Betting the Manhattan Stakes on a small budget
A fantastic field of 10, led by four from the barn of Chad Brown, will go postward in Saturday’s $750,000 Manhattan S. (G1) at Belmont Park. The 1 1/4-mile turf endeavor on the inner lawn has attracted some of the top turf performers in the U. S. in what promises to be an especially thrilling event.
I was a bit disappointed that #10 Colonel Liam (5-2) didn’t draw off in the recent Turf Classic S. (G1) at Churchill Downs when taking the lead in the stretch before finishing in a dead-heat for the top prize. But with that said, I still believe that the Pletcher trainee is a model of class and excellence, and I will ride him until he gives me reason not to.
The $1.2 million purchase has been defeated just once on the turf in his career, and his conditioner stated how well that the four-year-old has been doing in preparation for Saturday. Bred in the Bluegrass State, the gray has the gate presence to secure a good early trip, and the 10-furlong distance will be perfect for his style beneath Irad. He’s the key on top.
#9 Gufo (5-1) just missed in the Man o’ War S. (G1) in his four-year-old debut and rates an obvious chance for Clement. The chestnut son of Declaration of War has never missed the board from nine lifetime tries, which includes a score in the 2020 Belmont Derby (G1) on the course.
Brown’s #4 Domestic Spending (3-1) displayed a fine turn of foot behind a slow pace in the Turf Classic S. (G1) last time out and is another with a fine resume in advance of the Manhattan S. The once-beaten gelded son of Kingman has a potent late kick, though I have slight reservations about him being as explosive at 10 furlongs.
Conditioner Graham Motion has won this race with longshots twice in the past four years, so I will not sleep on #2 Bye Bye Melvin (30-1) at a huge number. The Uncle Mo colt faces a tall task on Saturday in his toughest race to date, but he has performed well in both starts this campaign, and I can see the four-year-old thriving in his first voyage at 10 panels.
- $3 exacta 10 with 4,9 ($6)
- $1 trifecta 10 with 4,9 with 2,4,9 ($4)
- $.10-cent superfecta 10 with 2,4,9 with 2,4,9 with all ($4.20)