Player Quick Pick: Belmont for 10/12/2014

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

October 12th, 2014

Sunday’s feature at Belmont is the Grade 3 Athenia Stakes for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles over the inner turf. Although 12 have signed on for the Athenia, is there any horse in the field that can beat the 5-2 morning line chalk, Annecdote?

Belmont Park 9 | 4:58 pm ET

G3 Athenia 3&Up F&M going 1-1/16 mi. (T)

2 – La Tia – 8/1 – This five-year-old mare’s grandsire is Storm Cat who when alive demanded $300K as a sire. Even though La Tia’s sire is City Place, who demands only $5K, the Storm Cat influence appears to have carried over to her. She’s won over $683,000 and has a terrific record of 8 wins, 1 second, and 5 third place finishes from 21 starts. She finished fourth in the Grade 1 Beverly D two races back and third in the Grade 2 Canadian. She also goes into this with a tactical edge since it appears, at least on paper, that she’ll be the lone speed over the inner turf at Belmont that often times favors horses that can be on the lead. Jockey Joel Rosario rides. Don’t expect La Tia to keep her morning line odds; anything close makes her an overlay.

1– Overheard – 7/2 – Jockey Javier Castellano hops aboard this Malcolm Pierce trainee that, like La Tia, sports a terrific overall record. Overheard has 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 3 third place finishes from 13 lifetime starts. The Macho Uno sired four-year-old filly’s turf record is 4-4-1 from 9 tries over the lawn. One of the wins is the Grade 2 Dance Smartly. That makes her a serious player in this. Castellano could save all of the ground since Overheard breaks from post-position one. A clean break should also allow Castellano to keep her closer to the pace in this even though she usually runs from well off. If La Tia runs too fast too early, Overheard is the likeliest one to benefit.

12 – Annecdote – 5/2 – Cristophe Clement trained this four-year-old filly to a victory in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel at 4 to 1 odds. It was Annecdote’s first race in the states. The only word to describe it is “impressive” because Annecdote showed the kind of turn of foot that horseplayers have come to expect from international imports running first time for Clement. If she improves at all, she is good enough to break from post-position 12 and win this, but the odds could be even lower than the 5/2 morning line and she’s facing some experienced, hard-knocking, fillies and mares in the G3 Athenia today. She’s tough to back for the win slot at likely low odds, but she’s an obvious must use in all of the exotics.