Thursday, June 4, 2015

The $1,000,000 Knob Creek Manhattan

The Grade 1 Knob Creek Manhattan goes as the 10th race on Saturday. It is the race before the Belmont Stakes, on a day that might well be an historic day in racing history.


The Manhattan has a purse of one million dollars and is contested at a mile and a quarter over Belmont’s inner turf course. It drew a field of 11 colts and geldings.

From the rail out -


  1. Hyper – Second race back after a 17 month layoff was an even effort in the Grade 1 six horse field, over this course. May need another to be back at his best.
  2. Twilight Eclipse – Highweight and deserving ML favorite, winner of the Man’o War, a high class horse that always makes his run, but has never run at this distance.
  3. Finnegans Wake – West coast turf star, dead closer, needs to work out a trip.
  4. War Dancer – Has shown more speed since the trainer change to Mott. Third race back off a layoff, in light, could have some upside.
  5. Big Blue Kitten – Twelve time winner, another that has never won at the distance and must work out a trip.
  6. Legendary – Very nice horse but appears a cut below.
  7. Slumber – Hasn’t won in more than 2 years. Not a fan of first time “blinkers on”  for a 7 year old.
  8. Biz The Nurse – One of 2 Euro horses, classy, yes, not sure if he measures up
  9. Magic Artist – Would be shocked.
  10. General A Rod – First time turf, out of a Dynaformer mare, breeding says “should turf” good works, Johnny V aboard, when perhaps he could have ridden Jack Milton? Have to consider.
  11. Jack Milton – Classy horse, but the big question is…does he want to go this far?


Twilight Eclipse is the deserving favorite here. Regular rider Castellano stays aboard, giving up the mount on multiple stakes winner Jack Milton. Will he be as effective at this distance? And do you want to play the fave?

General A Rod is going to the grass for the first time. TAP was pleased with the way he moved over the lawn when he worked with stablemate Jack Milton on 5/30. Interesting to me that JV is aboard. Has a longshot look.

But my pick for the win is War Dancer. He has shown a recent a change in his running style. It could a maturity play or the effects of a trainer change - or a little of both. But I like it. He is also getting 6 pounds from the top two choices. His last race was a winning effort. With 2 nice works since then, he is worth a long look, and is my top choice.


 Many thanks to  ThoroFan's Handicapping Corner!

It’s a great card on a great day of racing,
and as always,
Fast & Safe to all our equine friends!