America’s Best Racing brand ambassador Jose Contreras – who puts his picks out for the public regularly on his own blog www.losponies.com - will help DerbyJackpot players with his insight in a regular blog feature for ABR.
Each week, Jose will give out his “Best Bet” of the weekend, ideal for a “Monkey Bet” (a win bet) on DerbyJackpot, as well as his Lonshot Play of the weekend, a nice opportunity to swing for the fences on a Monkey Bet or to take a shot with “The Granny” (a show bet, or top-three finish).
Jose also will lay out either a quick-hitting Granny Parlay or a Gonzo Bet. The Granny Parlay essentialy is a bet in which players will have an opportunity to place one Granny bet after another on a sequence of four or five races within an hour or so of each other, essentially letting it ride as they go "all in" search of a nice return on investment. The idea of the parlay is to steadily grow your bankroll until you have a sizeable stash of cash to let it ride on the final leg for a nice payout. The Gonzo Bet requires players to select the first two finishers in a given race in order, the same as a traditional exacta bet.
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Recap of Last Week
Saturday: A total of five win bets after one scratched: Three winners, one finished second, and one off the board.
Sunday: Two win bets: One winner, one off the board.
This week is another great weekend of stakes races across the country, so I will once again focus on win bets. Let’s take a look at some stakes races at Keeneland and Santa Anita where I think we might find some value.
(Monkey Bets/Win Bets)
Keeneland, Race 5, 3:13 p.m. ET
#8 Havelock: There is plenty of speed lined up in this race and I feel like a come-from-behind runner will have a great shot at winning this race, and that is why I landed on Havelock. He owns three wins from four starts on the Keeneland turf and was last seen winning a Grade 3 stakes race at this same track and distance in April (with this same jockey).
Keeneland, Race 6, 3:45 p.m. ET
#3 Gypsy Robin: Her latest win at Del Mar is better than it looks on paper. She did it under a easy ride in a good final time. I like her early speed and think she might get away from them early in the race. She owns a perfect 3-for-3 record on this Keeneland course and was last seen winning the Grade 2 Raven Run by more than four lengths here. With the heavy favorite Groupie Doll in here, I hope we get all of her 3-to-1 morning-line odds.
Keeneland, Race 7, 4:20 p.m. ET
#7 Miz Ida: I am going with a little bit of a price in here. She’s 8-to-1 on the morning line. Her class might not be the same level as some of these, but I like her record at today’s distance (six starts, five wins and one second). Another positive is that she is 1-for-1 at Keeneland and that win came in the Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View. Her jockey knows her well and her outside post position should allow her to get a good trip.
Keeneland, Race 8, 4:55 p.m. ET
#6 Solitary Ranger: He began his career with two seconds at the Keeneland spring meet in April and then stretched out to a mile in a Grade 3 and won impressively by more than five lengths. The runner that beat him in his last start here, No Nay Never, is a stakes winner in England and France. He looks to be working well in preparation for this and I expect him to run another big race. If you want to play a Gonzo, I also like #2 Kendall’s Boy in this race.
Keeneland, Race 9, 5:30 p.m. ET
#1 Winning Prize: He’s a multiple Group 1 winner in Argentina and made his U.S. debut a winning one when beating a solid field at Del Mar in August by more than four lengths. He put up a final time of 1:32 4/5 for the mile distance that day and looked to have more gas left in the tank. It’s tough to go against Wise Dan, but I feel this horse has a legitimate shot to improve and his early speed combined with the rail post will make him dangerous. The horse that finished second to him, Chips All In, returned to win a stakes at Santa Anita in his next start.
Santa Anita, Race 7, 7:13 p.m. ET
#5 Executiveprivilege: Her last race looks like a perfect setup for today’s event. She broke a tad slow and finished second behind a runaway winner. That was her first start of 2013, and I expect her to improve a lot off of that race. She has some steady workouts on this surface, and let’s hope we get all of the 5-to-2 morning-line odds.
Santa Anita, Race 9, 8:14 p.m. ET
#2 Centralinteligence: He looks to be peaking at the right time. His last two efforts have been very good and his win the Grade 1 Triple Bend was very impressive. He owns two wins from three starts at Santa Anita and his off-the-pace style fits here. There is plenty of fast speed in this field and I hope the race sets up well for him. Let’s hope we get all the 7-to-2 morning-line odds.
(Monkey Bets/Win Bets)
Keeneland, Race 7, 4:17 p.m. ET
#7 Boji Moon: He’s an Iowa-bred gelding that began his career 2-for-2 when easily winning back-to-back races against Iowa-bred competition. He then faced open competition on the Kentucky Downs turf and won going away by more than five lengths and extended his record to a perfect 3-for-3. Hard to not like him. With any more improvement, he should be tough to handle.
Keeneland, Race 8, 4:49 p.m. ET
#6 Byrama: The last time I bet this filly was when she ran here at Keeneland during the spring meet in April when finishing a fast-closing second in the Grade 1 Madison after getting blocked in the stretch. Tough beat. After that, she returned to the West Coast and won the Grade 1 Vanity a few races later. I’m looking for her to run a big effort in her return to the Bluegrass State today.
Santa Anita, Race 8, 7:35 p.m. ET
#2 Wild Marini: Her debut was very good-looking win. She broke OK, went to the lead, dueled, put away the competition and pulled away to a 3 1/2-length win. Her time was solid for the level and this is the next logical step up. She is 9-to-2 on the morning line.