OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes will be contested at Belmont Park in Elmont New York on Saturday, June 11 as part of the Belmont Stakes undercard. Horses four years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $1 million purse when they race 1 1/2 miles on Belmont Park's turf track.
11 accomplished older entries have been confirmed for the Manhattan Stakes - race 10 on Belmont Park's Belmont Stakes Saturday card. Post time is 5:37 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all 11 combatants for this Breeders' Cup-quality Grade 1 stakes.
2016 Manhattan Stakes Race Preview at Belmont Park
Flintshire 8-5 - impressive British bred entry won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in 2013 and has been impressive since - a second last time out in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase in December (a race he won in 2014) followed a second in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France, a win in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga in August and a second in his only other North American start - behind the terrific Main Sequence in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Turf. Flintshire has been as competitive as they come at a huge variety of tracks around the world and will be out to keep an impressive string of results going from gate 10. Javier Castellano rides the morning line favorite.
Ironicus 4-1 - has placed in 11 of 12 career starts for trainer Shug McGaughey - six wins, four seconds and a third place finish. He enters having won four of his last five starts - the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes last time out May 7 after eight months away, the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Stakes at Saratoga in September, an Allowance Optional Claiming here in July and the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes in May, 2016. His only blemish over that span was a second in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in July. He has placed first or second in his last eight starts overall and looks good ahead of this week. Jockey Jose Ortiz will try to keep him in top form from gate 6 Saturday.
Big Blue Kitten 6-1 - four-time Grade 1 winner and last year's champion turf male enters this week off a fifth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 7 after an OK third in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Before that he finished no worse than second in seven starts with three wins over that span including a win in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 26, a second in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions, a win in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes in July and a second in behind Slumber the 2015 Manhattan Stakes last June. Big Blue Kitten now has 31 career starts with 14 wins, eight seconds and five third place finishes hopes to regain his incredible 2015 form. Joe Bravo has been tabbed to ride the morning line third choice from post 5.
Divisidero 8-1 - William Bradley trained colt has four wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight career starts. Last time out was a good win ahead of Slumber and Big Blue Kitten in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 7 which followed a second in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream in April and a third in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes in February. Before that was a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational last July and consecutive stakes wins - the minor $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes here May 30, 2015 and the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes four weeks earlier at Churchill Downs. Divisidero has been competitive every time out and should be again Saturday. He shoots for his second straight graded stakes score from the outside post 11 with Edgar Prado aboard.
Wake Forest 10-1 - German bred Chad Brown Group 3 winner at home has seven wins, a second and a third place finish in 13 career starts. He made his North American debut back in August and finished sixth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions and was forced to the sidelines for eight months. He returned April 2 and posted a respectable second, a head behind Kaigun in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream and followed that with a terrific win last time out in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes here May 14. Before shipping he posted a career best effort - a win in a Group 1 race in Hamburg. Wake Forest was impressive at home and has been trending upward ahead of this race. He has placed in four of his last five starts overall and off a win on this track should be a confident entry. He leaves from post 3 with John Velazquez in the reins.
Slumber 10-1 - defending champion by 2 3/4 lengths - Chad Brown pupil had two wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight starts in Great Britain before debuting in North America in November, 2011 with a fourth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He started 2015 with consecutive seconds - the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap in February and the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Handicap in March and followed that with a fifth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 2. He has been just OK since - a third last time out in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 7 at Churchill Downs followed a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf and a respectable second in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. He also had a second in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes last July. He has placed in four of his last six starts and should be competitive again Saturday with Irad Ortiz in the irons from gate 2.
World Approval 12-1 - Mark Casse trained gelding has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 13 career starts. He put his name on the radar with a win in July, 2015 in the Grade 3 American Derby and has been decent since. Last time out was a second behind Divisidero in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 7 which followed another second in the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds in March and an Allowance Optional Claiming score three weeks before that. He also won the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes last year and finished fourth in a pair of graded stakes races. World Approval has been competitive virtually every time out and will chase his first graded stakes victory in nine months from the rail. Julien Leparoux rides.
Take the Stand 15-1 - Bill Mott Argentinean bred trainee has six wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts and enters off a career best effort - a win in the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds March 26. Before that was a respectable second in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes February 13 and an eighth in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap in November. He also won a Group 3 stakes at home before shipping in February, 2015. Take the Stand has shown form in the past and is trending upward once again ahead of this weekend. Joel Rosario will try to maintain that trend from gate 4 Saturday.
Grand Tito 20-1 - won the 2014 Grade 1 Miami Mile in April and has been up and down since. He won the minor Miesque's Approval Stakes at Gulfstream July 5 and an Allowance last August and has numerous runner-up finishes the last while as well - the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap September 7, the 2015 Miami Mile last April, the Grade 3 Canadian Turf February 21, 2015 and in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes in January of last year included. He also has four thirds the last two years - one coming last time out in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream last time out April 2. Before that result was a terrific two race win streak - the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes over Kaigun by 1 1/4 lengths March 5 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score February 13. Grand Tito has placed in eight of his last 10 starts overall and enters in career best form. He hopes for his third win in four starts Saturday when he departs from post 9 with Luis Saez guiding him.
Oathkeeper 30-1 - makes his North American debut Saturday after six starts in Europe produced two wins and a second place finish. He won an Allowance in January but has failed to place in his last two starts overall - a fifteenth place finish last time out followed a fifth in March. Oathkeeper hasn't been great in his last two starts but hopes a change of continent will snap his funk. Florent Geroux gets the call from post 7.
Triple Threat 30-1 - Bill Mott French bred entry made his North American debut June 7 and won the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes after 13 starts at home yielded three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He won the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam-Grand Prix de Maisons-Laffitte in July, 2013 and did finish third in a Group 2 in April of last year at Longchamp. He posted a DNF last time out in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 7 after an Allowance score at Keeneland April 10 and consecutive sixths - the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap February 6 and in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine October 18. Triple Threat has been a tad tough to figure out and has failed to place in three of his last four starts. Jose Lezcano hopes to change all of that from gate 8 Saturday.
2016 Manhattan Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 10 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:37 PM.
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
||Wake Forest (GER)
||Take the Stand (ARG)
||Big Blue Kitten
||Claude McGaughey III
||Triple Threat (FR)