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Blog - GAMBLING

Imagining led from start to finish in the Man o’ War Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)

By Bill Cloutier

There are horses for courses and trainers with the magic touch. Sunday’s Man o’ War Stakes was a study of both.

Imagining led from start to finish to win the 1 3/8-mile, Grade 1 event at Belmont Park, giving trainer Shug McGaughey his third straight victory in the Man o’ War. It was also the fifth win in eight starts at Belmont for Imagining who paid $8.50 to his backers.

Imagining appeared to pale a bit in class compared with the rest of the field that was reduced to six after France’s Lucayan scratched. But, despite having never won a Grade 1 race, he was still our Hot List choice as we banked on McGaughey’s expert handling and Imagining’s success on the strip. McGaughey won the race with Point of Entry in 2012 and Boisterous in 2013.

It was the sixth time in Imagining’s his 16-race career that Imagining was given at least two months rest between races and he’s now won five of those starts and finished second the other time. Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 6-year-old held off a stretch challenge from Real Solution to complete the hat trick for Phipps Stable and McGaughey. Real Solution was second and European invader Grandeur was third.

McGAUGHEY AND IMAGINING WERE A WINNING COMBO IN MAN O’ WAR

Imagining -Shug -Inside

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

On turf rated as good, Imagining controlled the pace. Grandeur was content to run along the hedges alongside race favorite Amira's Prince. Frac Daddy tried make a run at Imagining at the mile marker but was quickly repelled leaving Real Solution as the lone threat, but Imagining showed plenty of grit in the final 200 yards to win by three-quarters of a length.

Imagining earned a Hot List grade of B for his effort as we feel that he fits best in just the conditions that he won on Sunday. He’ll need a lengthy event and plenty of rest to return to the winner’s circle next time out and is ticketed for the Manhattan. No other horse earned a Hot List recommendation.

Man o’ War Late Wagering Report

 Horse

Odds – 3 min. to post

Final Odds

1. Grandeur

9-to-2

9-to-2

2. Imagining

5-to-2

3-to-1

3. Vertiformer

8-to-1

8-to-1

4. Frac Daddy

5-to-1

6-to-1

5. Amira’s Prince

9-to-5

9-to-5

6. Real Solution

5-to-1

9-to-2

7. Lucayan

scratched

 

 The Hot List, founded by turf writer/handicapper Bob Ehalt in 2011, blends a detailed analysis of a race with late wagering trends to pick out the horses with the best chance of running a winning race in their next start. Hot List horses are rated in four, lettered categories:

A: A preferred horse to watch off his effort in the race
B: A secondary horse to watch off his effort in the race
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

For questions on the Hot List, email: nyhotlist@gmail.com

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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