Best Bets: Turf Focus at Del Mar and Saratoga

Turf 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, Aug. 8

Longshot Play

weekend Television schedule

Friday, Aug. 7: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Aug. 8: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. ET on FS1; 3-5 p.m. ET on FS2; 5-6:30 p.m. ET on FOX; 6:30-7 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Aug. 9: 1-3 p.m. ET on FS2; 4-5 p.m. ET on FS1; 5-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saratoga Race Course, Race 6, 3:02 p.m. ET

#8 Incitatus: This colt was never a factor in his debut racing in a sprint at Keeneland in July over a yielding turf course. He ended up saving ground late and finished seventh,  4 ¾ lengths behind the winner. Today he gets to try his luck routing and is only one of two entrants with racing experience, which could definitely come in handy.

Although this colt showed no early speed in his debut, he did post a fast workout on July 30. It would be great to see him put into play early.

Longshot Play

Del Mar, Race 5, 7:00 p.m. ET

#3 Going to Vegas: In her last start, she got involved in a pace duel upfront which ultimately cost her any type of chance of winning in her first try for new connections. Today she gets another shot at the shorter one-mile distance and will be very dangerous if able to work out a stalking trip behind some of the early speed. She’s a proven winner on the turf, and the pace scenario could set up very well for this filly that has been racing very well and enters in sharp form.

Best Bet

Del Mar, Race 9, $150,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap, 9:00 p.m. EST

#7 Beau Recall: This mare has spotted the field many lengths in her two most recent starts, racing well back in the pack. Although she’s posted a couple of good rallying efforts, she’s run out of distance late and with a smaller field lined up in this race and not a whole lot of early speed, I think she will need to be closer.

Here’s hoping she’s sharper today making her third start off a lengthy layoff and can find racing room in deep stretch to make a late bid.

Longshot Play

Del Mar, Race 11, 10:00 p.m. ET

#6 Sweet Devil: Her best two efforts have come when being put into play early. She’s lost those two races by a combined length and a half, and today she draws a good post to work with in a field that does not have much early speed at all. If this filly could secure the front end, she could definitely carry her speed a very long way and may benefit from being the one controlling the tempo.

In a wide-open field with 12 runners, the price should be fair to take a shot on this filly who doesn’t need to be much better than she was in her last start to find the winner’s circle.

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