Best Bets: Saturday Stakes with Big Payout Potential

Fans crowd the rail at Oaklawn 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, Jan. 13

Best Bet

Fair Grounds, Race 7, $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, 5:05 p.m. ET

#2 Wonder Gadot: She's entered today in this overnight stakes as well as the Lecomte Stakes and I anticipate her to race in this one as it's restricted to 3-year-old fillies and substantially easier competition. I anticipate this filly to relish the drop in class. Drawing inside may be very valuable as it looks like her worst race was when she drew the far outside and didn't have a clean enough break. Hopefully she's forwardly placed as her best races have been run setting the pace or just off it.

Best Bet

Oaklawn Park, Race 8 $125,000 Pippin Stakes, 5:38 p.m. ET

#2 Farrell: She had two disappointing efforts in a row recently, but showed a nice bounce back effort in her last in a mile Grade 2 contest. This is an ideal distance for her as she's been inconsistent sprinting and it's tough to rate a lot of her efforts as they have been up and down over the sloppy track. With good weather in the forecast, she could prove to be really tough to beat.

Longshot Play

Turf Paradise, Race 7, $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap, 5:47 p.m. ET

#2 Dressed in Hermes: This is a super wide-open race as most of these horses have been switching between dirt and turf races. Last start was unfortunate for this gelding who was eased and walked off the track, which has happened twice in his career already. It's problematic that he seems to put forth poor efforts and sometimes doesn't feel like running. I do think he's one of the most talented horses in this field and I think the drop out of the graded stakes ranks is much needed, and he should appreciate facing substantially easier.

Longshot Play

Fair Grounds, Race 9, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes, 6:03 p.m. ET

#1 Lone Sailor: I think 15-1 is a very generous price on a horse who managed to finish third in the Breeders' Futurity. In the bigger races he's struggled to get off to quick starts which I do think have hindered his chances. Blinkers being added today should help spark a cleaner break and I think drawing the rail post isn't detrimental as he's more than content relaxing off the pace.

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