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OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Man o' War Stakes is on tap for Belmont Park in Elmont New York this Saturday, May 13. Horses four year and upward will take to Belmont Park's turf track and race 1 3/8 miles for the winner's share of the $400,000 purse.
A competitive field of eight will give it a go in the Man o' War Stakes - race 8 on Belmont Park's packed Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:13 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight entries for this competitive G1 stakes.
Sadler's Joy - Thomas Albertrani trained colt failed to place in his first three career starts but has been good since. Last time out was a good win over Taghleeb in the G2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream April 1 which followed a respectable stakes debut - a runner-up finish behind Taghleeb and ahead of Patterson Cross, Charming Kitten and Twilight Eclipse in the G3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream January 20. Before that were three straight wins including consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming scores in New York with the last coming November 9 and a maiden score at Saratoga in August. Sadler's Joy has been a factor in every race the last nine months and hopes to be again from the rail Saturday. Julien Leparoux gets the call.
Wake Forest - defending champion in this race - German bred Chad Brown Group 3 winner at home has eight wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 19 career starts. He made his North American debut in August, 2015 and finished sixth in the G1 Arlington Millions and was forced to the sidelines for eight months. He returned April 2 and posted a respectable second in the G2 Pan American Stakes and followed that with a terrific win in the G1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park May 14. After that was an OK third in the G1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 3, a disappointing tenth in the G1 Arlington Millions August 13, an OK second in the G1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 17 and consecutive thirds - the G1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes October 16 and the G3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct in November. Last time out was a nice win in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 4. Wake Forest has been up-and-down but has placed in seven of his last eight starts ahead of this weekend including that win last time out. He leaves from post 3 Saturday with Javier Castellano guiding him.
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Tagleeb - Michael Maker trainee has six wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 26 career starts. He made his graded stakes debut in October and finished seventh in the G1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine and followed that with a fourth in the G3 River City Stakes at Churchill Downs November 24. He enters this week off a slightly disappointing fourth in the G2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream April 1 which followed a nice two race win streak- the G3 WL McKnight Handicap January 28 and the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes December 31 - both at Gulfstream. Taghleeb was in career-best form before last time out and will be after a strong bounce back from the outside gate 8 Saturday. Jose Ortiz has the mount.
Zhukova - highly regarded Irish bred Dermot Weld trained mare has six wins in her nine career starts. She makes her North American debut Saturday off a nice two length win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Noblesse Stakes at home April 15 which followed a seventh in another stakes at Ascot in October and four straight wins - the best of which were in the Group 3 KPMG Enterprise Kilternan in September against the boys and the Group 3 Irish National Stud EBF Blue Wind Stakes last May. Zhukova was competitive at home in beating some of the top turf runners there and hopes her success there translates this week - this time against the boys again. John Velazquez will be in the saddle from gate 4.
Highland Sky - has eight career starts for trainer Barclay Tagg with three wins and three second place finishes. He enters off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream February 25 after a respectable second in the G2 Belmont Derby Invitational in July, a decent second in the G3 Pennine Ridge Stakes here June 4 and a good win in the minor $100,000 Woodhaven Stakes at Aqueduct April 23. He also had a second in the minor Cutler Bay Stakes at Gulfstream last March 26 and an OK sixth in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Highland Sky chases his first graded stakes score Saturday having posted two wins and three second in his last five starts overall. Paco Lopez is scheduled to ride from post 5.
Twilight Eclipse - 2015 winner of this race is still the world record holder at 1 1/2 miles on turf when he won the 2013 G2 William McKnight Handicap in wire-to-wire fashion by seven lengths - he also won that race in 2012 and finished seventh in 2016! He's placed in 15 of 22 races ahead of this weekend but hasn't looked great most recently. Last time out was a tenth in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream Park March 4 after a fourth in the G3 WL McKnight Handicap on that track January 28 and a disappointing tenth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Before that were three straight thirds - the G1 Joe Hirsch Classic October 1, in the G1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga August 27 and in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes July 30. His last graded stakes score came in the 2015 Man o' War Stakes - he failed to fire in his last three starts overall. Edgar Prado tries to snap the skid from post 7.
Patterson Cross - Bill Mott trained colt has nine starts with two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He made his stakes debut January 28 and finished third behind Taghleeb in the G3 WL McKnight Handicap and followed that with another pair of respectable results - a second in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 4 and a third last time out in the G2 Pan American Stakes on that track April 1. Those result followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score December 15, consecutive fourths in Allowance races this past fall and an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park in September. Patterson Cross has been trending upward and will be after his first stakes score Saturday. Jose Lezcano will be in the reins from gate 6.
Charming Kitten - Michael Maker trainee raced to a ninth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and has been inconsistent since. Career highlights include a win in the 2015 G3 WL McKnight Handicap, a win in the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes in January, 2016, a win in the minor Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 6, 2014 and seconds in the 2013 G2 Virginia Derby and the G3 Hawthorne Derby in October, 2013. He hit the track for the first time in five months January 28 and finished fifth in the 2017 G3 WL McKnight Handicap here after some time in Europe which included a fifth in the Group 3 Irish St. Leger Trial in August and a third in the minor Her Majestys Stakes at Down Royal in July. Last time out was an OK second in the G2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 22 which followed a disappointing eighth in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 4. Charming Kitten failed to hit the board in three of his last four starts but looked OK last time out. He hopes to build on that effort from gate 2 Saturday with Irad Ortiz aboard .
Race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:13 PM.
|1||Sadler's Joy||3-1||Julien Leparoux||Thomas Albertrani|
|2||Charming Kitten||15-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Michael Maker|
|3||Wake Forest (GER)||5-2||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|4||Zhukova (IRE)||5-1||John Velazquez||Dermot Weld|
|5||Highland Sky||15-1||Paco Lopez||Barclay Tagg|
|6||Patterson Cross||4-1||Jose Lezcano||William Mott|
|7||Twilight Eclipse||10-1||Edgar Prado||H. Motion|
|8||Taghleeb||6-1||Jose Ortiz||Michael Maker|
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