LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 10, 2019) – Each week, the NTRA will provide a guide to the best stakes races in North America and beyond. Races are listed in chronological order (all times Eastern). Full previews when available can be found through the link for each race.
Belmont Park holds the lion’s share of attention this week with five stakes races – four graded – comprising the Man o’ War Racing Festival, highlighted by the Grade 1, $700,000 Man o’ War Stakes. America’s Day at the Races will provide live coverage of the Man o’ War Racing Festival from 4 – 5 p.m. ET on FS2, with coverage extended to 7:30 p.m. on MSG+.
Saturday May 11
1:30 p.m.—$200,000 Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park on TVG
Following an eight-month layoff, Klaravich Stables’ two-time Grade 1 winner Separationofpowers will be making her 4-year-old debut in Saturday’s Vagrancy – a 6 ½ furlong test for fillies and mares on the main track. Trained by Chad Brown, Separationofpowers won the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga two starts back as the favorite defeating multiple graded stakes winner Mia Mischief by a neck. She last raced in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx, finishing a distant fourth on September 22.
3:08 p.m.—$300,000 Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on TVG
After two impressive wins to start his career, Robert and Lawanna Low’s Intrepid Heart will seek a graded stakes caliber victory when he headlines a field of five in Saturday’s Peter Pan Stakes. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 3-year-old son of Tapit enters the 1 1/8- mile test for sophomores off of a half-length first level allowance victory over the Keeneland main track on April 5 when sitting just off the pace.
4:45 p.m.—$200,000 Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes at Belmont Park on FS2 and TVG
A pair of grade-or-group stakes winners will give trainer Chad Brown a 1-2 punch of domestic and foreign contenders in Saturday’s six-horse Beaugay Stakes for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf. Brown will send out Klaravich Stables’ Competitionofideas off a four-month layoff following a 2 ¾-length win in the Grade 1 American Oaks on December 29 at Santa Anita Park and will also get his first chance to see Homerique race live. After going 2-1-2 in six starts in France, Peter Brant purchased the Exchange Rate filly, with Brown picking up the training duties.
5:35 p.m.—$100,000 Grade 3 Hanshin Cup Stakes at Arlington International Racecourse on TVG
Goneghost will be making his second start of 2019 in this year’s Hanshin. The lightly raced 6-year-old has hit the board in 6 of his 7 tries on an all-weather surface including a second place finish in last year’s Addison Cammack Stakes at Arlington Park after his runner up finish in this race last year. The son of Cherokee Rap was last seen in the Forego Stakes at Turfway Park where he finished sixth.
6:03 p.m.—$100,000 Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes at Santa Anita Park on TVG
Causeforcommotion ran second in this race last year and most recently finished third in an allowance optional claiming test at Santa Anita on April 14. The daughter of Americain has finished in the top three in 11 of 15 career starts and captured the Possibly Perfect Stakes going 10 furlongs last June.
6:24 p.m.—$700,000 Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park on MSG+ and TVG
Trainer Aidan O’Brien sends a pair of top contenders in the Man o’ War including Group 1-placed Hunting Horn (IRE) and Magic Wand (IRE), a Group 2-winning daughter of Galileo (IRE). The well-traveled pair arrived in New York on Tuesday and enter Saturday’s turf test from fourth and fifth-place finishes respectively in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan Racecourse. A rich field of contenders also includes millionaires Channel Maker and Arklow; Grade 1-placed Focus Group and California raider Epical.