Best Bets: Preakness Selection, Keeneland Plays

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, Oct. 3

Best Bet

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, Oct. 1: 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, Oct. 2: 12:30-6 p.m.. ET on FS2; 4-6 p.m.. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

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

Sunday, Oct. 4: 9:30-11 a.m. ET on FS1; 12:30-6 p.m. ET on FS2; 4:30-6 p.m.. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Belmont Park, Race 3, 1:49 p.m. ET

#1 Golani Brigade: Broke his maiden two starts back out of post-position 10 versus a difficult group at Saratoga. Golani Brigade followed that breakthrough score by flaunting some early speed and leading every step of the way in an Aug. 19 allowance race at Saratoga, pulling away to a very comfortable victory in hand. Although this is a deep group, he won comfortably versus similar last time out and looks like the one to beat on paper. Although it looks like he will be forwardly placed once again, possessing versatility if the break isn't ideal is a big asset.

Longshot Play

Keenland Race Course, Race 5, 3:13 p.m. ET

#8 Grand Design: Makes his career debut Saturday versus a very wide open and full field. This colt has quite a few bullet workouts to his credit and looks like he may possess some speed, which is definitely useful at this six-furlong sprinting distance. Although he's 5-1 on the morning line, the price at post should be much higher to take a shot. I like his chances debuting for trainer Brad Cox clicking at a 23% rate with first-time starters.

Best Bet

Pimlico Race Course, Race 11, $1 million Preakness Stakes, 5:36 p.m. ET

#9 Authentic: Followed up an impressive Haskell Stakes score with a win in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, putting away Tiz the Law late despite drawing a difficult outside post position. Saturday, he draws a much better post and will once again show off that early speed. He's projected to be the pacesetter and he's been exceptionally difficult to pass late when able to rate on the lead. Look for him to capture the final jewel of the Triple Crown at a short price.

Best Bet

Keenland Race Course, Race 11, 6:32 p.m. ET

#5 Straight Shot: Landed in the winner’s circle versus allowance company in his first start of 2020 after seven months away. His most recent effort was a disappointing fourth-place finish where he just didn't fire down the lane. Saturday, he gets Julien Leparoux on board and gets to make his third start following the lengthy layoff, which should mean he's even tighter. If he's able to work out a stalking trip, similar to his most recent victory two starts back, he'll be tough to beat.

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