Belle’s Best Bets: Holiday Weekend 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. 24 

Best Bet

Aqueduct, Race 6, $200,000 Discovery Stakes, 2:20 p.m. ET 

#6 GronkowskiHe should be able to take care of business on class alone, as he’s used to facing off against much tougher competition. He’ll be coming from off the pace, so hopefully the fractions up front are fair. Dropping out of Grade 1 racing to face off against Grade 3 company is a noticeable drop and should get him back into the win column today. 

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 8, $175,000 Kennedy Road Stakes, 4:42 p.m. ET

#3 Holding GoldThe price on the favorite is a little too short, so backing a horse like this that has already shown success over the all-weather surface is often a good secondary option. He’s done really well versus Grade 1 competition at much tougher tracks, so he definitely has the back class and racing experience to pull off the upset. Trainer Mark Casse has fantastic numbers with runners making a surface change from turf to all-weather, so take a closer look at this gelding with nice morning-line odds. 

Longshot Play 

Woodbine, Race 9, 5:14 p.m. ET

#11 Bet On Mike: The outside posts at Woodbine are super tricky; however this runner seems to possess enough early speed that he could overcome it with a solid break. The drop in class is too large to ignore, and racing shorter should be much more beneficial for his front-running style. He’s run his best on the all-weather so sticking to that surface makes him worthy of a win play at a fair price. 

Longshot Play 

Churchill Downs, Race 12, 6:24 p.m. ET 

#9 Curlin Grey: Distance won’t be an issue, which is a nice thing to know when backing maiden runners. Pedigree-wise, he’s definitely bred for going longer, and his off-the-pace racing style often sets up for a nice late stretch bid. There should be more than enough speed to set up a potential pace duel up front, or faster fractions. If that’s the case, his closing style is really beneficial and he could definitely hit the board at a nice price. 

Sports Pick of the Weekend

Sunday, Nov. 24

NBA: Phoenix Suns @ Detroit Pistons

PICK: Detroit Pistons (line TBA): At 3-13 the Phoenix Suns have not at all been a team you can back all season. They are as good as Devin Booker is shooting, and it doesn’t bode well that on Thursday they meet a Milwaukee Bucks team that has been one of the hottest in the league. The Suns haven’t been able to put up points, scoring 103.6 a contest and surrendering 113.5, and it won’t get any easier versus a Pistons team scoring 110.9 and playing much better basketball at home. Detroit should cruise.

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