Best Bets: Santa Anita Saturday Leads to Super Bowl Sunday

Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

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, Feb. 1

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 9, $150,000 Swale Stakes, 4:04 p.m. EST

#4 Green Light Go: Several other runners in here tout some flashy times and victories by huge margins, but I always consider the quality of field a horse has beaten or raced against as being important. This colt has victories versus quality horses in New York, winning a Grade 2 stakes at Saratoga and finishing second in a Grade 1 at Belmont Park. Expect him to be put into play early, and he’ll probably be dictating the tempo on the front end.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 6, $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, 6:00 p.m. ET

#2 Thousand Words: This colt could not have looked better through two career starts, and that is exactly what you hope for when you dish out $1 million on a yearling. He draws a smaller field today versus some tough horses, but does look like a standout. Adding blinkers in this race is interesting. Perhaps they will help him get out to a quicker break. The price will be short at post time, but this colt looks like a very nice single in all of your exotics.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 7, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes, 6:30 p.m. ET

#4 United: In a field of horses that want to work out closing trips, the lack of pace in the race makes this one pretty wide open. I landed on this gelding who should be much closer to the pace, and has been racing exceptionally well over his most recent five starts. Although he disappointed last time out as favorite when coming up short by a neck, expect him to be a bit closer but hopefully with less work to do late in deep stretch.

Longshot Play

Santa Anita Park, Race 8, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes, 7:00 p.m. ET

#8 Two Thirty Five: He seems to be rounding back into form after a couple of disappointing stints late in 2018 versus stakes company. This gelding at times has put forth some very solid efforts, and would need to be at his best to pull off the upset. Expect him to try and execute a stalking trip – the style where he’s found the most success. He’s got decent speed and drew a good post, so look for him to be in a position to show off that closing kick and run down the pacesetter late.

Favorite Sports Pick of the Weekend

Sunday, Feb. 2

Super Bowl LIV: San Francisco 49ers versus Kansas City Chiefs

PICK: 1st half total Over 26.5: All season long these have been two of the highest scoring first-half teams with Kansas City averaging 17.6 points (leading the league), and San Francisco averaging 15.7. Both teams can put up points in a hurry, and KC knows the importance of not falling behind early and getting out to a quick start. Look for offenses to be clicking early on in what should be a high scoring affair.

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