Belle’s Best Bets: Woodbine and Monmouth Saturday Picks

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, July 20

Best Bet

Woodbine, Race 2, $100,000 Toronto Cup Stakes, 2:02 p.m. ET

#3 Inventing Blame: His front-running style could prove very successful in a field lacking speed. With a good break from the gate, he should be this race’s pacesetter, and that has proven very successful for him thus far as both of his career wins have come on the front end. In a field with some younger horses showing promise and upside, it’s wise to back a runner that looks likely to work out a perfect trip.

Best Bet

Monmouth Park, Race 10, $200,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes, 4:31 p.m. ET

#3 Coal Front: It appears pretty clear that this horse prefers sprinting distances;  however, he does possess a win going longer than a mile which bodes well as Saturday’s 1 1/8 miles will be the longest distance he’s raced in his career. He looks to be the lone speed, and if he can settle in nicely on the front end and rate well, then he will be incredibly hard to pass late. He has never lost when on the front end rounding the final turn, and looks likely to keep that streak alive Saturday.

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 8, $125,000 Ontario Colleen Stakes, 4:50 p.m. ET

#8 Speedy Soul: She has yet to try racing over the turf before; however, she does have a solid pedigree and the move from the Tapeta main-track surface at Woodbine to the turf could yield similar success. She has shown the ability to win from close to the pace, or by closing from farther back, which bodes well as she doesn’t always get a quick break from the gate. I think if she takes well to the turf, then her late closing kick gives her a big edge against this field.

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 10, 5:57 p.m. ET

#1 He’s Bankable: He has never tried racing over the all-weather surface, but his success over turf could definitely translate well. I would toss all three of his recent dirt starts as it is pretty evident he never took well to it. Hopefully he is able to flaunt some of that early speed that has won him three of seven career turf races and that should have him forwardly placed as a big price today.

Favorite Sports Pick of the Weekend

Saturday, July 20

Canadian Football League: BC Lions @ Saskatchewan Roughriders

PICK: BC Lions team total Under 23 (-120): The Roughriders have historically done well against West Division opponents, covering the spread in seven of the most recent 10 games. They have also found a lot of success following the bye week. With both teams struggling offensively, look for Saskatchewan’s defense to give them the edge in this matchup as the Lions are coming off a week where they only managed to put up six total points.

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