05/13/2017 3:00PM

Timeline cuts the corner to win Peter Pan Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Timeline, ridden by Javier Castellano, wins the Peter Pan Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Timeline gave his connections a reason to be excited about the future with a solid 3 1/2-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at sloppy Belmont Park. That future, however, is not likely to include the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Timeline improved his record to 3 for 3 with his victory in the Peter Pan. But rather than stretching him out to 1 1/2 miles in the Belmont Stakes, trainer Chad Brown indicated that a race like the Grade 1 Haskell on July 30 at Monmouth Park is a better target. The Haskell is run at 1 1/8 miles.

“He doesn’t strike me as a mile-and-a-half horse,” said Brown, who trains Timeline for a group headed by Bill Farish’s Woodford Racing. “I’m not going to declare him out of the race, but that really wasn’t my plan going in here. We’re still in the developmental stage with this horse.”

Timeline, a son of Hard Spun, didn’t get to the races until March 4 at Gulfstream Park, where he won a seven-furlong maiden race. Brown shipped him to New York, and Timeline romped to a 13 1/2-length victory in a one-turn-mile allowance race run in the slop at Aqueduct.

The Peter Pan was run over a track sloppier than Aqueduct. Early in the race, jockey Javier Castellano felt his horse wasn’t handling it well.

“He didn’t take me there like the last time,” Castellano said.

Castellano was able to get Timeline to the outside down the backstretch and track the pacesetting Meantime, under Jose Ortiz, through fractions of 24.02 seconds for the quarter, 47.68 for the half-mile and 1:12.99 for six furlongs.

Coming to the top of the stretch, Ortiz let Meantime go extremely wide, hoping Castellano would try to go to his outside. Instead, Castellano guided Timeline to the inside and rallied past Meantime at the eighth pole. Though Meantime tried to come back and tighten things up, Timeline had none of that and splashed his way to the wire.

Timeline covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.62 and returned $2.90 as the 2-5 favorite.

“The other jockey tried to pick the best spot on the track, but to me, the track was very fair inside-outside, and I think I made the smart move to cut the corner and save all the ground,” Castellano said. “I cut the corner, and I surprised him. I like the way the horse accelerated, and he wasn’t intimidated.”

Brown also liked the way the horse made multiple moves in the race, first to get position down the backside and then to rally through a large opening in the stretch.

Brown said Castellano told him, “The impressive thing about the horse is how many runs you can make with him and he’s still there for you.”