Boisterous will fill in for stablemate Point of Entry in Saturday's 55th running of the $600,000 Man o'War Stakes at Belmont Park. The 6-year-old will face seven challengers in the 1 3/8-mile turf race.
With 2012 Man o'War winner Point of Entry sidelined with an injury, trainer Shug McGaughey is going with Boisterous for owner Phipps Stable. The horse will start from post 6 with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez again riding.
"We'll see," said McGaughey. "He's never won a Grade 1; he's been third twice (2011 Man o'War and 2012 Manhattan). We've always thought he was a Grade 1 kind of horse."
Boisterous won the Monmouth Stakes in his most recent start on grass. In April he was second on Keeneland's artificial main track to Successful Dan in the Ben Ali.
"His race in Lexington on the Polytrack was great," said McGaughey. "There was no pace, and we were four or five lengths back turning for home and got beat a length. Then, he came back and ran really well down at Monmouth and has done real well since then."
The 6-year-old is the winner of 10 of his 24 career starts for $937,910
Trainer Dale Romans has Donegal Racing's Finnegans Wake set for the Man o'War. The 4-year-old colt will be ridden by Luis Saez from post 5. Saez is the fifth different jockey for the colt in as many races.
On Belmont Stakes Day, Finnegans Wake was fourth to Point of Entry in the Manhattan Handicap after beginning the year with a third at Churchill Downs in an allowance race.
Finnegans Wake has two wins in 13 career starts for $336,777.
Optimizer comes into the Man o'War off a second in the Manhattan. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas for Calumet Farm, the 4-year-old colt will be ridden Saturday by Joel Rosario from the rail.
With Rosario in the saddle for his last three starts, Optimizer was second at Churchill in the Turf Classic, third in Pimlico's Dixie along with the Manhattan result.
Optimizer can surpass the $1 million mark with at least a second-place finish. He has earned $897,037 with five wins in 26 lifetime starts.
Here is the field for the Man o'War in post position order: Optimizer, Joel Rosario; Speaking of Which, Jose Lezcano; Folk Singer, Jose Espinoza; Twilight Eclipse, Javier Castellano; Finnegans Wake, Luis Saez; Boisterous, John Velazquez; Al Khali, Junior Alvarado and Exclusive Strike, Irad Ortiz Jr.
The Man o'War has an approximate post-time of 5:17 p.m. (ET).