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 3
Gulfstream Park, Race 5, Sand Springs Stakes, 1:30 p.m. ET
#1 Celestine: As much as I wanted to look elsewhere because the 3-5 morning-line price is so short, she’s proved much the best among this group. It’s also very difficult to ignore how she is putting up times consistently three seconds faster than her competition entered today. This looks like an easy race for a very expensive 2016 auction purchase who definitely belongs racing in the graded stakes ranks.
#1 Speed Franco: With not a lot of early speed entered, this horse could be left uncontested early and win this contest in gate-to-wire fashion. Two-turn races on the grass are ideal for him, and I think drawing inside of his main rivals is a huge selling point for me.
#1 Sultry: There unintentionally seems to be a common trend today in selecting a winning post, and I sure hope that the rail is the place to be Saturday afternoon! It’s tough to really analyze how she’s done racing at longer than a mile as those two efforts have similarly come in Grade 2 contests but against what looks like substantially better competition. With her best effort, she will certainly be competitive and I would expect that here.
#4 Highland Sky: I usually don’t like betting horses which seem to be dependent on a quicker pace, however, I do think there is more than enough speed entered which benefits this horse if he gets away with a slow beginning. His last start is a toss for me as it was on dirt and in a Grade 1 race. Outside of that poor effort, he has been super sharp. He will appreciate the return to the turf and addition of a top jockey in Jose Ortiz.