Man o' War Stakes 2022: Odds, preview, pace projection, more

Man o' War Stakes 2022: Odds, preview, pace projection, more
Photo: Shamela Hanley/Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire

The racing weekend that falls between the 2022 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes features a reigning Eclipse Award winner making his return to the U.S.

Yibir (1-1) is morning-line favorite for the Grade 1, $700,000 Man o' War Stakes. Post time from Belmont Park is 4:46 p.m. EDT, with FS2 showing the 1 3/8-mile event for turf routers aged 4 and up.

The Man o' War is one of five graded stakes on Saturday’s Belmont card. Among the other four is the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (G3), a local prep for the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

Yibir’s start will be his third on U.S. soil. The Dubawi gelding beat fellow 3-year-olds last September at Belmont in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational Stakes, then went to Del Mar in November and won the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Off the strength of the latter victory, Yibir was awarded the 2021 Eclipse Award for champion turf male.

Yibir has finished second in both his starts as a 4-year-old, including the Jockey Club Stakes (G2) last out at Newmarket on April 29. Charlie Appleby trains the Godolphin homebred, who will have jockey five-time Breeders’ Cup-winning jockey William Buick up.

Gufo (7-5) finished as a runner-up in this event last year for trainer Christophe Clement before earning Grade 1 glory three starts later at Saratoga in August’s Sword Dancer Stakes. He made his first start of 2022 on April 2, winning the Pan American Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

Abaan (9-2) was second in the Pan American for trainer Todd Pletcher, two races after winning the W.L. McKnight Stakes (G3) in January at Gulfstream. Trainer Graham Motion enters the duo of Easter (10-1) and Highland Chief (20-1), both of whom seek their first North American wins.

Related: Breeders' Cup Turf winner Yibir leads Man o' War field

Here is a look at the field for the 2022 Man o’ War Stakes (trainer and jockey in parentheses) with morning-line odds:

1. Easter (Graham Motion, Flavien Prat), 10-1

2. Gufo (Christophe Clement, Joel Rosario), 7-5

3. Yibir (Charlie Appleby, William Buick), 1-1

4. Abaan (Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez), 9-2

5. Highland Chief (Graham Motion, Trevor McCarthy), 20-1

6. So High (Naipaul Chatterpaul, Luis Rodriguez Castro), 30-1

TimeformUS’ pace projections show long shot So High going out to the lead under jockey Luis Rodriguez Castro. Favorite Yibir is expected to settle at the rear of the field through the early going.

Other Saturday stakes

Here is a look at other graded stakes taking place Saturday across the U.S. All post times are EDT.

2:05 p.m. – $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (G3), 4-and-up fillies and mares, 6 1/2 furlongs, Belmont Park, FS2

Bella Sofia (4-5) makes her first start since ending her 3-year-old season Nov. 6 by finishing fourth at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Rudy Rodriguez trains the Grade 1-winning Awesome Patriot filly, who will have jockey Luis Saez up. Bill Mott trains Frank’s Rockette (3-1), a Grade 2 victor who finished as runner-up April 2 at Oaklawn Park in the Carousel Stakes. Miss Brazil (3-1), a stakes winner for trainer Anthony Dutrow, won an allowance race April 22 at Aqueduct.

3:06 p.m. – $150,000 Runhappy Stakes (G3), 4-and-up, six furlongs, Belmont Park, FS2

Chateau (5-2), runner-up in the 2021 Runhappy, aims to do one better Saturday for trainer Rob Atras. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche will pilot the 7-year-old Flat Out gelding, a Grade 3 winner. David Duggan trains Drafted (3-1), winner of Aqueduct’s Toboggan Handicap (G3) two starts back in February before finishing fifth there April 9 in the Carter Handicap (G1). Repo Rocks (3-1) aims to make the grade off an April 28 allowance win at Belmont for trainer Gregory DiPrima.

5:19 p.m. – $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (G3), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles, Belmont Park

We the People (3-1) takes another try at graded flight after finishing seventh April 2 at Oaklawn in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Jockey Flavien Prat rides the 3-year-old Constitution colt, an allowance victor, for trainer Rodolphe Brisset. Chad Brown trains Electability (7-2), who makes his graded bow Saturday off an Aqueduct allowance win April 8. Set Sail (7-2) ships east for trainer Richard Mandella off a Santa Anita maiden score March 27.

Related: Peter Pan pick: 1 runner shows a class advantage | Barn Tour: Brisset on Yuugiri, We the People, other stable talent | Peter Pan Stakes 2022: Odds and full-field analysis

5:50 p.m. – $150,000 Beaugay Stakes (G3), 4-and-up fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles (turf), Belmont Park

Rougir (1-1) won the Prix de l'Opera Longines (G1) last October at Longchamp before finishing seventh Nov. 6 at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The 4-year-old Territories filly has moved from the barn of trainer Cedric Rossi to that of Brown and will have Prat aboard. Brown also trains Lemista (5-2), a Group 2 winner who makes her first start since finishing third Aug. 14 at Arlington in the Beverly D. Stakes (G1). Plum Ali (6-1), a Grade 2 heroine, won the Plenty of Grace Stakes on April 16 at Aqueduct for trainer Christophe Clement.

Related: Brown unveils Group 1 winner, $3.3 million buy in Beaugay | Top rider Prat begins a full-time presence at Belmont Park

6:16 p.m. – $125,000 Santa Barbara Stakes (G3), 3-and-up fillies and mares, 1 1/2 miles (turf), Santa Anita, TVG

Queen Goddess (6-5) won Santa Anita’s American Oaks (G1) three starts back in December and the Santa Ana Stakes (G3) there last out March 26. Trainer Michael McCarthy will give a leg up to jockey Victor Espinoza on the 4-year-old Empire Maker filly. Leonard Powell trains defending Santa Barbara victor Neige Blanche (9-5), who was third in the Santa Ana. Carpe Vinum (7-2) has not won since July 2020 and exits a second-place finish in a local allowance race for trainer Phil D’Amato.

Related: Barn Tour: D'Amato on Desert Dawn, other Derby week horses

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