Elmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Imagining, ridden by Joel Rosario, set most of the pace and repelled rivals down the stretch to win Sunday's $400,000 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park and give Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his third straight victory in the 1 3/8-mile stakes.
Sent off as the 3-1 second pick in the six-horse field, Imagining took the lead shortly after the start and set the pace the entire way. The 6-year-old repulsed challenges from both Real Solution and Grandeur. the 9-2 co-third choices,
Imagining held off the late running Real Solution, last year's Arlington Million victor, and posted a three-quarters length victory with Grandeur getting third. Frac Daddy finished fourth followed by Vertiformer and 9-5 favorite Amira's Prince. Lucayan was an early scratch.
The time on a good turf course was 2:14.33.
Owned by Phipps Stable, Imagining is the third straight Man o' War winner from his owner as well as the chestnut horse's trainer. The win was worth $240,000 and gives Imagining eight wins in 16 lifetime starts for $813,114.
Phipps Stable and McGaughey won last year's Man o' War with Boisterous after claiming the 2012 renewal with Point of Entry.
Imagining had just one start this year coming into the Man o' War. The 6-year- old chestnut horse was second to Lochtel in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9.
In 2013, Imagining won the Idle Rich and Bowl Game Stakes as well as the Red Smith Handicap.
Imagining returned $8.50, $4.50 and $2.90. Real Solution paid $5.00 and $3.50, and Grandeur paid $4.00 to show.