Best Bets: Saturday Stakes Plays at Aqueduct and Del Mar

Racing at Aqueduct. (Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo)

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, Nov. 14

Longshot Play

weekend Television schedule

Friday, Nov. 13: 12-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Nov. 14: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Nov. 15: 12-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Aqueduct, Race 3, 12:50 p.m. ET

#7 Aviano: This colt is scheduled to make his turf debut at the mile and a sixteenth distance for trainer Todd Pletcher who is clicking at a 23 percent rate with first time starters and 19 percent on the turf.

This colt is bred to be a good one as the $775,000 price tag indicates, and should thrive racing over the turf. Although this is a difficult spot to debut in, Pletcher has been sending out a ton of winners lately and this colt could offer a fair price to take a shot at post.

Best Bet

Aqueduct, Race 7, $100,000 Notebook Stakes, 2:45 p.m. ET

#7 Blue Gator: He’s been a comfortable winner in both of his career races and now he gets another try versus overnight stakes company after a 4 ½-length victory in his most recent try.

Saturday will be the toughest task of his career thus far, but he’s been racing very well and with more than enough speed entered drawing to his inside, he should be positioned well to run them all down late.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 11, 6:06 p.m. EST

#11 Rookery: She made a wide brush move to get to the front end at the top of the lane in her most recent try and looked like she was drawing clear. Unfortunately she was tracked down late with a well-timed rally by an opponent who swung off the rail late.

On Saturday, she gets to try her luck again off only a few weeks away and gets jockey Florent Geroux on board. Drawing towards the outside could be tricky here, but working out a trip similar to her most recent should help this filly succeed.

Best Bet

Del Mar, Race 8, $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes, 7:00 p.m. ET

#2 Private Mission: She won her parimutuel debut race less than a month ago, and now is brought back very quickly this time around trying her luck in the stakes ranks. She enters Saturday’s contest off a bullet work going five furlongs in 59.80 and looks like the one to beat on paper.

She was bet heavily in her debut and was able to capitalize off a perfect trip just behind the early speed. A trip similar to that start should land her in the winner’s circle.

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