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, July 15
Belmont Park, Race 8, Forbidden Apple Stakes, 5:18 p.m. ET
#8 Bondurant: He’s an interesting colt with a ton of upside. His best races were won closing from super far back, but I think he has enough versatility that he isn’t dependent on super fast fractions early on. Racing his best he could certainly shock at what will almost surely be enormous odds at post time. I think a mile is a good distance for him and the distance he boasts all three of his career wins.
#5 Songbird: Not much to say as her resume literally writes itself. She’s been one of the most dominant fillies over the past decade and has continued to impress and improve race by race. I urge people to take a shot on the exotics and stray from betting super short prices to WIN because the exotics are where you’ll find value backing favorites. Race 9 is a good race for her to fall in as it includes Pick 6 wagers, a late Pick 4 and she kicks off the final three races in a Pick 3.
Indiana Grand, Race 6, $100,000 Mari Hulman George Stakes, 8:25 p.m. ET
#5 Big World: This filly is a multiple graded stakes winner with two dominant performances in both Grade 1 and Grade 3 contests. She runs her best race on the lead and she’s typically shown enough early speed to secure the front end. None of these are “need the lead” types, and I think that works to her advantage. She should secure the front end early and I anticipate her leading every step of the way.
Indiana Grand, Race 7, $100,000 Schaefer Memorial Stakes, 8:53 p.m. ET
#6 Mo Tom: Not sure what happened in his last race, but I’ll give it a pass. He was never a factor from start to finish, but that’s not entirely surprising considering it was against Grade 1 horses. He will certainly appreciate the drop out of the graded stakes ranks and it’s always nice to see a trainer boasting fantastic numbers (30 percent!) on shippers. 8-1 is a very generous morning line on a horse who ran in the Kentucky Derby last year taking a big drop in class today.