The trio of Boisterous , Desert Blanc, and Top Surprize--the respective top three finishers in the May 5 Fort Marcy (gr. IIIT)--figure to make things interesting again in the June 9 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) undercard. Only two lengths separated them in the 1 1/16-mile stakes at Belmont Park May 5.
The 1 1/4-mile Manhattan is the 10th race on the card and is scheduled to go off at 5:37 p.m. EDT, right before the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Phipps Stable’s Boisterous captured the Fort Marcy by a length for his fourth career stakes win, all in New York. The son of Distorted Humor last year won the Red Smith (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Knickerbocker (gr. IIIT) and Three Coins Up stakes at Belmont. Boisterous gets the return services of jockey Alan Garcia.
Desert Blanc’s runner-up effort in the Fort Marcy came in his first start of the year and his first in North America. Owned by Swift Thoroughbreds in partnership, the son of Desert Style was a stakes winner and group stakes-placed in France last year. He gets a new rider in Ramon Dominguez.
Top Surprize, by Pure Prize, has made his last five starts over Belmont’s turf and has finished in the top four in all of them going back to last September. He won the Summing, ran third in the Shady Character, and finished fourth in the Jamaica (gr. IT). J.L. Espinoza will ride for the third straight time.
Roger J. Weiss’ Hudson Steele also will go into the Manhattan off a graded stakes win. The son of Johannesburg won the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico Racecourse May 19 after winning the Henry Clark Stakes on turf at Old Hilltop several weeks earlier. Both wins were by more than two lengths. Hudson Steele, who has won six of 10 starts, will get the return services of Javier Castellano.
Brilliant Speed, the leading money-earner in the field and winner of last year’s Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), finished a strong third in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) and a close second in the Jamaica (gr. IT) in his last two starts in 2011. The millionaire son of Dynaformer finished third in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs in May in his last start.
Connie M. Apostelos’s Papaw Bodie closed to finish fourth in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. In his two other starts this year, the son of Strong Hope won the John B. Connally Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) and was second in the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial (gr. IIT). Rosie Napravnik, who rode him in the Connally and the Muniz, will have the mount.
Al Khali , owned by Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable, has won two graded turf stakes in New York but one came in 2009 and the other in 2010. Badly beaten in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill in his last start, the son of Medaglia D'Oro won an allowance race on grass at Keeneland in his second outing this year.
Chilean-bred group I winner Omayad rounds out the field.
$500,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT, Race 10, 5:37 p.m.) 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)Post Horse Jockey Weight Trainer
1. Omayad J Roserio 117 N D Drysdale
2. Boisterous A Garcia 119 C R McGaughey III
3. Al Khali M E Smith 117 W I Mott
4. Desert Blanc R A Dominguez 114 C C Brown
5. Papaw Bodie R Napravnik 116 M J Maker
6. Brilliant Speed J R Velazquez 119 T Albertrani
7. Hudson Steele J Castellano 117 T A Pletcher
8. Top Surprize J L Espinoza 114 N Chatterpaul