The Grade I, $700,000 Man o’ War Stakes will be renewed this Saturday at Belmont Park. A field of 10 will test their mettle going 1 3/8-miles on the inner turf course. Post time for the Man o’ War, the finale on an 11-race card, is 6:50 p.m. EST. Plenty of points are on the line at Belmont this Saturday, so study their card carefully if you’re playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#7 HI HAPPY (5-2, morning-line favorite) is the one to beat off his runaway win in Gulfstream’s Pan American Stakes last time out. Luis Saez rated him perfectly that day and his mount took over willingly from #9 ONE GO ALL GO late. HI HAPPY sheds a furlong in the Man o’ War but that shouldn’t be a problem for him. His lone obstacle could be a potentially soggy turf course; he’s never raced over anything less than firm ground in the U.S. but he did win (via DQ) a Group I event in his native Argentina over a ‘heavy’ course back in 2015. HI HAPPY should still be in peak form based on his latest bullet work for Todd Pletcher, who retains Saez.
#8 BIGGER PICTURE (12-1) has shown prowess at the sometimes-tricky 11-furlong distance, winning three times in six starts, including last year’s Grade I United Nations at Monmouth. He’s also demonstrated an affinity for Belmont, posting a 4-2-0 record there in seven tries. His seventh-place effort in the Pan American behind HI HAPPY is discouraging, but perhaps he can rebound. The price will be right and a soft turf course shouldn’t hinder him. Kendrick Carmouche has the assignment for Mike Maker.
#6 CALL PROVISION (9-2) is a reliable stretch runner that loves this distance (5-3-2-0) and keeps Jose Ortiz. However, he would have to move forward slightly in the speed figure department if he wants to win his first career stake. CALL PROVISION seems the most promising entrant for Chad Brown, who also trains #5 WAKE FOREST and #10 MONEY MULTIPLIER.
#2 SADLER’S JOY (3-1), a classy $1.3 million earner, will be running on late but has struggled over this course in the past (6-1-0-2) and was a distant third in this race last year when it was contested over a yielding surface. Julien Leparoux has the call on this principle contender that looks best-used underneath.
The play: $3 exacta 7/2,6,8, $3 win 8 ($12)
DFJ analysis: A wet weekend should do nothing to extinguish Jose Ortiz’s current hot streak. He’ll have the call on eight different horses on Saturday, six of which are 9-2 or less on the morning-line. Chief among those assignments are Sounds Delicious (Vagrancy Handicap), My Impression (Beaugay Stakes), and CALL PROVISION (Man o’ War Stakes).
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