Belle's Best Bets: Keeneland Longshots, Two Tough Favorites

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, Oct. 27

Longshot Play

Keeneland, Race 4, 2:45 p.m. ET

#7 Valid Exchange: It is very tricky with handicapping first time starters because you never really know what you’re going to get, and who is going to take well to the surface and the atmosphere of being on a racetrack. I like to look for runners which have solid pedigrees, and in this case – seem bred for the turf and sprinting. Timing-wise, his workouts look quick. Hopefully he uses some of that speed to his advantage and is forwardly placed.

Longshot Play

Keeneland, Race 5, 3:18 p.m. ET

#2 Ourbestfriend D L: It’s nice to see that he has a few racing starts under his belt. With maiden runners, it often takes a while to get adjusted to racing. He’s been close in his last two efforts, and should certainly appreciate drawing an inside post as it looks like he wants to be racing on the front end. The inside post could hopefully help him get an early jump out of the gate as he attempts to wire the field.

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 8, English Channel Stakes, 4:35 p.m. ET

#6 Therapist: After being forced three wide around the first turn last time out, he just didn’t have enough left to make a legitimate stretch rally and tired late. Hopefully tiring late has just been unfortunate circumstance over his past couple of graded stakes tries, and not an ongoing trend. When on his game, he is incredibly hard to beat and speed-wise, he is much faster than most of the foes he will be up against today. Let’s hope for a fair price at post time, because he certainly looks like the one to beat.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 10, Autumn Miss Stakes, 7:30 p.m. ET

#5 Toinette: She has been affected by slower starts or troubled beginnings in the past, but hopefully if that is the case again the mile distance is enough to make up for a slow start. This has definitely been the distance she’s excelled at, and with many trying route racing for the first time, her success going longer is an asset. Look for this filly to try and work out a trip sitting just off the speed.

Sports Pick of the Weekend

Sunday, Oct. 28

Green Bay Packers @ Los Angeles Rams

PICK: Green Bay Packers +9.5 (-110): The Rams are the much more balanced team, but it’s games like these the Packers show up and keep the game close. While it would take a perfect game by Green Bay to win, having an extra week to prepare coming off the bye could prove useful.

If the Rams fail to bring defensively pressure and Aaron Rodgers is given time to throw, he could certainly pick apart a banged-up Rams secondary. Getting 9.5 points is a lot in a game that upon closer look, might be closer than the spread is predicting.

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