Belle’s Best Bets: Arlington Million Price, Saturday Woodbine Plays

Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

America’s Best Racing, Belle Premium American Vodka, and handicapper (and avid gambler) Monique Vág team up to provide horseplayers with their best bets of the weekend.

Vág will identify her top picks as well as at least one 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 occasionally look for strong exacta plays for the weekend or try to spot a nice opportunity for other wagers.

Belle Premium American Vodka is the official vodka of America’s Best Racing. The American-made, American-owned vodka is distilled in Virginia, the birthplace of Thoroughbred breeding and racing in North America. The company’s mascot, Belle ‘n Tonic, broke her maiden at Laurel Park in Maryland last April. 

This Weekend’s Bets

Saturday, Aug. 11

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 3, Duchess Stakes, 1:58 p.m. ET

#3 Souper Striking: This filly has won three of her last five – all on the turf, and she’s won them convincingly. The cut back in distance (from about 1 1/16 miles in her last start to seven furlongs in the Duchess) could prove to be useful as she’s flaunted some nice early speed, and in quite a few of her efforts going longer, she’s seemed to weaken late. I’m not entirely sure why the morning line on favorite Win the War is so low at even money, seeing as she’s been bouncing around between all three difference surfaces and actually put forth her best effort on the all weather.

Best Bet

Woodbine, Race 6, Flaming Page Stakes, 3:38 p.m. ET

#5 Lottie: She takes a substantial drop in class and I think that’s much needed as she’s had trouble winning in graded stakes. Perhaps the change of scenery paired with avoiding most of her main rivals will help this mare get back into the win column. Look for her to be sharper in her second start off of a layoff.

Longshot Play

Saratoga, Race 10, Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes, 6:18 p.m. ET

#7 Conquest Panthera: Consistency has been an issue for most of these runners and I’m not surprised to see a lot of them trying their luck against listed stakes company, rather than within the graded stakes ranks. This runner has adopted an off the pace racing approach, so the Lure’s distance of 1 1/16 miles could prove useful especially seeing that he has run out of racing room while closing in a few of his recent efforts at a mile or less. The price should certainly be fair and I’m anticipating a big effort especially after a jockey upgrade to Luis Saez.

Longshot Play

Arlington International Racecourse, Race 11, Arlington Million, 7:08  p.m. ET

#9 Deauville: This runner nearly won the Arlington Million last year, and should appreciate the return to try again against a substantially weaker field than competed in the 2017 race. He draws a good post just inside of his main competition, and although there are some races that he hasn’t shown up in, when he’s on his game he’s incredibly impressive and could compete against almost anyone. Love the 6-1 price on the morning line.

Sports Pick of the Weekend

Friday, Aug. 10

Canadian Football League: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Winnipeg Bluebombers

PICK: Under 59 (-110) It seems like we are on a rotation of selecting one or two teams and betting either of the two on a weekly basis – however, it’s been working!

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bluebombers exercise some caution offensively after watching last week’s defensive efforts from the Ticats – surrendering only 14 points and producing four interceptions. The Bluebombers running back Andrew Harris leads the lead in yards per game by a considerable margin as he’s averaging 6.1 yards a carry. I expect them to take some time off the clock and methodically orchestrate drives.

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