A field of nine will line up in Saturday’s $400,000 Man o’ War (G1) at Belmont Park including Go Around, a Bill Mott trainee who may hold the tactical edge as the main speed.
The four-year-old colt comes into the race off back to back wins, taking the Florida bred Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs in his last outing. Junior Alvarado will ride the son of Medaglia d’Oro for the first time and catches a field void of much early pace. He is 10-1 on the morning line.
Trainer Chad Brown will saddle three of the nine including 2-1 morning line favorite Wake Forest, who was beaten a head by Kaigun in the Pan American (G2) last out in his first start off a 7 ½ month layoff. Brown also sends out Morandi (8-1) and Money Multiplier (15-1).
The Man o’ War is one of four graded stakes on an outstanding 11-race card on Saturday.
The $250,000 Ruffian (G2) kicks of an all graded stakes Pick 4, a field of six fillies and mares going one mile on the main track led by Top Flight Handicap (G3) winner Carrumba, who is the 7-5 morning line favorite.
Her main foe appears to be Cavorting (8-5), who stretches out from seven furlongs where she was second in the Distaff Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct off a four-month layoff.
The $150,000 Beaugay (G3) drew a field of eight fillies and mares that will go 1 1/16 miles on turf. It is tough to separate Recepta (5-2), Ball Dancing (2-1) and My Miss Sophia (3-1).
Three-year-olds with eyes on the Belmont Stakes (G2) go in the $200,000 Peter Pan (G2) at nine furlongs. The Jimmy Jerkens trained Unified makes his much anticipated stakes debut after two impressive starts. He earned a 99 Beyer in his debut at Gulfstream Park in February and then a 102 winning the Bay Shore (G3) in the mud at seven furlongs.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 10 The Man o’ War (G1) Post time 6:17 ET
5 Go Around 10-1
9 Wake Forest 2-1
7 Kaigun 5-2
1 Morandi 8-1
Go Around was a game winner of the Florida bred Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs last out for his first stakes win. The colt tracked the early pace, took over heading for home and held on gamely to prevail. Two back he took the field gate to wire to beat Alw-2 optional claimers off a five-month layoff.
The Bill Mott trainee appears to be sitting on a good one here third off the bench and there is not much pace in here and jockey Junior Alvarado may be able to shake loose in the early going. The colt broke his maiden at 1 ¼ miles and it looks as if he has enough pedigree to handle 1 3/8 miles here. He is by Medaglia d’Oro out of the stakes winner Mediation ($194,823) who has dropped seven other turf winners including multiple turf stakes winner Go Between ($2.9 million).
Wake Forest is one of three in the field here sent out by the Chad Brown barn and likely to go off as the betting favorite. The six-year-old made a good late rally and came up just a neck short to Kaigun in the Pan American (G2) at Gulfstream Park over good ground in his first start off a 7 ½ month layoff.
This guy won a couple of Group 3 races overseas. The barn is 17% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff and he should move forward in this spot and is proven over ground with some give to it which might be the case here with a chance of rain on Friday and today.
Kaigun beat Wake Forest in the Pan American and then came back three weeks late to finish a game second in the Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland going 1 ½ miles. Now he is back three weeks later cutting back a furlong. He has earned trip digit Beyers in five of his last eight starts but has won just one of his last 11 outings. His best puts him in the mix here but the 5-2 morning line seems tad on the light side.
WIN: Go Around to win at 5-1 or better.
EXACTA: 5,9 / 1,5,7,9
TRIFECTA: 5,9 / 1,5,7,9 / 1,5,6,7,9
Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Preakness Day card from historic Pimlico. Michael is a Maryland bred and raced horses at Pimlico and knows the circuit from the backstretch to the finish line.
The second jewel of the Triple Crown will be run on Saturday May 21 at Pimlico. The big day of racing has seven supporting stakes including the Sir Barton Stakes, Miss Preakness Stakes (G3), Dixie Stakes (G2), Gallorette Handicap (G3), James W. Murphy Stakes, The Very One Stakes and the Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3).