Belle's Best Bets: Bankroll Building at Three Tracks

Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

America’s Best Racing, Belle Premium American Vodka, and handicapper (and avid gambler) Monique Vág team up to provide horseplayers with their best bets of the weekend.

Vág will identify her top picks as well as at least one 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 occasionally look for strong exacta plays for the weekend or try to spot a nice opportunity for other wagers.

Belle Premium American Vodka is the official vodka of America’s Best Racing. The American-made, American-owned vodka is distilled in Virginia, the birthplace of Thoroughbred breeding and racing in North America. The company’s mascot, Belle ‘n Tonic, broke her maiden at Laurel Park in Maryland in April 2018.

This Weekend’s Bets

Saturday Sept. 7

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 5, 3:21 p.m. ET

#7 Jungle Fighter: With quite a few horses looking to work out closing trips, this ridgling could benefit from the lack of pace and flaunt some early speed. He is very lightly raced and only has one effort over the turf thus far – a runner-up finish by a head at the same class level he is entered into today. Look for another solid effort Saturday afternoon.

Best Bet

Woodbine, Race 7, 4:25 p.m. ET

#3 Piper’s Legacy: She has recently logged some turf efforts that have clocked in a full second faster than most of her competition. Having that kind of speed and early running style should help her in a field that mostly consists of horses moving up in class and trying their luck against tougher. She enters in great form, having won two of her three most recent races, and she should be able to build off that success.

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 11, $100,000 Sheer Drama Stakes, 6:06 p.m. ET

#1 Stormy Embrace: She takes a huge drop in class today out of graded stakes competition to race in the overnight stakes ranks. Last time she raced versus similar, this mare opened up to a 10-length lead and won handily. Look for her to take advantage of drawing the inside post and flaunt some early speed. The price will be very short – justifiably so – but she looks like a worthy single in the pick 4/5/6 sequences.

Longshot Play

Kentucky Downs, Race 10, $1 million Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes, 6:35 p.m. ET

#5 Bigger Picture: The morning line is very generous on this gelding who has found a lot of success traveling at this grueling mile and a half distance. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione was on board for his most recent win, so it is nice to see them reunited. Look for this gelding to settle in unhurried and make a late stretch bid.

Favorite Sports Pick of the Weekend

Sunday, Sept. 8

National Football League: Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Chargers

PICK: Under 44.5 (-110): Week 1 is not what either of these two teams anticipated, with Andrew Luck retiring weeks before the start of the regular season for Indianapolis, and Melvin Gordon sitting out in the opening week for the Chargers.

The Colts will naturally struggle on offense with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, and last season when competing without Gordon the Chargers had difficulty managing the flow of the game. I expect both offenses to struggle early and the Colts defense to come out fired up on the road.

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!