Best Bets: Lecomte Stakes Longshot, AFC Championship Play

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, Jan. 18

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 5, $150,000 California Cup Sprint Stakes, 5:30 p.m. ET

#1 Baja Sur: He’s found a lot of success within the dirt sprinting ranks, winning five of his six career starts in front-running fashion. Today he should be put into play once again, and hopefully can rate well on the front end while dictating the tempo. Although he has been racing against much easier, his current form and recent efforts have been very strong. Looks like the one to beat!

Longshot Play

Fair Grounds, Race 11, $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes, 5:52 p.m. EST

#12 Captivating Moon: He started his career out racing over the turf and did fairly well throughout that stretch competing against some of the best within the graded stakes ranks. Saturday he returns to the turf, and should not be hindered by post 12 due to his off-the pace racing style. Although it's been a while since he’s found the winner’s circle racing over the turf, he should appreciate the return to that surface and being able to face off against easier.

Best Bet

Fair Grounds, Race 12, $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, 6:23 p.m. ET

#6 Finite: She's looked really good in her previous start when trying her luck stretching out and route racing. She’s shown big efforts with stalking trips, and also by controlling the tempo on the front end. Having that versatility plus some good gate speed could really help set her apart in a competitive field. The price will be short at post time, but she looms as a very logical single in your exotic wagers.

Longshot Play

Fair Grounds, Race 13, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes, 6:55 p.m. ET

#7 Halo Again: He’s looked really good over both the dirt and all-weather surface. This time he gets another try to race on the dirt. Although his wins have been versus much easier both times, he has handled competition very well and definitely has the right breeding to be a good horse. Ideally, he works out a position mid-pack and show off that nice late closing kick again.

Favorite Sports Pick of the Weekend

Sunday, Jan. 19

NFL: Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs

PICK: Kansas City Chiefs 1st half -4 (-110):  The Chiefs are coming off a huge comeback victory which saw them put up 51 points on the Titans last week. The Titans have been the huge underdog story pulling off upsets against the Patriots and Ravens.

The Chiefs have been the highest scoring first-half team in the Association averaging 17.4 points per game. After falling behind early in their last game, they now understand the importance of a fast start. With the Titans looking to control the tempo by running the ball out late, take the Chiefs on the first-half spread laying 4 points.

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