Belle’s Best Bets: Intriguing Favorites, Versatile Longshot

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, Dec. 15

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 5, $100,000 Harlan's Holiday Stakes, 2:01 p.m. ET

#1 AudibleHe's in a league of his own versus this field, and should be able to win this one comfortably despite potentially having a slower break. Timing-wise he is seconds faster than most in here, and he's a multiple graded stakes winner already. The price will be too short to bet at post time, but he's as close to a lock as it gets for your pick 5 or 6 wagers.

Best Bet

Woodbine, Race 5, 3:03 p.m. ET

#4 Samurai Queen: I like that she already has four career starts, and two at the mile and a sixteenth distance of this race. The drop in class looks necessary, and hopefully gets her into the win column today. Ideally she takes advantage of post four and isn’t too far back when making her stretch bid. 

Longshot Play

Aqueduct, Race 8, 3:47 p.m. ET

#11 Aveenu Malcainu: He has the speed to overcome the outside post, and it is imperative he uses that to his advantage early in a seven-furlong sprint drawing far outside. He’s been competitive within the stakes ranks, which gives him a huge leg up over most of the competition in here who have only tried their luck against maiden runners and against claimers. I think his back class and early speed will prevail today. 

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 9, 5:09 p.m. ET

#2 Mystic Nile: She has shown ability to win on the front end, stalking, or closing from way back which bodes well in a competitive, wide-open race. The effort is there this year and she’s been competitive in all of her starts. This looks like the ideal distance, and with her best efforts coming over the all-weather surface, the price is generous to take a shot. 

Sports Pick of the Weekend

Saturday, Dec. 15

College Football: Tulane Green Wave vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

PICK: Tulane Green Wave -3.5 (-110): The Green Wave haven’t been to a Bowl Game since 2013, and this year they enter with momentum winning four of their most recent five to secure a bid. Tulane loves to run the ball and has had a lot of success using their two backs this year perfectly. They chew up clock and control the time of possession, and Saturday should be no different.

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