Belmont Stakes day features a very prestigious undercard of stakes races, arguably the best of the three Triple Crown events. The richest race on the undercard, run just before the main event, is the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap (G1), a 1 1/4 mile trip for older horses around Belmont Park's inner turf course. Todd Pletcher trainee English Channel was sent off as the 3-2 favorite over Better Talk Now at 3-1 and Cosmonaut at 7-2.
Better Talk Now spotted the field about 8 lengths at the start as 25-1 longshot Red Zipper led most of the way with Cosmonaut and English Channel stalking him through slow fractions of 25.30, 50.58, and 1:14.95. Red Zipper dropped back on the far turn giving Cosmonaut a short lead into the stretch after a mile in 1:38.72 over the "firm" course. Cosmonaut opened up a 1 1/2 length lead at the 1/8 pole. Better Talk Now, who had saved ground the whole way and steadily closed the gap on the turn, found an opening on the inside while English Channel passed tiring horses on the outside. In deep stretch, Better Talk Now dug in gamely late to get up by a head in 2:02.39 over English Channel, who nosed out 9-1 Shakis for second. Cosmonaut finished fourth.