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, Jan. 27
#2 Takaful: He was part of the pace collapse in the TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint, which is unfortunate because this colt when on his game has really been something special. He's best-suited to sprinting and meets a very soft group of runners, most of which are winless within the graded stakes ranks yet. I anticipate he will win this race handily in front-running fashion.
#7 Curlin's Approval: She won this race last year, and I believe has every chance to become a repeat winner. I think she meets a relatively easy group, many of which are moving up in class. As a proven graded stakes winner she holds a huge advantage. I think there will be just enough speed up front early that it should leave her in prime striking position to run down the pacesetters late.
Gulfstream Park, Race 10, Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes, 4:14 p.m. ET
#11 Blind Ambition: While the outside post is incredibly tricky in turf sprints, I do think showing early speed and not needing to secure the front end are good traits to possess. I love what I've seen out of this colt. He's relished the sprinting distance and, if you excuse his last start due to the bobble and bump early on, he's undefeated at turf sprints. The price is generous, and I only see it moving higher at post time due to the tricky post. I'll take a shot for him to hit the board.
Sunday, Jan. 28
#8 Some in Tieme: He won a Grade 3 race at this distance in 2017 at Churchill Downs. Race dynamics are crucial and I tend to prefer horses coming from off the pace when racing such a long distance. This horse offers generous odds and he will be closing from far back today. Luckily for him, there are quite a few horses which love racing on the front end, and I anticipate will be vying for the lead early. This could create the pace duel up front and quick fractions that work to his advantage when closing on tired horses late.