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Check out our predictions and odds for the Man O' War Stakes at Belmont Park!
I Ortiz Jr
*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
$4 Trifecta Part Wheel - Warren Point over Channel Maker, Soldier Rising, Red Knight, and Verstappen = $48
$1 Trifecta Part Wheel - Channel Maker over Warren Point, Soldier Rising, Red Knight, and Verstappen = $12
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Warren Point (8/5).
Looking to continue the recent success in important American turf races for owner Godolphin Stable and trainer Charlie Appleby, the English invader Warren Point tops a field of eight older males in Saturday’s Grade 1 Man O’ War Stakes.
A 4-year-old son of Dubawi, Warren Point will be making his first start in the United States in the 11-furlong test. Never out of the money in eight career starts, he has won five times.
Sent to the Middle East for the winter, he moved up to Group 1 company last time and was just a half-length short of winning as a strong runner-up in Doha.
Chief among his challengers on Saturday include a pair of 9-year-old veterans in Red Knight and Channel Maker.
A two-time stakes winner last season for trainer Mike Maker, Red Knight is already a graded stakes winner this year, having scored in the Grade 3 McKnight Stakes at Gulfstream Park two starts back.
Channel Maker, meanwhile, is a former turf champion, who has started the season 0-for-2. A four-time winner locally, he has collected over $1.1 million on the Belmont turf alone.
Another horse to consider on Saturday is the Brendan Walsh-trained Verstappen. An improving 4-year-old, he defeated both Red Knight and Channel Maker last time when winning the Grade 2 Elkhorn at Keeneland.
After a very solid 3-year-old season running against a slightly lower level in England, this son of Dubawi demonstrated that he is ready for bigger things at 4.
Earlier this year, his two starts in the Middle East were very good, and last out he proved he belongs in top company. This will be a new test, traveling to America, but the consistent colt looks prepared for the challenge.
As good as trainer Charlie Appleby has done in bringing over Godolphin horses for big turf races in the U.S. in recent years, this one is impossible to ignore. He is the top pick.
The first of two 9-year-olds in the field, this Mike Maker-trainee shows no sign of slowing down. Well-traveled, he generally brings his strong late run wherever he goes.
A winner of 11-of-30 overall on the grass, he won two stakes last year, and already scored a graded stakes victory in one of two starts this year.
The gelded son of Pure Prize also has a solid record on the Belmont turf, with four wins from ten starts. The most likely of all to be finishing with a flourish, he is a must include in the exotics.
Improving all the time for trainer Brendan Walsh, this 4-year-old youngster was a game and determined winner last time in the Grade 2 Elkhorn at Keeneland.
It was a breakthrough victory over an accomplished field for the son of War Front in his graded stakes debut. A threat to make it two in a row, he now comes to New York in search of a Grade 1 score.
As solid as he has been of late, this race is probably even tougher than the last. I will use him underneath in the exotics, but I do like a couple better on Saturday.
This English-bred son of the great Frankel has settled into a nice career since coming over from Europe two seasons ago. He has yet to break through in a graded stakes race over here, but other than his last race, has been quite consistent against good company.
That last start, in which he finished ninth in the Grade 2 Red Smith, came at the end of an otherwise solid season in 2022.
Away from six months, it will be up to top turf trainer Christophe Clement to have him ready for his seasonal debut. I don’t like him best, but he is clearly a threat to hit the board and fill out the exotics.
This old veteran has yet to prove that he still has it in two starts this year, but coming off a solid effort in the Elkhorn last time, I am not ready to count him out as he returns to his favorite turf course.
A four-time winner at Belmont, he often does his best running on or near the lead in a race without much early pace. That is exactly what he should find here in the Man O’ War.
The last one at Keeneland is good enough to believe that he can reproduce what he has done for years. After the English invader, I believe he is the second most likely winner on Saturday.
The lightly raced runner of the group, this son of Honor Code was actually sent off as the favorite in the Elkhorn but faded late to finish sixth in his stakes debut.
He was coming off two sharp wins at Gulfstream Park before that against lesser competition. Trained by Jorge Abreu, he will have blinkers off on Saturday, as he once again tries to prove that he belongs in a graded stakes competition.
With only four career starts, this will be a good test to see if he has what it takes to become a top American turf horse. He is a threat, but I will side with more proven commodities here.
After a nice victory in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmada Stakes a few months ago in Florida, this 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid disappointed last time when beaten by many of these horses while finishing dead last in the Elkhorn.
The second of two trained by Mike Maker, a bounce back is possible on Saturday if he can find his best. Pretty consistent overall, he has finished in the money in 15-of-19 career starts.
Still, he has fallen short when placed against top company throughout his career, and I find myself siding with others in this spot.
Likely to be the longest shot on the board, this 6-year-old son of English Channel has not won a race on the grass for more than two years.
Switching back and forth between turf and dirt, his only wins of late have come on the main track and against allowance company. He does have a bit of tactical speed, so if the early pace is slow, he could be involved early.
Falling short of the rest of the field on credentials, I have a hard time liking his chances in this Grade 1 affair.
Man O' War Stakes Race Information
What: Man O' War Stakes (Grade 1)
Location: Belmont Park
Time: Saturday, May 13 -- 3:07 pm Eastern time
How to Watch: Fox Sports
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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