Belle’s Best Bets: Live Longshots at Gulfstream, Super Bowl Prop Play

A pair of racing fans at Gulfstream Park map out their picks for a race. (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 last April.

This Weekend’s Bets

Saturday, Feb. 2

Longshot Play

Gulfstream Park, Race 7, 3:02 p.m. ET

#1 Mass Appeal: With all but one of these runners making their racing debut, pedigree is exceptionally important, so are trainer numbers with maiden runners and recent workouts. With two of the quicker horses drawing outside, a rail post may prove super useful. The rail is winning at a 24-percent clip at Gulfstream, and this runner is well bred for today’s sprinting distance with Speightstown as a sire boasting a stellar 16-percent win rate with first-time starters.

Best Bet

Aqueduct, Race 9, Withers Stakes, 4:30 p.m. ET

#1 Tax: He put forth a decent effort trying the graded stakes ranks for the first time last start. Drawing the rail post is advantageous for a runner that wants to sit close to the pace. With a lot of early speed entered, there should be more then enough horses vying for early position which might even create a pace duel up front.

Longshot Play

Gulfstream Park, Race 11, Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull Stakes, 5:13 p.m. ET

#1 Garter and Tie: This is a tricky race to handicap with several horses making their stakes debut off of impressive races. I like the racing experience this colt has with seven career starts under his belt. His off-the-pace style plays well into the 1 1/16-mile distance, and I think there is a lot of value as we’ve already seen he fits in well against stakes-quality horses.

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 12, 5:43 p.m. ET

#1 Honest Mischief: Chad Brown has been magic over the past couple of racing seasons with maiden runners and first-time starters. This colt is very well bred and has been putting forth some flashy times in his recent workouts. It seems like he has some early speed, and drawing inside is a great place to take advantage of that quickness.

Favorite Sports Pick of the weekend

Sunday, Feb. 3

Super Bowl LIII

PICK: Highest scoring half – 2nd Half: This is crazy to think of, but the Patriots have only scored three points in the first quarter through eight Super Bowls. Those three points came last year. The Rams have been a second-half team all year, and seeing what the Pats did with halftime adjustments to come back and almost win last year, there's no telling how many could be scored late this year. With both teams seemingly excelling late, back the second half to outscore the first.

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