar Mile he'll be in the winner's circle," said trainer Pat Reynolds, who blew out Peeping Tom three furlongs in 38.13 seconds Saturday over the training track.

Peeping Tom is 1 for 1 over a sloppy track.

Alannan enters the Met Mile off two wins: the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup at Keeneland and the Churchill Downs Handicap on Derby Day. At Churchill, he covered seven furlongs in 1:20.50, establishing a track record. Both of Alannan's recent victories have come since he was transferred to the barn of Carl Nafzger.

Trippi and Left Bank, both trained by Todd Pletcher, are both 3 for 3 at Belmont Park. Both have won graded stakes at nine furlongs. However, the weather has Pletcher concerned. While Trippi - who has never run over an off track - is likely to run, Pletcher said he wanted to watch Left Bank train in the slop on Sunday before making a final determination.

Trippi drew post 9, which should enable Jerry Bailey to clock Blade Prospector, who figures to be gunned to the front from the rail.