Forbidden Apple Ready to Take Another Bite of Manhattan Handicap

Forbidden Apple will make his 7-year-old debut Saturday at Belmont Park when he attempts to win the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) for the second straight year. Arthur I. Appleton's son of Pleasant Colony will face a tough field in the 1 1/4-mile turf race, including Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT) winner Beat Hollow and Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) winner Strut the Stage.

Forbidden Apple will start from post seven under Jose Santos as the Christophe Clement trainee makes his first start since finishing fourth in last December's Hong Kong Mile (HK-I), won by Eishin Preston. The Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) runner-up also won the Kelso Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont last year, his second consecutive win in that race.

Forbidden Apple, though, will be facing a slew of horses with recent races under their belts, including two of the top three finishers in the Dixie Stakes run as part of Pimlico's Preakness program. Strut the Stage drew post two; Dixie third-place finisher Slew the Red will start from post eight.

With Anticipation, who will be saddled with high weight of 120 pounds, drew the inside post. The two-time grade I winner enters off a second-place finish to Beat Hollow in Churchill Downs' Turf Classic Stakes on Kentucky Derby day. His last victory came last September in the Man O' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.

The field, in post-position order with jockeys and weights, will consist of:

1 -- With Anticipation, Pat Day, 120
2 -- Strut the Stage, Edgar Prado, 117
3 -- Beat Hollow, Alex Solis, 118
4 -- Hap, Jerry Bailey, 119
5 -- Blazing Fury, John Velazquez, 115
6 -- Krombacher, Kent Desormeaux, 114
7 -- Forbidden Apple, Jose Santos, 118
8 -- Slew the Red, Victor Espinoza, 115