Best Bets: Saturday Choices at Gulfstream and Oaklawn

English Bee (inside), shown winning the Virginia Derby, is one of Monique Vág’s top plays on Saturday. (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.

If you’re new to the sport and just want enough information to get you started and give you confidence when you’re betting a horse, check out Equibase’s Turf Club Analysts and STATS True Odds for FREE. Turf Club Analysts provides top picks for each race along with a, brief analysis that’ll help you learn the game as you’re playing along. STATS True Odds is a visual, easy-to-use handicapping product that predicts how the race may unfold and which contenders may be there at the finish line. Getting started is quick and it doesn’t require you to make any purchases at all. Just click on this link, add to your cart the tracks that you’d like to play and then simply register for a free Equibase account.

This Weekend’s Bets

Saturday, March 28

weekend Television schedule

Friday, March 27: 1:30-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, March 28: 1:30-7 p.m. ET on FS1; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, March 29: 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 2:30-7 pm. ET on FS1; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 6, $100,000 Hal's Hope Stakes, 2:00 p.m. ET

#3 You’re to Blame: He’s thrived going long, so there are no issues racing at this 1 1/8-mile distance, and he’s also had a lot of success at Gulfstream Park winning two of three career races. Saturday, he could end up working out a really nice stalking trip behind the speed directly to his inside which could prove to be the difference maker. Although he hasn’t raced in over five months, layoffs in the past have not been an issue, and he does enter off a really nice work on March 20.

Longshot Play

Gulfstream Park, Race 7, $100,000 Sanibel Island Stakes, 2:30 p.m. ET

#11 Highland Glory: In a wide-open group of very lightly raced fillies, don’t accept too short of a price on anyone. There’s lots to like about my top pick in here, including the perfect trip jockey Paco Lopez mapped out for her in her most recent start while making her debut racing at the mile distance on the turf.

Drawing the 11 post could be tricky, but she has more than enough early speed to overcome it, and should be put into play early. Working out a trip similar to her most recent race would make her a major contender.

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 13, $100,000 Appleton Stakes, 6:00 p.m. ET

#1 English Bee: This is another very competitive field which should make for a fantastic betting race. I landed on this colt, who has been racing well lately and gets to compete at his preferred distance of a mile. He’s likely to work out a mid-pack trip, and could certainly benefit from some faster earlier fractions. That scenario does appear likely with a lot of speed drawing to the outside. The price should be fair to take a shot.

Best Bet

Oaklawn Park, Race 9, $100,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes, 6:08 p.m. EST

#6 Hoonani Road: He has been very impressive racing at the sprinting distance, and particularly at Oaklawn Park where he boasts a 7-1-1 record through nine career starts. He has a ton of early speed and is at his best when put into play early and allowed to control the tempo. There isn’t a ton of early speed in here which really could help this one get to the front end, rate well, and then open up in deep stretch en route to a comfortable victory.

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