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, April 29
Santa Anita Park, Race 7, Thunder Road Stakes, 7 p.m. ET
#3 Bolo: It’s interesting to me to see this horse entered in a Grade 3 race as opposed to the usual Grade 1s he’s been racing in. Perhaps he’s entered in here because there are no other Grade 1/Grade 2 mile turf races? He’s had two really good 2017 starts thus far, so I don’t view it as problematic. I love to see Mike Smith aboard and Bolo returning to Santa Anita Park – a track his last three wins have come at. I think he’s much the best.
Churchill Downs, Race 9, William Walker Stakes, 10:11 p.m. ET
#1 Syndergaard: One poor race is often very easy for me to dismiss, and I think it’s even easier to do when it’s up against some of the early Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands favorites. He draws a great post-position to break to the lead, and I actually think the sprinting distance of six furlongs he’s entered at today suits him best. He takes a huge drop in class and meets a very soft field. The price at post time will reflect that, however he will be the single in all of my exotic wagers.
Sunday, April 30
Belmont Park, Race 5, 3:36 p.m. ET
#1 Thaddeus: His first start was ultra-disappointing. He had a slow break and never really recovered after that. I do find it interesting that he’s making his second career start for a new trainer after more than eight months off. He’s had some steady workouts since February, and there are a couple of solid ones, which might indicate he could be sitting on a big effort. I anticipate a good price at post time, and I’ll certainly be taking a shot.
Santa Anita Park, Race 9, 8 p.m. ET
#5 Ample Sufficiency: This colt is certainly bred for the turf, and I hold a lot of weight to the caliber of competition he’s faced in Ireland. In his third start, he narrowly missed winning a Group 2 race, finishing fifth by a length. He’ll be racing for the first time on Lasix (furosemide), and removes blinkers today. I think he’ll like the firmer turf. It’s worth a look handicapping this colt with your eyes in the post parade to see how he’s handling the change of equipment and scenery.