Best Bets: Doubling Down at Aqueduct, Santa Anita

Action in the paddock before a race at Santa Anita Park. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

America’s Best Racing and handicapper (and avid gambler) Monique Vág team up to provide horseplayers with their best bets of the weekend in a regular feature blog that will run on Fridays.

For some posts, Vág will try to identify a 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 look for strong exacta plays for the weekend or occasionally try to spot a nice opportunity for other wagers.

This Weekend’s Bets

Saturday, March 10

Best Bet

Aqueduct, Race 8, Heavenly Prize Invitational Stakes, 4:40 p.m. ET

#3 Highway Star: Outside of her poor start and effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (mostly due to post position), she’s been ultra consistent and I do think racing at this mile distance is her best. She will very likely appreciate the drop out of the graded stakes ranks to face substantially easier competition — although the drop was not necessary — and make fairly light work of this field.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 5, Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes, 5 p.m. ET

#5 World Approval: He’s been pretty much untouchable over the past year and what’s great about being entered in the Kilroe Mile is he’s had a lot of historical success at this Grade 1 level and one-mile distance. His best asset is his racing versatility and the idea that he doesn’t need the front end to win. This gelding has a knack for finding the finish line first, and I love how much power and authority he runs with charging down the stretch. He’s a short price for good reason.

Longshot Play

Aqueduct, Race 9, Tom Fool Handicap, 5:12 p.m. ET

#9 Favorite Tale: When on his game he’s ultra-tough to beat and, although a few years have passed since his best effort, I think there’s something to be said about his class at sprint distances. His best starts have come when he is on or near the lead, and I think that although drawing the outside post, his early speed and running style help his chances greatly today.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 6, San Felipe Stakes, 5:30 p.m. ET

#1 Bolt d’Oro: I’m not willing to write this colt off over one poor effort against the best in the world as a Juvenile in the Breeders’ Cup. With that being said, I do think he draws a great post and I much prefer when he’s closer to the pace early. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him urged on early and win this in gate-to=wire fashion.

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