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Man O War Stakes Betting Predictions – O’Brien, Spencer Team Up For Another Win At Belmont Park

Posted by Marco Sussman on 7/10/2012 7:32:58 PM

Online betting sharps know that some players like certain stadiums or certain courts, and that can spill over to horse racing. The Grade 1-Man O’ War Stakes (named after the horse that won the 1920 Preakness and Belmont Stakes) is run at Belmont Park, and this year’s winner is prepared by the stable that won last year’s event.

What: Horse Betting
When: Saturday, July 14th (check for post time)
Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
Pick: Treasure Beach

Treasure Beach has run 10 graded-stakes races, winning three, but in two races as a four-year-old, he has a fourth-place finish and a ninth from last race. However, Treasure Beach has an ace in the hole as Aiden O’Brien trained last year’s winner, Cape Blanco, and Jamie Spencer was the jockey that day. That duo will be in Treasure Beach’s corner, and that can’t hurt the horse from Great Britain.

Hudson Steele is coming off a fourth-place run in the Grade 1-Manhattan Handicap and in seven career races, the five-year-old has come out on top in three. Trainer Todd Pletcher is looking for his first win the Man O’ War Stakes, but Javier Castellano, who has been in the saddle for the last two races, won this event in 2008 with Red Rocks, so he knows how to navigate this 1 3/8-mile race.

Papaw Bodie just started running in graded-stakes races as a five-year-old, and he has a win, two second-place results and a sixth, but that sixth came in the Grade-1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the only race that wasn’t a handicap race. It could take some time for Papaw Bodie to get going on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Point Of Entry has run just one graded-stakes race, and he won the Grade-2 Elkhorn at Keeneland back in April, but he has been out of action since. He has a steady jockey with John Velasquez, and that is going to be important as he can’t afford to get out of the gate slowly, and Velasquez will know how far to go to push the horse to the limit.

Newsdad finished fifth in the Elkhorn and like Point Of Entry, he has also been off since that race, so rust could be a small issue that horse betting players have to check out. Julien Leparoux has been in the saddle for the last four races as a four-year-old, so watch this combination, which won the Grade 2-Pan American in March.

However, Leparoux was in the saddle for Philly Ace in an allowance race in the middle of June, so it’ll be interesting to see which horse he’ll ride on Saturday. Philly Ace is one of two horses entered in this race trained by Christopher Clement, who prepared Gio Ponti for victory in 2009 and 2010. There is something to be said for a trainer that knows the nuances of a race, the distance and the track, and that could give Philly Ace a small edge for horse betting players.

Barocci is also a horse trained by Clement, and his last race, you guessed it, an allowance race at Belmont Park, where his jockey was Leparoux, who figures to be a jockey in-demand on Saturday. The horse from Japan was a mid-pack horse as a three-year-old, but his best result of 2011 was his last, a second-place run in the Grade 3-Prix Du Prince D’Orange.

Center Divider came in eighth in the Elkhorn, which was his ninth graded-stakes race and the five-year-old has never won one; his only wins have come in allowance or maiden races, so he’ll likely be a longshot for horse betting players, but you never know what can happen.

The same goes for Game Ball, who has run just one graded-stakes race and that came in March 2010, when he finished eighth in the Grade 3-Illinois Derby. This is his first trip to Belmont Park and it’ll take a slight miracle for him to compete with the big boys of the competition, but again, you never really know until the race starts.

This is shaping up to be a race to be won by Treasure Beach and whichever horse Leparoux decides to ride, and with that in mind, Treasure Beach is the safe pick as his handlers know what it takes to win here and that can count for a lot in the world of horse racing. Go with Treasure Beach in your Saturday sports betting picks.

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