Belle’s Best Bets: New York Racing and a College Football Cover

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, Oct. 19

Longshot Play

Belmont Park, Race 4, $200,000 Mohawk Stakes, 1:59 p.m. ET

#4 Offering Plan: With lots of speed entered, this horse could take advantage of a potential fast early pace and flaunt his late closing kick. Today he returns to the distance of his most recent win (at Saratoga in August), and he’s back on the Widener turf course at Belmont, where he won last year’s edition of this race. Timing-wise he is really quick, and has already shown an ability to hang with some quality stakes horses.

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 6, $150,000 Hudson Handicap, 3:05 p.m. ET

#8 Gold for the King: He narrowly missed last time out after being forced four-wide in deep stretch. Today he re-tries in the stakes ranks and draws a good post position to work out a stalking trip. This runner should be able to take advantage of a class drop and his big effort last start.

Longshot Play

Belmont Park, Race 7, $150,000 Iroquois Stakes, 3:40 p.m. ET

#2 Fair Regis: She is coming off a big win last time out, getting up late after a patient ride by Irad Ortiz Jr., who is on her today. I love that she has versatility to win coming from farther back, or after setting the pace upfront. She’s been very solid since being claimed by trainer Jason Servis, and we may not have seen her true potential yet. Look for a big effort in another try against stakes company.

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 9, $200,000 Ticonderoga Stakes, 4:48 p.m. ET

#4 Fifty Five: This race appears to have quite a bit of pace and speed, which could really set up well for this mare who runs at her best when stalking. She has won four of her most recent seven starts. She certainly looms as the one to beat, and her current form is too good to ignore.

Favorite Sports Pick of the Weekend

Saturday, Oct. 19

College Football: Army Black Knights @ Georgia Southern Eagles

PICK: Army –5 (-110): Which Army team will come to play? An Army squad that nearly upset the #7 ranked Michigan team in week 2, or the team that only managed to put up 8 points at home versus Tulane last week?

It appears Army will have more success this week running the ball versus a Georgia State team giving up almost 200 rushing yards a game. Look for their success through the ground game to translate to points as Army covers.

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