Best Bets of the Weekend: A Gulfstream Standout and a Churchill Single

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, June 17

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 2, 2:01 p.m. ET

#1 Air Vice Marshal:  This colt still ran last time out when making his North American debut, even though the race was taken off the turf and ran over a track listed as “muddy.” Very odd decision considering the caliber of races he’s ran in outside of North America (all were turf) and the fact that this horse cost his connections over $2.2 million. He’s entered in very soft today against a lackluster turf field and I anticipate him to be forwardly placed and help take part in setting the pace.

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 11, $100,000 Soldier’s Dance Stakes, 6:06 p.m. ET

#3 Enterprising: He’s won almost a third of his races (9-for-30) but it’s the competition he’s been facing against in the graded stakes ranks which is really something to take note of. Many of these horses today are entering off optional claiming races, whereas he’s exiting the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.  He can win from anywhere, but I expect him to try and work out a stalking trip positioned only a couple lengths off before exploding down the stretch.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 7, $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap, 9:09 p.m. ET

#1 Forever Unbridled: She looks to be full seconds faster than most of her competition entered today. Her last race was incredibly impressive, boasting a 105 Beyer and closing from as many as ten lengths back on Beholder and Songbird in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff to rally for third. A mile and an eighth is actually a really good distance for this mare, who typically likes to make her move fairly late. She’s so much the best in this field and unfortunately her odds will reflect that. On the bright side, she does make for a nice single to kick off the Pick 5 wager.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 9, $100,000 Regret Stakes, 10:15 p.m. ET

#9 Sameeha: Last time out, this filly tried the turf for the first time at Keeneland, and based on her pedigree on both the sire and dam sides there’s no surprise she took super well to it. Keeneland has some very competitive fields and tough turf races, so seeing her work out a perfect stalking trip and capitalizing off of it sits well with me. It’s very possible she puts forth a similar effort from her last, and if that is the case she could definitely hit the board at a very big price.

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