Best Bets: Key Class Drops and Stakes Selections

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, May 12

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 9, $70,000 Unbridled Sidney Overnight Stakes, 4:55 p.m. ET

#5 Ruby Notion: I like the idea of playing longshots in a race like this one where a clean break, early positioning and post position are so important as the race is only five furlongs. Although this mare hasn’t raced in nearly 10 months, lengthy layoffs are not uncommon with her and she’s shown ability to compete first time back. If she races anything like her most recent work, she’s certainly capable of getting the job done today.

Best Bet

Monmouth Park, Race 11, $60,000 Serena’s Song Stakes, 5:58 p.m. ET

#8 Berned: She drops out of the graded stakes ranks which should be appreciated as she faces off against easier. The stretch out in distance is interesting as I’m not sure she prefers going longer, however I do think if on her game she could make light work of this field as the pedigree and back class are certainly prevalent.

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 10, $350,000 Peter Pan Stakes, 6:18 p.m. ET

#1 Core Beliefs: He ran well in the Santa Anita Derby, but just was no match for a field of mostly Kentucky Derby runners. I think he will appreciate the drop in class to face off against easier. There isn’t a lot of speed in this race, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him break to the front end and wire the field.

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 11, $700,000 Man o’ War Stakes, 6:50 p.m. ET

#2 Sadler’s Joy: He was angled a little bit too wide last time out where he disappointed as a short-priced favorite. He’s usually at least 10 lengths back early and although not fully necessary, faster fractions up front are always preferred as this horse makes his run in deep stretch. It sure looks like he will get enough speed in this contest, and if that’s the case he has an enormous edge closing from behind.

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