Player Quick Pick: Belmont Park 10/19/2014

D.S. Williamson

October 19th, 2014

Saturday’s pick in the Hudson Handicap, Moonlight Song, proved best. The Charlton Baker trainee paid back $12.60. Let’s see if we can find another overlay winner in Belmont’s feature on Sunday, the $100,000 Bowl Game Stakes.

Belmont Park 9 | 4:58 pm ET

Bowl Game for 3&UP going 1-1/4 mi. (T)

7 – Sky Blazer – 4/1 – Slumber is the 6/5 morning line favorite, but those odds will make the Juddmonte Farm owned six-year-old a serious underlay. Sky Blazer might have the best chance to upset the big time chalk in the Bowl Game because the Barclay Tagg trained six-year-old gelded son of Sky Mesa has had success at this difficult 1 ¼ mile distance. In fact, Sky Blazer finished second in the Bowl Game in 2013. In Sky Blazer’s last, the gelding lost by only 2.75 lengths to Wise Dan in the Bernard Baruch. Tagg wins with 14% of his horses running off of a layoff of 46 to 90 days away and 16% with the horses that he enters into a non-graded stakes race. The chalk will be tough but that last against Wise Dan was much better than the running line might suggest. Sky Blazer could pop at what should be better than fair odds.

4 – Micromanage – 7/2 – There’s a reason why trainer Todd Pletcher has entered Micromanage into the Bowl Game on Sunday. The four-year-old colt’s best race actually occurred in the Grade 2 Brooklyn, a 1 ½ mile jaunt over the dirt. Micromanage obviously has the lungs for this 1 ¼ mile race and he’s shown signs of being brilliant here and there. The problem is that, well, maybe he’ll take to the turf much better than he ever took to the dirt. This field has no world beaters and the purse is at six figures. The Bowl Game looks like a great spot for this Medaglia D’Oro sired colt to make his turf debut and Javier Castellano in the saddle will be an advantage.

8 – St. Alban’s Boy– 6/1 – The Giant’s Causeway sired $160K purchase is in excellent form. St. Alban’s Boy has won 2 out of his last 3 and probably would have won his last if he didn’t have to make a 5-wide bid around the final turn. The Kelly Rubley trainee has 4 wins from 9 starts, all over the turf, and should have no trouble managing this 1 ¼ mile distance. Rubley wins 38% with thoroughbreds running over the turf for a +5.66 ROI. Over 60% of those turf runners end up in the money. Even though the sample is small, only 13 turf starters this year, the numbers are still impressive. St. Alban’s Boy could break through in this race. There’s no doubt about the horse’s class since he was sired by Giant’s Causeway and if the breakthrough does happen here, those horseplayers that believe will be handsomely rewarded.