The $600,000 Man o'War Stakes (G1) at 1 3/8 miles on the Widener Turf Course at Belmont Park is one of the most important turf races on the New York stakes calendar, and is a major prep for the Arlington Million, Sword Dancer, and ultimately the Breeders' Cup Turf. It is the last stakes race at Belmont before racing shifts to Saratoga. A field of 7 older horses went to post on Saturday afternoon, before 5,948 fans under cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-80's. European shipper Treasure Beach, winless since the Secretariat Stakes (G1) last year, was sent off as the 9-10 favorite off a 9th place finish in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) at Sha Tin. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Point of Entry, winner of the Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland, and 4-1 third choice Hudson Steele, fourth in the Manhattan (G1) after winning the Dixie (G2).
Jockey Rosie Napravnik sent 17-1 Center Divider to the lead first time past the stands and he set slow fractions of 26.10, 52.05, 1:16.68, and 1:40.02 while stalked by Point of Entry a length behind and just to his outside. Entering the stretch, Point of Entry began to close the gap, taking over the lead at the 1/8 pole through 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.41. Point of Entry drew off for the final furlong, finishing 3 1/2 lengths in front in a time of 2:13.87 over the firm turf. It was another length back to 30-1 Tahoe Lake third, while favorite Treasure Beach finished a disappointing 5th.