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Jul 13, 2012

Man o'War draws eight grass runners


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Eight turf specialists will face each other Saturday in the 54th running of the $600,000 Man o'War Stakes at Belmont Park. The 1 3/8 mile grass stakes highlights the next to last day of Belmont Park's spring/summer meet.

Coming in from Europe is Treasure Beach, trained by Aidan O'Brien. The four- year-old colt has drawn post five with Jamie Spencer again riding.

Owned by Mrs. Fitri Hay, Treasure Island has won stakes races in both Europe and the U.S. He won last year's Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh. He finished 2011 with a third in the Canadian International at Woodbine as the 7-2 favorite.

The richest horse entered in the Man o'War, Treasure Island has earned $2,268,210 with five wins in 14 lifetime starts.

Working on a two race win streak is Phipps Stable's Point of Entry. Trained by Shug McGaughey, the four-year-old colt will be ridden by Jose Lezcano for the injured John Velazquez from the three hole. The Man o'War will be just the third stakes start for the colt.

"It took him awhile to come around," said McGaughey. "He won an allowance race down there [at Gulfstream Park] in December, which was a good race. When he came back [in an optional claimer on February 26], Johnny [Velazquez] said they were all going a little bit earlier and he waited and got himself in trouble and finished fourth. His two races at Keeneland were good races, and I just thought after I ran him back in 13 days [between an allowance victory on April 12 and the Elkhorn on April 27] that I'd give him a bit of a blow here and hopefully have a fresh horse for the rest of the year. I think he's a true mile and three-eighths to a mile and a half kind of horse."

Point of Entry won both April starts at Keeneland, the second being the Elkhorn Stakes. Finishing second in both races was Man o'War starter Tahoe Lake. Point of Entry has won four of 11 career starts for $214,490.

Here is the complete field for the Man o'War in post position order: Tahoe Lake, Eddie Castro; Center Divider, Rosie Napravnik; Point of Entry, Jose Lezcano; Newsdad, Junior Alvarado; Treasure Beach, Jamie Spencer; Game Ball, David Cohen; Hudson Steele, Joe Bravo and Philly Ace, Irad Ortiz Jr.

Approximate post-time for the Man o'War will be 4:35 p.m. (ET).

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