Best Bets: Whitney Undercard Plays, Woodbine Longshot

Racing at historic Saratoga. (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. 1

Longshot Play

weekend Television schedule

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

Friday, July 31: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Aug. 1: 1-3 p.m. ET on FS1; 3-4 p.m. ET on FS2; 4-6 p.m. ET on FS1; 6-7:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 7-10 p.m. on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Aug. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET on FS1; 4-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Woodbine, Race 9, 5:26 p.m. ET

#6 Malibu Edge: A big purse and a full field of 12 make this a fantastic betting race to be contested over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine. This colt makes the move to the Rachel Halden barn and gets to try his luck on the all-weather surface for the first time following up two decent efforts on the turf, where he had shown notable improvement after switching from dirt.

Here’s hoping today he can show a little bit more speed (it does seem that’s in his arsenal), and the change of scenery and surface can help to spark a big effort making his first start for a new trainer.

Longshot Play

Saratoga, Race 10, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes Presented by Runhappy, 6:18 p.m. ET

#8 Three Technique: The favorite, #6 No Parole, is going to be very tough in here, but sprints can be tough races to handicap, especially a seven-furlong contest like this one with a ton of early speed. I’m willing to take a shot on this colt who tried routing in his two most recent efforts, but looked much sharper earlier in his career at shorter distances. He also gets the luxury of returning to a “fast” track, and should be one of a few in here who benefits from potentially swift early fractions.

Best Bet

Saratoga, Race 11, $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes, 6:50 p.m. EST

#2 Cross Border: He enters this race in great form, winning his most recent effort versus stakes foes by over six lengths. Although this gelding does have versatility, expect him to be put on the lead early and the one controlling the tempo as he does have the luxury of drawing inside of most of his main rivals.

Although not all of the wins came against stakes company, it is important to point out how this ridgling is a perfect 4-for-4 over the Saratoga turf and arrives beaming with confidence.

Longshot Play

Saratoga, Race 12, $200,000 Caress Stakes, 7:22 p.m. ET

#4 Introduced: She has been racing very well especially as of late and comes in undefeated in 2020 on a two-race winning streak. This filly has been at her best when working out stalking trips and draws a great post to secure a good position upfront and possibly save some ground on the rail. If she’s able to find some racing room late and work out a stretch rally, she’s definitely capable of making it three straight victories. 

Carrying 10-1 odds on the morning line is very enticing as she reunites with jockey Manuel Franco who rode her to a runner-up finish, beaten only by a neck, in her third career start back in 2018.

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