Emollient: runaway Keeneland winner heads American Oaks at HollywoodPICTURE: EquiSport Photos
Lukas chases Man o' War with Optimizer
Preview: USA, Saturday 10.17pm BST (live on ATR)
Belmont Park: Man o' War Stakes (Grade 1) 1m3f, turf, 3yo+
THE legendary D Wayne Lukas, back in the spotlight this year with Preakness victor Oxbow, has chances of further Grade 1 success when he saddles top turf performer Optimizer (Joel Rosario) in the Man o' War.
The front-running four-year-old, who breaks from the rail, has been knocking heads with the likes of Horse of the Year Wise Dan and last year's Man o' War winner Point Of Entry on recent starts but meets nothing of that calibre in this lacklustre assembly for the $600,000 contest.
He gets 4lb from Monmouth Stakes winner Boisterous (Shug McGaughey/John Velazquez), who has won half-a-dozen lesser graded stakes.
Last year's Gallinule Stakes victor Speaking Of Which (Christophe Clement/Jose Lezcano) will like this extra distance, while faster ground brings Twilight Eclipse (Tom Albertrani/Javier Castellano) into the picture.
Man o' War Stakes:
Ladbrokes: 7-4 Boisterous, 11-4 Optimizer, 6 Speaking of Which, 8 Twilight Eclipse, Al Khali, 16 Finnegans Wake, Exclusive Strike, 40, Folk Singer.
Also on Saturday
Hollywood Park: American Oaks (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo fillies (Sun 1am BST)
Nine-length Ashland Stakes winner Emollient (Bill Mott/Mike Smith) may be hard to peg back on her turf debut as she ships west in the Juddmonte colours. Forgive her odds-on defeat last time at Pimlico as she stumbled at the break and then faded on the dirt.
Kentucky shipper Emotional Kitten (Wesley Ward/Victor Espinoza) has won her last two, both on turf, while Sarach (Richard Mandella/Martin Garcia) beat several of these in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap last time out. Among her victims was former Jeremy Noseda-trained Becky Lou (Matt Chew/Joe Talamo) and Wittgenstein (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez), formerly with Brian Meehan.
Hollywood Park: A Gleam Hcap (Grade 2) 7f, AW, 3yo+ f/m (Sun 12.35am BST)
A competitive field in this Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint trial headed by a trio of Grade 1 winners in Byrama (Simon Callaghan/Gary Stevens), Teddy's Promise (Ron Ellis/Victor Espinoza) and Book Review (Bob Baffert/Rafael Bejarano).
Ex-British-trained Byrama won the Vanity here last month, while Teddy's Promise has won five on this Cushion Track surface.
Reneesgotzip (Peter Miller/Garrett Gomez), unbeaten in three at this venue, comes here instead of a potential Grade 1 test in Florida last weekend.
Arlington Park: Arlington Hcap (Grade 3) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+ (11.25pm BST)
A $200,000 trial for the Arlington Million is notable for the reappearance of Pacific Classic winner Dullahan (Dale Romans/Kent Desormeaux) after a couple of poor efforts in Dubai.
He gets a pound from track specialist Rahystrada (Byron Hughes/Rosie Napravnik), a nine-year-old veteran who won this in 2012
Colonial Downs: Virginia Derby (Grade 3) 1m2f, turf, 3yo (Sun 1.12am BST)
A huge $500,000 purse attracts a field of 12 three-year-old turf horses, headed by Rydilluc (Gary Contessa/Edgar Prado), a dual graded-stakes winner who took the inaugural Penn Mile on his most recent outing.
Just beaten there were Saturday rivals Charming Kitten (Todd Pletcher/Joel Rosario) and Jack Milton (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez); both get a pull at the weights.