Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes comes our way this Mother's Day Sunday, May 11 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Horses four years old and upward will take to Belmont Park's turf track and go 1 3/8 miles looking for the winner's share of the $400,000 purse.
A field of seven have been confirmed for the Man o' War Stakes - race 9 on Belmont Park's Sunday schedule. Post time is 5:28 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for the rather lucrative Grade 1 stakes.
Real Solution - Chad Brown trained Italian import had five starts in at home with three wins to start his career, a sixth and a second in his last race overseas. He made his North American debut with an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes last May 4 after being out of action since September and followed that with a respectable third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap June 8 at Belmont Park. He went on to an OK third behind Little Mike and Big Blue Kitten in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch September 28 after his best career result - a win in the Grade 1 Arlington Million Stakes August 17. Real Solution raced to a ninth in the Breeders' Cup Turf and had a fourth in his only 2014 start - in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap March 29. He has failed to place in his last two starts after looking good last summer - hopes are that he can regain his Arlington Millions form. Real Solution is the 124 pound highweight and will have Javier Castellano aboard from post 6.
Lucayan - French bred colt and Group 1 winner in her native land made his North American debut with a very nice second in the Grade 2 American Handicap last May 25 right behind Obviously after eight starts in France produced three wins and two second place finishes. Last time out was a good second in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita March 22 after an OK third behind Vagabond Shoes in the Grade 2 San Marcos February 8. In December he produced his first North American score - over Temeraine in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Hollywood Park after a disappointing ninth in the Grade 1 Pattison International in October, a third in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship September 29, a nice second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap August 25 and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming August 1. He now has four wins, five seconds and three third place finishes in 17 career starts and he has placed in six of his last seven starts. Jose Lezcano rides from the outside post.
Grandeur - Irish bred gelding made his North American debut with an impressive win in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita November 2, 2012 and followed that up with another very good result - a second as favorite in the 2013 Grade 1 Hollywood Derby behind Unbridled Command November 25. He went on to win the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes in December before shipping back to Ireland where he had a fourth and a second in the group II Sky Bet York Stakes behind the talented Mukhadram in July. This after nearly eight months away. Grandeur was last seen in North America finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions before shipping back to Europe and winning three of four starts there. Julien Leparoux gets the call from the rail.
Imagining - won two straight races in the summer of 2012 - both at Belmont Park including an Allowance Optional Claiming and an Allowance after a very good second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November 2011. He was out of racing for nine months before returning to an Allowance score at Keeneland April 13, 2013. He has looked good lately - a second last time out behind Lochte in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap followed a two race win streak - the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at this distance at Aqueduct November 16 and the overnight Bowl Game Stakes at Belmont Park in October. Before that was an uncharacteristic sixth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in September and another win in the minor Idle Rich Stakes at Saratoga in August. Imagining has won three of his last five with a second place finish last time out and looks to be in fine form for trainer Shug McGaughey ahead of this weekend. He leaves from post 2 with Joel Rosario in the saddle.
Frac Daddy - raced to a sixteenth in last year's Kentucky Derby and was fourteenth in the Belmont Stakes for trainer Kenneth McPeek but has looked much better in six starts since - three wins and two seconds. He enters this weekend off a terrific 4 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 19 after a pair of good seconds - behind Red Rifle in the minor Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston March 1 and in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs November 16. Before that was an Allowance score in October. Frac Daddy has two wins and two seconds in his last four starts overall but raced to a fourteenth the last time he appeared at Belmont Park. He has four wins and five second place finishes in 14 career starts and enters in the best form of his career but has done most of his recent good work on turf or synthetic. Alan Garcia rides from post 4.
Amira's Prince - Irish bred colt has looked very good since shipping - two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores on North American soil were followed by a win in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream last February 16 and at the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap at Fair Grounds March 30, 2013. He was out of action for nearly one full year before returning to a decent third behind Lochte and Imagining in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap February 9 and was second by a neck to Skyring last time out in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap at Fair Grounds March 29. That makes six starts in North America and four impressive wins, a second and a third place finish for the Bill Mott trainee. He lines up in post 5 with John Velazquez guiding him.
Vertiformer - won an Allowance Optional Claiming June 6 and raced seven straight graded stakes races after that - posting a fourth in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, an eleventh in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, a fifth in the Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes at Woodbine in October, a decent third in the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap November 24 at Calder, a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale at Gulfstream January 12 an OK third behind Admiral Kitten in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 25 and a good second last time out to Newsdad in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream March 29. Joe Bravo will be in the irons from the 3 hole.
Race 9 on Belmont Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 5:43 PM.
||C. McGaughey III
||Amira's Prince (IRE)