America’s Best Racing and handicapper (and avid gambler) Monique Vág team up to provide horseplayers with their best bets of the weekend in a regular feature blog that will run on Fridays.
For some posts, Vág will try to identify a longshot play of the weekend, a nice opportunity to swing for the fences on a win bet or to take a shot with a show bet. She also will look for strong exacta plays for the weekend or occasionally try to spot a nice opportunity for other wagers.
This Weekend’s Bets
Saturday, Nov. 18
Aqueduct, Race 4, 1:47 p.m. ET
#9 Miko: This filly had a slow start to her racing career but seemed to wake up on the grass for trainer Linda Rice as she strung together two straight wins at Belmont Park and Saratoga. The outside post isn't detrimental for this filly to draw as she’s already won out of post-position 11, and I think with her early speed could help her solidify position just off the pace. With not much that separates the field, take a shot on a longshot who could be in striking position late.
Aqueduct, Race 5, 2:17 p.m. ET
#1 D’yer Mak’er: His recent two efforts were against similar competition but he’s struggled at the break. With a clean start today, he should be positioned closer to the pace, and I think he could work out a ground-saving rail trip that he can capitalize off. The speed figures are there and he’s raced well on an off-track before, so I think pedigree-wise inclement weather certainly shouldn’t harm his chances.
Churchill Downs, Race 5, Bet on Sunshine Stakes, 2:55 p.m. ET
#8 Limousine Liberal: Unfortunately for him, he got off to a poor start in his last start and, although he had a solid effort, he came up just short. He’s taking a drop out of the graded stakes ranks to face easier competition today. With rain showers looking probable in the forecast, I think it perhaps increases his chances as he’s 2-for-2 on an off-track with both of those efforts coming at Churchill Downs. The muddy footing might be appreciated.
Aqueduct, Race 8, Artie Schiller Stakes, 3:47 p.m. ET
#6 A Lot: His last start was excusable as he stumbled early and never really recovered in time to make a serious stretch run in his first start after more than 11 months off. Although he finished a disappointing 10th in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, the fact that he was there is always a positive sign. Not only was 6 1/2 furlongs too short, but he was pretty much done from the break. I expect this horse today to make his move late in deep stretch and if he runs anything like the two races in which he earned 105 Beyer Speed Figures, he could make very light work of this field.