Best Bets: Derby Day Longshot, Pat Day Mile Play

Mr. Money won the Pat Day Mile Stakes presented by LG and E and KU, above, on the 2019 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve undercard. (Eclipse Sportswire)

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, Sept. 5

Longshot Play

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, Sept. 3: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, Sept.4: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. ET on FS2; 3-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Sept. 5: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET on FS1; 2-4 p.m. ET on FS2; 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET on NBC; 4-6:30 p.m. ET on FS1; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Sept. 6: 12:30-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Monday, Sept. 7: 12:30-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Churchill Downs, Race 6, 1:45 p.m. ET

#5 Wild Popit: Looked good in his most recent effort while rallying for a third-place finish while beaten less than two lengths. Saturday, he gets another try at the shorter distance and draws a good post to work out a stalking trip just behind some of the early speed. He fits in well with this group from a speed-figure perspective and should benefit from being involved in the pace scenario.

Since that third-place effort on July 20, he has put forth some very nice workouts at Churchill Downs and looks like a very live longshot in a wide-open field.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 9, $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG and E and KU, 3:35 p.m. ET

#2 Echo Town: Enters off a very solid, rallying effort in his most recent and a similar trip on Saturday looks very likely with quite a bit of speed drawing toward the outside. Look for him to press the pace early and be positioned much closer than in his most recent. It is nice to see this runner already possessing a victory versus quality competition on the Churchill Downs dirt, and that sets him apart for me in what is one of the weekend’s most competitive races.

Longshot Play

Saratoga Race Course, Race 8, 3:46 p.m. ET

#8 Point Him Out: Got out to a slower-than-ideal break in his most recent as he definitely seems to be at his best when positioned a little closer. Despite the sluggish start, he was still was able to rally nicely in the stretch. Drawing toward the outside should definitely help this gelding  find position closer to the front, and with quite a bit of speed entered, he looks to be the beneficiary of what should at the very least be an honest pace up front. The price should be very fair to take a shot on a runner who has already proven more than capable of pulling off the upset.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 14, $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, 7:01 p.m. ET

#17 Tiz the Law: The price will be very short at post time and he draws the least desired post in the Derby from a historical perspective — no horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby from post 17 — but he’s done everything right in the Derby preps and the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets. He’s going to be very tough in this field due to his tactical speed and versatility. I would not expect to see him positioned too far off the pace, and his powerful late closing kick should give him an edge in deep stretch. Expect this colt to exit one jewel away from capturing the Triple Crown after a Kentucky Derby victory.

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