If Americans are going to have any chance against the mighty Europeans in this year's Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), they're going to have to show what they're made of–and they can start this weekend in the $600,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Big-name turf stars in
O'Brien used last year's Man o' War Stakes as a launching pad for a three-race coup by Cape Blanco , who made an unprecedented three transatlantic flights in less than four months, scoring victories in the Man o' War, Arlington Million (gr. IT), and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. IT).
But the son of Galileo is a classic winner and was second in the Investec English Derby (Eng-I), and if he is in any kind of form, he is going provide a major test for the Americans. He will be ridden by Jamie Spencer, who has been aboard in both his starts this year.
Of the seven American-trained horses entered, the most formidable foe looks to be the Shug McGaughey-trained Point of Entry, who has won three of his last four starts and last two, including a victory in the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland Apr. 27. Jose Lezcano will ride for the first time.
The son of Dynaformer, owned by the Phipps Stable, will renew his rivalry with the
If there is a danger on the front end it could be the Todd Pletcher-trained Hudson Steele, who attempted to wire his field in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT). The son of
The other horses with stakes accomplishments are Newsdad, from the Bill Mott Stable, who captured the Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) back in March and was beaten a nose in the Macdiarmida Stakes (gr. IIT); and Center Divider, who placed in last year's grade II Bowling Green Handicap and Sycamore Stakes. He also was in the
$600,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. I, Race 8, 4:34 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1.Tahoe Lake (BRZ), E. Castro, 116, K G McPeek
2.Center Divider (KY), R. Napravnik, 116, C C Brown
3. Point of Entry (KY), J. Lezcano, 118, C R McGaughey III
4. Newsdad (KY), J. Alvarado, 118, W L Mott
5. Treasure Beach (GB), J.P. Spencer, 120, A P O'Brien
6. Game Ball (KY), D. Cohen, 116, N Chatterpaul
7. Hudson Steele (KY), J. Bravo, 118, T A Pletcher
8. Philly Ace (PA), I Ortiz Jr., 116, C Clement