Best Bets: Targeting Pair of Live Longshots

A racing fan at Churchill Downs checks her betting tickets before a race. (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 26

Longshot Play

Gulfstream Park, Race 9, 4:55 p.m. ET

#4 Surgical Strike: The drop out of stakes company is pretty substantial and if he races anything like he did two years ago, he should make super-light work of this field. It’s been a long time since he’s found the winner’s circle, but his recent workouts look fine and I think he will take well to facing off against easier competition.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 5, Gold Cup at Santa Anita, 5:40 p.m. ET

#2 Accelerate: He’s used to competing within the stakes ranks and enters off some very impressive 2018 performances where he’s won from near the lead and from off the pace. That versatility certainly bodes well as there looks to be quite a bit of speed entered today. I think his class and stakes experience give him an edge today.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 11, 5:56 p.m. ET

#8 Meistermind: He’s had some troubled starts, unseating jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. in his debut and he got out to a super-slow beginning two back. Taking some time off could prove to be especially useful for this colt who is returning after a six-month layoff. Pedigree-wise, he’s bred for distances longer than a mile and fits in well with this field.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Charles Whittingham Stakes, 6:14 p.m. ET

#6 Itsinthepost: He’s a short price for good reason — he’s excelled versus stakes company and enters sharp off some really good efforts on this exact turf surface. I think the shortening in distance today is helpful for this gelding, especially if he breaks well and is forwardly placed.

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