Best Bets: Choice Picks at Woodbine, Belmont and Keeneland

Horses break from the starting gate at Keeneland (Coady Photography)

America’s Best Racing 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.

This Weekend’s Bets

Saturday, Oct. 10

Best Bet

weekend Television schedule

Thursday, Oct. 8: 12:30-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, Oct. 9: 12:30-1 and 3-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Oct. 10: 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m. ET on FS1; 4-6 p.m.. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Oct. 11: 12:30-1 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. ET on FS2; 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. ET on FS1; post time varies on TVG

Monday, Oct. 12: 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Woodbine, Race 1, 1:10 p.m. ET

#4 Rosebud’s Hope: In her first start off the claim, she went to the front end early on and fractions were very quick at the mile distance. Unfortunately she ended up fading late and finished well out of it. That was her first start for new connections. Today she gets to try her luck again versus easier for trainer Kevin Attard clicking at an astonishing 38 percent rate second start off the claim.

Expect this mare to be put into play once again. This time around, hopefully she is able to rate well on the lead.

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 3, 1:26 p.m. ET

#3 Translate: After a runner-up finish in her debut against maiden claimers when she contested the pace, she made the move to new connections and followed that effort up with a second-place finish once again, losing by a head after working out a rallying effort. Today she gets another try at the sprinting distance and has already shown versatility in terms of running style based on her two efforts – that versatility could come in handy racing at such a short distance in another full field.

Longshot Play

Keenland Race Course, Race 7, 4:24 p.m. ET

#5 Peace Broker: She makes her racing debut today at the sprinting distance with a full field. When backing first-time starters, I often lean towards betting trainers flaunting good numbers with young horses. Trainer Bret Calhoun is clicking at an 18 percent rate in the maiden special weight ranks and 13 percent with first-time starters.

I’m hoping this filly could pull off the upset, or hit the board at a nice price drawing a great post to work with.

Best Bet

Keeneland Race Course, Race 9, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Dixiana, 5:30 p.m. EST

#4 Magic Attitude: She went off as a short price in her North American debut and lived up to expectations in the Belmont Oaks Invitational, capitalizing off a perfect stalking trip. Today she gets another try versus stakes company and will be a very popular option once again at the windows.

With a lot of early speed drawing directly towards her inside, look for this filly to potentially work out another stalking trip just behind the speed. If she races anything like she did in the Belmont Oaks, she will be very tough to beat in here.

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