Foreign invaders have won two of the last three runnings of the $500,000 Man o' War (gr. IT) and seem to hold a strong hand in the 2001 edition to be contested Saturday at Belmont Park.
The German-bred Silvano is arguably the most accomplished horse in the Man o' War lineup. The winner of the Arlington Million (gr. IT) over a yielding turf course will enter the race on 20 days rest.
Bred and owned by Stiftung Gestut Fahrof, Silvano has won more than $2 million in his career, battling Group I and II horses in his homeland and in Hong Kong. He is the class of the race, but is unproven on a hard course.
Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale will make his first appearance in New York this year to saddle Fusaichi Zenon. Owned by Fusao Sekiguchi, Fusaichi Zenon has won three-of-seven starts and more than $738,000. Fusaichi Zenon enters the Man o' War with one stateside start under his belt, a head defeat in a $100,000 optional claimer at Del Mar on July 26. He won the group II Yayoi Sho at Nakayama in March and finished fifth in the group III Shinzan Kinen, in his only other group start.
Godolphin Racing has won two of the last three runnings of the Man 'o War with Daylami in 1998 and Fantastic Light in 2000. Their runner for 2001 is Mutafaweq. The son of Silver Hawk has raced just three times since winning the Group I Coronation Cup in June while finishing eighth in the Group II Dubai Sheema Classic and third in the Group II Hardwicke Stakes.
The field for the $500,000 Man o' War includes: Ela Althena (Mike Smith, 123); Mutafaweq (Jerry Bailey, 126); Silvano (Andreas Suborics, 126); Fusaichi Zenon (Gary Stevens, 126); Zafonic's Song (Chris McCarron, 126); With Anticipation (Pat Day, 126); Just Listen (Richard Migliore, 126); and Glyndebourne (Edgar Prado, 126).