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, Race 5, Gulfstream Park, Poseidon Handicap, 1:30 p.m. ET
#4 Stanford: Tough to look elsewhere for me in a race that appears to lack speed when there is a classy horse who loves the lead and historically has proven to be tough to pass. I like that he has five starts experience at Gulfstream Park and experience within the graded stakes ranks. After returning from a six-month break in his last start, I expect him to be equally as sharp second start off the layoff.
Saturday, Race 10, Gulfstream Park, La Prevoyante Handicap, 4:14 p.m. ET
#11 Wapi: A mile and a half is a tough asking for most horses, so in handicapping a winner I certainly like to look at horses which either have experience at the distance or with all signs showing they will be able to handle it. This mare is a multiple Grade 1 winner in Chile and certainly has the pedigree to not only handle racing a longer distance, but over the turf as well. What sticks out most to me about her today is a mile-and-a-half victory on Nov. 1, 2015 in 2:24:1 as a 3-year-old!
Saturday, Race 5, Santa Anita Park, California Cup Oaks, 4:50 p.m. ET
#9 Sircat Sally: I’m intrigued why connections are choosing to race her on grass after back-to-back big performances on the dirt. She won her last two races by open lengths and completely romped stakes company in her last (albeit, against much easier at Laurel Park, in a small field, and on the dirt). This filly should flaunt some of her quick early speed and will very likely prove to be tough to pass in deep stretch.
Sunday, Race 9, Sam Houston Race Park, Houston Ladies Classic Stakes, 5:10 p.m. ET
#4 I’m a Chatterbox: Nice to see this mare back racing after trying her luck against the world’s best in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. There are quite a few in here that show some promise, however I’m a Chatterbox seems to be a cut above the rest here today. I like to see regular jockey Florent Geroux traveling to pilot her today, and I expect a big effort today against a much softer field than she is used to racing against.