Best Bets of the Weekend: Focus on Pimlico

Eclipse Sportswire

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, May 20

Longshot Play

Pimlico Race Course, Race 5, $100,000 The Very One Stakes, 12:51 p.m. ET

#9 Sunnysammi: I think this mare’s stakes experience is a valuable asset and the high morning-line odds (8-1) are tempting to take a shot. She’s coming off a race where she stumbled at the quarter pole but still managed to rally finishing third to a very tough Lady Shipman. Although she hasn’t raced in over eight months I’m not particularly concerned. This mare narrowly missed by a neck last time she made a debut after five months, albeit it was against much easier but I think it’s good to see her able to jump right back into racing after time off.

Best Bet

Pimlico Race Course, Race 7, $200,000 Chick Lang Stakes, 2:07 p.m. ET

#7 Recruiting Ready: He’s one of a few in here who really excel at the sprinting distance and I think that’s shown by the success he’s found within the graded stakes ranks. He’s also one of only a few in here who prefer to be on the lead which often equates to success, especially due to the shorter distance of the race. He draws an advantageous post and has shown enough early speed to position himself on the front end early. I anticipate he leads every step of the way.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 11, $100,000 Louisville Handicap, 5:51 p.m. ET

#1 Generous Kitten: I never discount horses sired by Kitten’s Joy over the turf, especially racing at distances longer than a mile, so this one caught my eye instantly. I like that he’s not reliant on a clean break and I think it’s possible he works out a perfect ground saving trip on the rail. He’s been super close recently and I think it’s important to note that in his last start, he’s coming off a career-best 107 Beyer performance traveling the same distance. I expect this gelding to be flying late.

Best Bet

Pimlico Race Course, Race 13, $1.5 million Preakess Stakes, 6:48 p.m. ET

#4 Always Dreaming: I do think this colt had everything work out perfectly in the Derby, but I can’t fault him for having the Derby work to his advantage. Historically the Preakness has been very kind to both short-priced horses as well as front-runners.  There’s a lack of speed entered in this race and that works to his advantage. I think he digs in and wins by open lengths while capturing the second jewel of the Triple Crown series.

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