Best Bets: Searching for a Score at Keeneland and Del Mar

Racing at Del Mar.
Racing at Del Mar. (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, July 11

Longshot Play

Keeneland, Race 2, 1:39 p.m. ET

weekend Television schedule

Wednesday, July 8: post time varies on TVG

Thursday, July 9: 1-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, July 10: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, July 11: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, July 12: 12:30–2 p.m. ET on FS1; 2-5 p.m. ET on FS2; 5–7 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

#10 Directional: Not much info in terms handicapping this race with majority of the field making their pari-mutuel debuts coming in off only a few recent works. In races like these I like to back trainers who have great numbers with first time starters. Trainer Steve Asmussen is clicking at a 22% rate within the maiden special weight ranks and 19% with first time starters. This colt has one work in particular – June 9 at 4 furlongs in 47.1 which jumps off the page. He looks ready.

Longshot Play

Keeneland, Race 5, $250,000 Madison Stakes, 3:18 p.m. ET

#6 Unique Factor: She has looked much improved since moving to the Peter Miller barn a few months ago. Today she is coming in off a victory last start where she pulled away late in deep stretch to a comfortable win. Although she takes a huge jump in class, she does possess a lot of versatility in terms of racing style and comes in confident off a solid effort last time out. If she can work out a trip relaxing behind some of the early speed, she could definitely be a factor to hit the board at huge odds.

Best Bet

Delaware Park, Race 8, $400,000 Delaware Handicap, 4:45 p.m. ET

#2 Dunbar Road: On paper she looks like a clear standout entering off a dominant victory versus similar company last time out while working out a closing effort. The break was a little slower than ideal, but she still had a lot left in deep stretch to rally in time for a victory. Her recent effort was also her first start in over six months. Today she gets to make another start off the lengthy layoff and draws a great post to save some ground early and work out a stalking trip. The price will be short, but she will be who I build my ticket around as a single in the Pick 6 wager.

Longshot Play

Del Mar, Race 6, 7:37 p.m. ET

#11 Torosay: Expect this gelding to take advantage of his gate speed and be positioned on or near the front. Although there is a lot of speed entered, he could get a big edge over his rivals if he breaks cleanly and is able to secure early position. The competitive nature of this race along with the full field size should help create a generous price on this gelding who is raced back on only a few weeks’ rest and gets to take a drop in class out of the stakes ranks.

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