Belle's Best Bets: Seeking a Saturday Score

Eclipse Sportswire

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, May 11

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 8, 5:18 p.m. ET

#3 Varenka: The time away from the track, and the drop out of the graded stakes ranks to return to facing off against maiden company should really help this runner who has been solid throughout her career thus far. She draws a great post position inside and hopefully can get a cleaner break out of the gate; if so she will be tough to beat.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 10, $100,000 Mamzelle Overnight Stakes, 5:26 p.m. ET

#11 Queen of Bermuda: It definitely looked like she needed a start last time out after the five-month layoff. She should be sharper today, and hopefully isn’t forced six wide in the stretch once again as it really hindered her chances. Her best efforts have come going five furlongs, so expect a big rebounding effort today as her back class gives her a big edge against this field of mostly unproven runners.

Best Bet

Arlington Park, Race 7, $100,000 Hanshin Cup, 5:35 p.m. ET

#6 Nun the Less: He’s done well racing over the all-weather surface throughout his career and it is nice to see him raced back soon after a solid effort in a Grade 3 competition mid-April. With quite a bit of speed entered today, and potentially a pace duel up front, it certainly looks to benefit this horse who has put forth his best efforts off stalking trips. He should be positioned well to make a run in deep stretch.

Longshot Play

Belmont Park, Race 10, $700,000 Man o’ War Stakes, 6:24 p.m. ET

#8 Channel Maker: He has struggled recently, but racing within the graded stakes ranks is no new event for him as he has consistently competed against Grade 1 competition.

He is a versatile runner that doesn’t need the lead to win, and has shown success rating on the front end, or closing from far back. Take a shot on this runner who has been inconsistent but when on his game could potentially make light work of this field.

Sports Pick of the Weekend

Sunday, May 12

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers @ Denver Nuggets

PICK: First half game total Under (Odds TBD): Assuming this series goes seven games, then this will take place on Sunday as the Nuggets host. Denver has won 39 of 48 on their own court this season and have been a very good bet as favorites posting a 49-15 record.

Defensively the Nuggets are holding opponents to 53.5 first half points per game, and meet up against another solid defense in the Blazers allowing only 52.8 first half points per game away from home. Look for defenses to shine early, and back the first half game total Under.

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