Homeracing

Betting the Manhattan Stakes on a small budget

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

June 3rd, 2021

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.

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Colonel Liam, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, and Domestic Spending, with Flavien Prat up, dead heat to win the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic at Churchill Downs (Photography by Jamie Newell/TwinSpires)

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.

Manhattan Wagers

  • $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)
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