Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - October 14, 2022

Man O’ War Stakes Predictions, Picks, Odds (Belmont Park)

Man O’ War Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Man O’ War at Belmont Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 EASTER 6/1
BET HERE
F Prat H G Motion
2 GUFO 2/1
BET HERE
J Rosario C Clement
3 YIBIR 6/5
BET HERE
W Buick C Appleby
4 ABAAN 9/2
BET HERE
L Saez T Pletcher
5 HIGHLAND CHIEF 15/1
BET HERE
T McCarthy H G Motion
6 SO HIGH 20/1
BET HERE
L Rodriguez Castro N Chatterpaul

Man O’ War Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$10 Trifecta Part Wheel –  Gufo over Yibir over Abaan and Easter = $20

$10 Exacta Part Wheel –  Gufo over Yibir, Abaan and Easter = $30

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Gufo (2/1)

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Man O War Stakes Picks

Yibir, last season’s champion turf male, headlines a compact field of six entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Man o’ War at 11 furlongs on the turf at Belmont Park.

The Godolphin homebred was the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Del Mar when last seen in the United States. Before that, the 4-year-old son of Dubawi won the $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational in September at Belmont.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, Yibir has made two starts overseas this season, finishing second in both Dubai and England.

Chief among his rivals in the $700,000 Man O’ War will be Gufo. A winner of an 8-of-15 lifetime, the 5-year-old chestnut just missed in this race last year by a nose.

A Grade 1 winner in each of the last two seasons, the big chestnut won the Belmont Derby back in 2020.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Gufo comes into Saturday’s test off an impressive victory in the Grade 2 Pan American at Gulfstream Park, which was his first race of the season.

While the two favorites both prefer to come from behind, the Todd Pletcher-trained Abaan does his best running near the early pace.

A 5-year-old son of Will Take Charge, he won both the two-mile H. Allen Jerkens and the Grade 3, William L. McKnight, at Gulfstream this winter. Most recently, he finished second to Gufo in the Pan American.

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Man O’ War Predictions and Race Analysis

Yibir

Last year’s champion turf male seems to be right at home over American turf courses. His wins at Belmont Park and Del Mar were both impressive and a return to that form would likely land him in the winner’s circle on Saturday.

Having said that, he’s already had a ton of travel in the last six months and another trip to the U.S. could eventually add up. He also has been beaten in both starts this year, although the performance in each was solid.

Like his main challenger, Gufo, he does his best running from well off the pace, which could set up an interesting stretch run. At the low odds, I am going to take a shot to beat him here.

Gufo

Save the Breeders’ Cup, and this late-running horse is about as consistent as they come. He did not have his day at Del Mar last fall, but he’s run big everywhere else, including Belmont Park. The winner of the Grade 1 Sword Dancer last year, he fell a jump shot in this race a year ago.

Not blessed with early speed, it will be up to top rider Joel Rosario to judge the pace and get him in a position to win as they turn for home. His return race last month certainly demonstrates that he is in good form.

Yibir is obviously a formidable challenge, but this 5-year-old son of Declaration of War may be primed to have his best season yet, and considering how he has done before, that is saying something. He is the top pick.

Abaan

Trained by Todd Pletcher, this son of Will Take Charge certainly can get the distance and beyond as evidenced by his stakes win at two miles in December.

In fact, he’s run well consistently since switching to the grass last summer, and in the small field has a pace advantage over the two favorites. He was no match when second best to Gufo last time, but given the right pace scenario, he is a threat to turn the tables.

He should look to stalk the pace of So High and see if he can take over as they turn for home. Yibir and Gufo are full of class, but this looks like their top challenger.

Easter

Distance will be a question for this son of Exosphere as he runs farther on Saturday than he has ever gone before.  A useful runner in France the past two seasons, he rallied well in his U.S. debut to finish 1 ½-lengths behind in an allowance race one month ago.

He will need to improve off that effort to compete with these, but in the hands of Graham Motion, there is good reason to believe he can in his second start of the year.

Look for him to be more forwardly placed this time around as he tries to get the jump on the favorites. He’s in with a shot here.

Highland Chief

An Irish import, this one has some very good results in his past performances, but not recently. In fact, he’s only run twice in the last two seasons. His lone race in 2021 came against good horses, but he was well beaten.

His first start in the United States came one month ago and he was pinched at the start and never did too much in a race too short for him. With such little racing, it’s hard to know what you will get out of him on Saturday, but if he can find his old form, he is a longshot with class to contend.

So High

This son of Nathaniel will be in his familiar position as a big longshot on Saturday. He was sent to post at 90/1 odds in this race last year, and while he could only manage a fifth-place finish, he stayed on well to lose by only two lengths.

He’s flashed early speed in his last two, including in a recent allowance race, where he held off Easter for a second. Look for him on the lead on Saturday, but Abaan should be close and ready to pounce. He is not completely out of it, but I like others better.

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How to Watch the Man O’ War

Man O’ War Race Information
What Man O’ War (Grade 1)
Location Belmont Park
Time Saturday, May 14 — 4:46pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports 1
Purse $700,000

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AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

219 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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