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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Best Bet (Monkey Bet/Win Bet)
Aqueduct, Race 2, 12:49 p.m. ET
#2 Dads Caps: He is only making his fifth start today and that gives him some room to improve. He is perfect at today’s distance of six furlongs and now shortens back after setting the pace and tiring in his latest race. He was given some time off and comes from high-percentage connections, his odds of 6-to-1 are solid. Hope we get those odds at post time.
Longshot Bet (Granny Bet /Show Bet)
Aqueduct, Race 8, 3:43 p.m. ET
#9 Zetterholm: Last year, he went to the sidelines after finishing fourth in both the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes and Grade 2 Dywer. He made his 2013 debut at Saratoga when finishing fifth and then followed that up with another fifth about a month ago at Belmont Park. Today, he returns to Aqueduct, which happens to be where he recorded his most recent win back in April 2012. It was against similar competition going the exact same distance of a mile. His trainer is off to a great start this meet and his price of 8-to-1 might be higher at post time.
Exacta Box (Gonzo Bet)
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 8, 7:06 p.m. ET
#1 Pearl de Vere: She comes into this race after breaking her maiden at this distance of six furlongs. She picks up the services of Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens and her off-the-pace style should have her in a great spot turning for home. This is her second try on the turf.
#2 Escape Act: She broke her maiden on this turf course at this same distance back in December 2012 when ridden by this same jockey. She ran a good fourth against stakes competition in her latest start, which was back in February. She has some good workouts leading up to this.
#4 Golden Production: Has only finished off the board once in her eight lifetime starts and it’s hard to ignore her consistency. She was a strong winner in her last start, where she was claimed by Peter Miller who is winning with about 18% first off the claim.
#10 Blushing Martha: This is another one that has not been seen since February but her 3-for-7 record on the turf is solid. She has already proven that she likes this track and distance, given her winning performance in her only start here. She also shows some good workouts leading up to this.
Best Bet (Monkey Bet / Win Bet)
Aqueduct, Race 2, 12:49 p.m. ET
#5 Poliziano: Hard to overlook his latest three-length win at this level for these high-percentage connections. I think his 5-to-1 odds on the morning line are high, but I expect something around 3-to-1 or 4-to-1. His trainer does well when his horse come off a win, and I like that they did not step him up in class. To me, it looks like they are trying to steal the big chunk off of this $25,000 purse.
Longshot Bet (Granny Bet / Show Bet)
Aqueduct, Race 5, 2:16 p.m. ET
#9 Force Multiplier: His last start was only his first race on the dirt in his 10-race career. He’s a 3-year-old and still has some room to improve compared with some of these. If he improves to his form, he might be able to get a piece of the pie. His odds of 10-to-1 on the morning line might be higher at post time given his most recent performances.
Exacta Box (Gonzo Bet )
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 5, 5:45 p.m. ET
#2 Blu John: Even tough he ran ninth in his 2013 debut in September, he was only beaten by three lengths and today he stretches out to two turns. That race looks like a perfect prep for today.
#4 Holy Candy: He was seen running third in the Grade 3 Affirmed last year on this track, so he showed some ability in the middle of last year before going to the sidelines. His most recent start was a solid third down at Del Mar and he shows four good six-furlong workouts leading up to this race.
#5 Admission: He might take them gate to wire. He’s only making his second start of the year and his career-best effort was at this oval. There is not a lot of speed in here and if he breaks well I think he will set the pace or sit a great stalking trip.