Best Bets of the Weekend: Stakes Plays in South Florida

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, March 4

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 4, $100,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes, 1:30 p.m. ET

#4 Coasted: This filly has been impressive. I think her last race was her best, closing from as many as 11 lengths back to miss by half a length in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She likely won't have the issue of navigating through horses today seeing as she's entered in a much smaller field, and with the exception of that race in particular, seems to break well from the gate. I find it particularly interesting how her maiden breaking score was an impressive six-length romp where #1 Dream Dancing (9-2) finished second.

Longshot Play

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes, 4:34 p.m. ET

#3 Modacious: I'm intrigued by this filly being entered into a graded stakes race today. She broke her maiden first time out and looked impressive in her last start as well which is always nice to see from younger horses. Pedigree-wise she should be able to handle the stretch out in distance comfortably, and I think her stalking style works well among this group. Pending a good break, she may be on the rail waiting to angle off and make her run in deep stretch.

Longshot Play

Gulfstream Park, Race 13, $400,000 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes, 6:05 p.m. ET

#10 Takaful: Tough to ignore his last race – it sure was ugly. However, I think the faster early fractions and pressure certainly didn't help him settle in and get comfortable. Tossing his last race out and examining his other two races, he has as good of a shot as any others entered today. He was bet heavily in his two graded stakes attempts (turned out to be a beaten favorite in both), but definitely has the pedigree to excel. He's entering off a handful of solid five furlong workouts and draws an outside post which may prove to be advantageous for a front-runner like him!

Sunday, March 5

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 3,  Las Flores Stakes, 4:30 p.m. ET

#5 Constellation: She's won two straight since moving to the West Coast and meets a very small and underwhelming field today in the graded stakes ranks. Her odds reflect that, but she looks like a very nice single within the early Pick 6 wager. She's won most of her races sitting just behind the front-runners and it looks like today she will be able to make her move in deep stretch in a race which on paper looks like it may present fast early fractions. Looks much the best.

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