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. 7
#7 Keen Ice: He’s exceptionally inconsistent, however, I think part of that is due to the varying distances, facing stiff competition, and a lot of traveling from track to track. His last start in the Whitney Stakes was clearly excusable – he lost any real shot at the break when he stumbled early and never really settled in. He somehow managed to enter this race dodging his main rivals, and I think that bodes really well as historically he’s struggled against the nation’s best. This is a much easier field and he’s by far the most accomplished.
Keeneland, Race 9, Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes, 5:45 p.m. ET
#6 Ballagh Rocks: I think both Divisidero and Miss Temple City excel racing a little bit longer, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see a big upset today. This colt, in particular, has earned his spot to be racing here by beating easier and gradually moving up, so I’d argue with his best effort could certainly compete with the best. While it may look like some of the “top” horses in here are regressing, Ballagh Rocks looks to be on the improve and at double-digit odds in a pretty wide-open field, I’ll take a shot!
Sunday, Oct. 8
#10 Critique: The far-outside post can often prove to be tricky, however I think with a clean break this filly could settle in nicely mid-pack. Both of her first two career races were scheduled to be turf starts but were moved to the dirt, which I think is her ideal surface. She completely romped in her last winning by 16 lengths against some solid maiden competition at Saratoga. The outside post probably will provide an inflated price at post time, and if she races anything like her last start she could win this one handily.
Woodbine, Race 8, Cup and Saucer Stakes, 4:57 p.m. ET
#3 Dixie Moon: This filly draws a perfect post to the inside of her main rivals, which could definitely prove to be the difference in this stakes race. She likes to be close to the pace, which I envision happening today. With not a lot of speed entered, she could lead every step of the way and any horse left loose on the lead is always dangerous, especially one with a solid pedigree and impressive resume thus far. Shorter price at 3-1 than I’d hope for, but I think this is her race to lose.