Stars of Yesterday: Looking Back at Best Arkansas Derby Winners
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. 15
Fair Grounds, Race 9, $200,000 Mineshaft Stakes, 5:01 p.m. ET
#7 Blended Citizen: After numerous stakes tries over the turf, this horse has returned to the dirt and has put forth some very solid efforts. With quite a bit of speed drawing into this race, look for this horse to try and work out a stalking trip. If positioned well, he will almost surely be a factor in deep stretch as his late closing kick could prove to be a big asset.
Fair Grounds, Race 10, $150,000 Fair Grounds Stakes, 5:32 p.m. EST
#2 Synchrony: The huge field size should help to elevate the prices on many in here which makes this a fantastic race from a betting perspective. There does appear to be a lot of speed entered, and that should really benefit the favorite who will likely be working out an effort from off the pace. The drop in class and potential speed duel up front should really help this horse who has raced very well throughout his career overall, but especially at the Fair Grounds boasting four wins in six starts.
Fair Grounds, Race 11, $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes presented by Fasig-Tipton, 6:05 p.m. ET
#6 British Idiom: She has looked every bit the part of a super capable filly while doing nothing wrong in her career thus far, winning three straight including a huge effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenille Fillies last November. This isn’t an easy field by any stretch, but she is facing off against much easier than she has in her two most recent efforts and will probably keep her streak of perfection alive. She will be a single in all my exotic bets.
Fair Grounds, Race 12, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford, 6:38 p.m. ET
#5 Moon Over Miami: The Risen Star Stakes is often a great one to watch and wager on as it features many of the early Kentucky Derby contenders. I’ll be backing this longshot who went off as a very short price in his most recent effort, but was unfortunately caught six-wide early on and then seven-wide down the stretch, which really cost him any chance of being a factor late. Expecting a big effort here, as an off-the-pace trip (which looks likely based on post and his racing style) seems ideal against this field.
Sports Pick of the Weekend
Saturday, Feb. 15
NBA All-Star Weekend 3-Point Contest
PICK: Davis Bertans +500: With All-Star weekend taking place this weekend, now is the time to have a little bit of fun on some prop wagers that could yield good returns. I personally like betting on events like the 3-point contest that features the league’s best from beyond the arc.
Joe Harris, the defending 3-point champ, is having a down year in terms of 3-point percentage (7% lower than last year). Take a shot on Davis Bertans who is averaging just over 42% from beyond the arc and comes in shooting very well from deep recently. This season he’s shooting 48% on open looks!