Best Bets of the Weekend: Looking for Value at Belmont and Churchill

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, Oct. 28

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 1, 12:25 p.m. ET

#7 Ormolu Lu: With practically no speed entered in this race, it’s nice to see a horse who is coming off a race where she narrowly missed racing on the front end. She’s shown improvement in terms of where she’s finished and increasing Beyer speed figures each race which is a good sign. I expect her to be sharper in her third start off a lengthy layoff and third time on Lasix (furosemide). It’s a tough race to handicap, but I think her front-running style gives her the edge here.

Longshot Play

Belmont Park, Race 7, $200,000 Athenia Stakes, 3:43 p.m. ET

#3 My Impression: There isn’t much that separates this field and often bodes well for people looking to light up the tote board with longshots connecting. This filly boasts the second-highest Beyer figure (104), and is coming off a win after taking a much needed drop out of the graded stakes ranks. This is her ideal racing distance and the one she’s found the most success at with five of her career six wins over it.

Longshot Play

Belmont Park, Race 10, $100,000 Awad Stakes, 5:22 p.m. ET

#1 Way Early: Interesting to see him as Joel Rosario’s choice over the No. 7 horse he’s had two starts with, including a Grade 2 effort. This gelding is coming off an impressive debut victory as most others are, however it’s nice to see him already with a win over the route distance. Drawing the rail post is nice and I think could work to his advantage as it typically means drawing inside isn’t contingent on a fast or clean break.

Sunday, October 29

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 7, $200,000 Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes, 4 p.m. ET

#7 Ezmosh: This is a talented looking colt who picked the wrong race to be temperamental in as he was never a factor last start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity. I’ll look at that race as the exception as his other three starts have been solid. I’m not sure seven furlongs is his best distance, but I think he’s shown the most potential and I do think he will be forwardly placed today which is exactly where I think he’ll run his best race. If he races anything like his effort two races back where he posted the 95 Beyer figure he’ll make light work of this relatively soft field.

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!