Belle’s Best Bets: Seeing Green at Kentucky Downs, Woodbine Longshot

A racing fans watches the horses race through binoculars in this file photo. (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, Sept. 8

Longshot Play

Kentucky Downs, Race 5, 4:25 p.m. ET

#8 Campaign: He made light work of a maiden field last week here at Kentucky Downs, so it’s intriguing (and possibly a great sign) to see him race back so quickly. The distance looks advantageous for this runner and he seemed to excel going long. Usually, I’m hesitant to back horses trying their luck against winners for the first time, however his last race was too impressive not to give him a closer look at a solid price.

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 8, La Lorgnette Stakes, 4:55 p.m. ET

#7 Cascanueces: Very few are better at designating runners to race at particular tracks and distances than Todd Pletcher, so it’s super intriguing to see this runner trying the all-weather surface at Woodbine for his North American debut. His times look decent for the distances at which he’s competed, and I do think he could take really well to trying lasix (furosemide) for the first time.

Best Bet

Kentucky Downs, Race 7, Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes, 5:26 p.m. ET

#1 I’m Betty G: She has put together three straight wins and takes a little bit of a jump in class to try her luck again in the graded stakes ranks. Although she’s raced in graded races before, now seems like the perfect time for a breakthrough as she finally seems to be rounding into her best form. I expect her to flash her early speed and take advantage of the rail post to solidify early position on the lead and attempt to lead from start to finish.

Best Bet

Kentucky Downs, Race 9, Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Coca-Cola, 6:29 p.m. ET

#4 Undrafted: It’s been a while since we last saw him race and that’s probably a good thing as he really didn’t take well to racing at Royal Ascot. He is one of a couple runners in here that is a pure sprinter, which bodes well as the distance can prove to be tricky if there is a substantial cutback in distance. He is definitely the class of the field and I think he’s spotted well for this race.

Favorite Sports Pick of the weekend

Sunday, Sept. 9

National Football League: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

PICK: New Orleans Saints –9.5 (-110): The Saints begin Week 1 against a divisional foe, and we all know how important it is to win those divisional games come playoff time! The Saints will have no problem rushing the ball versus a team that really struggled last year in stopping the run and was one of the worst in surrendering touchdowns on the ground. This one shouldn’t be close and I expect the Saints to open the season out 1-0 with a statement win.

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