Belle's Best Bets: Breeders' Cup Picks

Eclipse Sportswire

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, Nov. 3

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 3, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, noon ET

#11 Finley’sluckycharm: Something definitely went wrong last time out, and after getting to the lead early, she eased up and weakened late. Although this has happened before, it does not look like a common thing, or a regular occurrence. I think out of the higher priced runners, she has the best shot at putting together an upset. When on her game, it appears like she can beat anyone as long as she remains focused for the whole seven furlongs.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 5, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, 1:16 p.m. ET

#10 Catalina Cruiser: He’s undefeated in his career thus far and although he hasn’t tried his luck versus Grade 1 competition, he still looms as the one to beat. Although he doesn’t need the lead to win, I do think with the lack of early speed entered he will be forwardly placed in an attempt to wire the field. He’s been incredibly hard to beat when rated well, and Saturday looks no different.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 9, $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, 4:16 p.m. ET

#11 Monomoy Girl: She has won eight of 10 career races, and has been one of racing’s superstars as she put together five exceptionally impressive wins in a row before being disqualified to second in her most recent start. Her early speed should be enough to overcome the far outside post as long as she gets a good jump out of the gate. Despite being contested in a lot of her starts on the lead, she finds a way to dig in late and allow her closing kick to get separation on runners in deep stretch.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 11, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, 5:44 p.m. ET

#10 Yoshida: Accelerate is the favorite for good reason, having won five of his last six starts, but the outside post is far too tricky and too much could go wrong with the break. Despite that, I do think it is his race to lose.

Yoshida’s only dirt start resulted in a win at 1 1/8 miles in a time of 1:48.94 at Saratoga, where he closed from six lengths back. There does seem to be quite a bit of speed entered, and if there is a pace duel up front, he looks more than capable of picking up the pieces late and closing to hit the board at a very generous price.

Sports Pick of the Weekend

Sunday, Nov. 4

Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins

PICK: Washington Redskins over 23 points (-125): The Falcons are fresh off their bye week and should come in confident after a win versus division rival New York Giants. Atlanta has found their success through the passing game, averaging 317.7. They have put up an average of 27.1 points per game and accumulated 401 yards of total offense.

The Redskins defensively rank in the top five in terms of yardage against, rushing yards and scoring defense. Atlanta has struggled on the road, going 1-5 ATS over their last six. With both teams clicking offensively, I think the Redskins could find the end zone quite a bit.

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