Belmont Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, October 10, 2020Written by Ellis Starr
Key Races & Bets for Saturday October 10, 2020
Champagne Stakes - Race 4 at Belmont - Post Time 1:58 PM Eastern
This year’s Champagne Stakes drew a short field of six, hence it’s placement early on the card. However, there’s some opportunity here because North American leading trainer Steve Asmussen not only has the prohibitive favorite Jackie’s Warrior but also saddles Midnight Bourbon, who opens at 6/1. The reason he is 6/1 is because Chad Brown’s entrant, Reinvestment Risk, opens at 8/5 on the heels of a non-threatening yet second place finish to Jackie’s Warrior in the Hopeful Stakes last month at Saratoga. I don’t think running second for the last three-eighths of a mile means much so I’m taking a stand against Reinvestment Risk. On the other hand, Midnight Bourbon improved very nicely at this one turn mile trip in the Iroquois last month when sweeping by to lead into the stretch then out finished by just one horse, the winner, while clearly second. The 91 Equibase figure he earned is right there with Jackie’s Warrior’s 92 figure so they match up evenly here.
Win: Midnight Bourbon at 2 to 1 or more
Exactas: Box Midnight Bourbon and Jackie’s Warrior
Then also play an exacta of Jackie’s Warrior over Midnight Bourbon (because that will play less than the other way around we want it twice).
Race 4: Midnight Bourbon
Race 5: Vequist, Cantata, Joy’s Rocket, Dayoutoftheoffice
Race 4: Midnight Bourbon, Jackie’s Warrior
Race 5: Joy’s Rocket
Frizette Stakes - Race 5 at Belmont - Post Time 2:30 PM Eastern
Joy’s Rocket is the only one of the contenders likely to offer value as a win bet as she opens at 5/1. That doesn’t mean Vequist, Cantata or Dayoutoftheoffice can’t win. They all can win but there’s little point in betting any of them at likely 5 to 2 odds or less. Joy’s Rocket is the speed of the speed, having led from start to finish in her first two starts, including the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine, then leading from the start before settling for second at the end last out in the Bolton Landing Stakes. Stretching out to a mile, she could easily run them off their feet for Jose Ortiz and give Asmussen (who also saddles Cantata) wins in both big two year old stakes on the card.
Win: Joy’s Rocket to win at 2 to 1 or more
Exacta: Joy’s Rocket over Vequist, Cantata and Dayoutoftheoffice
Vequist, Cantata and Dayoutoftheoffice over Joy’s Rocket
Flower Bowl Stakes - Race 8 at Belmont - Post Time 4:14 PM Eastern
Nay Lady Nay is a standout for me in this race, because even though Cambier Parc, My Sister Nat and Civil Union are all graded stakes winners, the first two trained by Brown as is Nay Lady Nay, this filly has talent to go along with her heart. She’s won five of seven turf routes in her career (finishing second in another) and if you exclude the race in May when returning from six months off and short of 100%, she’s five for six. Her last two were her best yet, particularly the five and one-half length win last month in the All Along Stakes. She’s won easily at nine furlongs and is bred for 10 so with Irad Ortiz, Jr. riding for Brown she’s the one to beat and I would absolutely love it if she went to post near her 7/2 starting odds for Brown, who wins 33% of the time back to back in turf routes (going back five years).
Win: Nay Lady Nay to win at odds of 3 to 2 or more.
Exacta: Nay Lady Nay over Cambier Parc, My Sister Nat and Civil Union
Race 8: Nay Lady Nay
Race 9: Happy Saver, Tacitus, Mystic Guide
Race 8: Nay Lady Nay
Race 9: Happy Saver, Tacitus, Mystic Guide
Race 10: Tamahere, Speaktomeofsummer, Selflessly, Miss J McKay
Jockey Club Gold Cup - Race 9 at Belmont - Post Time 4:48 PM Eastern
Mystic Guide and Happy Saver, both three year olds, were targeting the Preakness vs three year olds only until their top trainers, Stidham and Pletcher, respectively, opted for this race. With Prioritize and Name Changer overmatched, these two three year olds have a big shot to beat the prohibitive favorite Tacitus. Happy Saver is very likely to go to the lead and as proven in the Woodward Stakes last month, when Tacitus was beaten by Global Campaign, Tacitus is very challenged when a horse has an easy lead. He wo the Suburban when the six furlong split was 1:10.8 but when it was 1:11.8 in the Woodward and when Global Campaign was allowed an easy lead, Tacitus could not get close in the stretch. Considering Happy Saver is making only the fourth start of his career and his last two Equibase figures (both wins) were 106 and 104, compared to Tacitus 110 and 107, just slight improvement gets him the win. Mystic Guide rallied from last of six to win the Jim Dandy and may need some help up front to catch Happy Saver, which is pretty unlikely, but his Jim Dandy effort when earning a 108 figure was darn good and he’s bred to ADORE this 10 furlong trip as a son of Ghostzapper out of an A.P. Indy mare.
Win: Mystic Guide or Happy Saver (whichever has higher odds) at 9 to 5 or more.
Exacta: Box Mystic Guide and Happy Saver
Box Mystic Guide and Tacitus
Sands Point Stakes - Race 10 at Belmont - Post Time 5:20 PM Eastern
Tamahere, Speaktomeofsummer, Selflessly and Miss J McKay are evenly matched so we need to look to the tote. Based on the morning line, Speaktomeofsummer and Miss J McKay are potential win bets but in this eight horse field there may not be much value in other bets. If we beat the favorite in previous races, there is potential for a decent profit on pick 3 tickets and maybe that negates any need for win bets.
Speaktomeofsummer gets slight preference as she finished okay from seventh to fourth when last seen in August in the Saratoga Oaks at a mile and three-sixteenth and the cut back to a mile sharpens her late kick considerably. She won the similar G2 Lake Placid Stakes before that at nine furlongs and won twice at a mile before an irrelevant race in June when returning from seven months off. Rosario rode her marvelously in the Lake Placid and that’s the effort I’m looking for her to repeat today.
Miss J McKay ran very well behind Lighthouse in the Music City Stakes at Kentucky Downs at 6 ½ furlongs, earning a 106 figure which is rock solid if repeated here. She’s been in-the-money in all eight starts and could get away at higher odds than her 7/2 morning line, making her a good win bet as well.
Win: Speaktomeofsummer at 5 to 2, Miss J McKay at 3 to 1
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Exacta: Speaktomeofsummer over Tamahere, Selflessly and Miss J McKay