Best Bets of the Weekend: Finding Value at Saratoga

Racing fans cheer home a winner at Saratoga Race Course this summer. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

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, Aug. 26

Best Bet

Saratoga Race Course, Race 2, 12:08 p.m. ET

#8 Holiday Bonus: He’s a tough horse to read as his racing debut was so impressive connections chose to enter him in a stakes race second career start and he narrowly missed by a neck. He’s even tried competing against some of the best last year in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. All of his races in 2016 were on dirt, but this year he’s been racing over the turf. However, the back class is definitely there. Today, he receives a HUGE jockey upgrade to Irad Ortiz Jr., and meets a very soft field with many trying their luck against winners for the first time.

Longshot Play

Saratoga Race Course, Race 5, 1:48 p.m. ET

#2 Sycamore Lane: I definitely think he’s the best horse in the field, however not racing in more than two years is definitely a cause for concern. He’s been working steadily since May, has put in some exceptionally solid times, and trainer Bill Mott’s numbers with runners coming off layoffs of 90 days or longer are good enough to warrant this horse as my top selection. He draws a good post to ride the rail and make his move in deep stretch coming from off the pace. I’m not overly confident he will be racing ready, but I think the price will be right to take a shot.

Sunday, Aug. 27

Best Bet

Saratoga Race Course, Race 6, 3:49 p.m. ET

#6 Frost Wise: She draws inside of her main competition, and I think will be sent along to be forwardly placed. With many fillies in here making their racing debuts, I think some early gate speed could definitely prove to be an asset. She’s been close to breaking her maiden three times and looks like she draws a pretty soft field to get the job done today.

Longshot Play

Saratoga Race Course, Race 9, Smart N Fancy Stakes, 5:40 p.m. ET

#6 Ginger N Rye: It was interesting to see her connections start Ginger N Rye sprinting in July when making her first start in nearly nine months. I do believe they were on to something as she powered clear in the stretch and won comfortably. I don’t think she’s the most talented mare in here, however I think she may be sitting on a perfect trip once again. She may run away with things late. With a good break, she will very likely be closer placed than her two main rivals and have an advantage of a couple of lengths to work with before making her move late. I like the 8-1 morning-line odds and only envision it drifting higher at post time.

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