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

Man O War Stakes

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Field Pass (6/1)

Man O’ War Stakes Post Position and Odds

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

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 SOVEREIGN 9/5
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I Ortiz Jr C Brown
2 MOON OVER MIAMI 10/1
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J Alvarado W Mott
3 ZIYAD 9/2
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M Franco H G Motion
4 SO HIGH 50/1
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E Cancel N Chatterpaul
5 CHANNEL CAT 10/1
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J Velazquez J Sisterson
6 SHAMROCKET 15/1
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J Castellano T Pletcher
7 FIELD PASS 6/1
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L Saez M Maker
8 GUFO 5/2
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J Rosario C Clement

Best Bets for the Man O’ War Stakes

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$20 Win, Place & Show – Field Pass = $60

Top Pick:

Field Pass (6/1)

Gufo and Sovereign, two classy turf specialists from opposite sides of the pond, return to the races on Saturday to top a field of eight older males set for Saturday’s Grade 1 Man O’ War at Belmont Park.

Sovereign will make his United States debut and should receive plenty of support running for new trainer Chad Brown. Formerly of another high-profile trainer, Aidan O’Brien, the son of Galileo pulled off a big upset in the Group 1 Irish Derby in June of 2019. Winless since, he did run a big race last season at Ascot, when second in another Group 1

The 1 ⅜-mile Man O’ War will mark the return to Belmont Park for the late-running Gufo. In his only previous start at the New York oval, he became a Grade 1 winner in last October’s Belmont Derby. Most recently, he came charging late to finish 3rd by a neck to the classy pair of Domestic Spending and Smooth Like Strait.

Of the rest, Ziyad, a Group 2 winner in France, who is now trained by Graham Motion, and Field Pass, a five-time stakes winner in 2020, figure to be the most respected in Saturday’s $700,000 feature.

How to Watch the Man O’ War Stakes

Man O’ War Stakes Race Information
Race Man O’ War Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Belmont Park
Time Saturday, May 8 — 5:44 pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports 1
Purse $700,000

Race Analysis

Sovereign


This one will make his first start in America, after knocking heads with some of Europe’s best the last two years. The upset winner of the Group 1 Irish Derby back in 2019, he has not won a race since but did manage a second-place finish to the great Enable in last summer’s Group 1 King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He certainly comes to the States with the class, but beware of that 2-for-13 overall record.

He also runs for the first time for new connections, and in this case, Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz, Jr., which can only be considered good news for his supporters. With those high-profile connections, though, come lower odds. An obvious threat, and one who has the speed to contend early in a race with very little early speed, but I will take a shot to beat him in his first start of the year.

Gufo

Here is another stakes veteran who will be making his first start of the year. Like the morning line favorite, he also resides in the barn of a top turf trainer, in Christophe Clement. To date, this son of the Declaration of War has never run a poor race. In eight lifetime starts, all on the grass, he has won five, and in the other three, he finished with a flourish to not miss by much.

While Saturday’s Man O’ War will be his longest race yet, note that he did get the job done over the Belmont turf course in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby going 10 furlongs last fall. It’s his first race in more than five months, and the lack of early pace in the race does not set up his late-running style, but still, his consistent class makes him a big threat here.

Ziyad

Another European import, who showed plenty of class while running in top company over in France, he has yet to find the winner’s circle in three tries in North America. Having said that, the experienced son of Rock of Gibraltar was right there in each of those three third-place finishes. He too, will be making his seasonal debut on Saturday.

Trained by Graham Motion, the gelding must be respected, but will probably need just a little bit better than he has shown so far in North America. If he can bring his top form from France, he can certainly win this, but I think it’s more likely he settles for another minor award.

Field Pass

At first glance, this Mike Maker trained 4-year-old might look just a cut below the top three, but the multiple stakes-winning son of Lemon Drop Kid is a hard knocker, who is right at home in top company. Though he has never before been longer than 1 3/16, his pedigree says that he will be just fine going the full 11 furlongs of the Man O’ War.

He also has the advantage of possessing good tactical speed, which should come in handy in a race that figures to have pedestrian early fractions. With one good race under his belt this season, he should be ready to run on Saturday for a trainer who has had plenty of success stretching out his best horses to run a distance on the turf. With a strong pace rider in Luis Saez set to ride, he is my upset pick.

Moon Over Miami


A pretty consistent late runner on the lawn for trainer Bill Mott, this son of Malibu Moon has already rallied for third in a pair of graded stakes on the turf this year. Both came at Gulfstream Park against a cut below the best of this bunch, so he will need a career-best to pull an upset on Saturday.

Another negative to his chances here, in his only previous race at Belmont, he finished sixth and well behind Gufo in the Belmont Derby. I think this assignment will prove a little too tough for the late runner.

Channel Cat

This experienced son of the English Channel is no stranger to graded stakes racing on the lawn. An earner of just a hair under $1 million, he likes to come with a late run.

Note, however, that his biggest win to date came on the front end two years ago, when scoring in the Grade 2 Bowling Green at Saratoga at odds of 13/1. A similar crafty type of ride on Saturday makes this veteran a bigger threat than if he is well off the pace early. He’s 0-for-5 at Belmont, but still, he is a longshot with a chance.

Shamrocket

A 4-year-old son of Tonalist, this one has won only 2-of-13 lifetime starts, all of which have come on the turf.
On the other hand, he has managed to finish in the top three in all but one race. In fact, he comes into the Man O’ War off three consecutive runner-up finishes. This will be his toughest test yet, though, as he moves up into the high rent district. A consistent sort, he’s not completely out of it, but I like too many others better.

So High

This English-bred gelding has never before faced the type of competition he will see in Saturday’s Man O’ War.

His two wins in nine starts in America came against much cheaper. This year, he has found only modest results against the allowance company. I find him very hard to recommend.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

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]