The 2019 Man o’ War Stakes is the Best Bet of the Weekend

May 08, 2019 John Mucciolo/

An excellent field of nine will line-up in the lucrative $700,000 Man o’ War Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on Saturday. The 1 3/8-mile inner-turf feature attracted a classy bunch, including two who will be crossing the pond for trainer Aidan O’Brien. One of those is Group 2 vixen MAGIC WAND, who is the Best Bet of the Weekend.

The four-year-old daughter of Galileo had a busy three-year-old campaign and was peaking at the conclusion 2018. She twice ran a close second in Group 1 races in France prior to concluding last season with a creditable fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

Magic Wand, who is a half-sister to Irish Group 1 heroine and highweight Chicquita, began her four-year-old campaign in the states when contesting the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) versus the boys at Gulfstream Park. In that demanding assignment, the filly tracked the pace and stayed on stubbornly to finish second-best behind the superb Bricks and Mortar.

She then traveled to Dubai in an ambitious endeavor to face a stout cast in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) on Dubai World Cup Day. The bay miss tracked the pace before being outrun in the stretch, eventually finishing fifth in her second start of 2019.

Magic Wand showed an abundance of class as a three-year-old when running to her hefty $1,563,520 sales price tag. The Irish-bred has faced many of the leading turf horses from around the globe with some strong results, and I truly believe that she has a Grade 1 race with her name on it.

In the Man o’ War, the bay faces a field with a lot of early pace and she will sit off of a hearty tempo beneath Wayne Lordan. Magic Wand will take the lead inside the final furlong and cross the wire first as the Best Bet of the Weekend.

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