Best Bets: Awesome Again Pick Plus Churchill and Woodbine Longshots

Cheering the horses on at Santa Anita Park. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

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, Oct. 2

Longshot Play

weekend Television schedule

Thursday, Sept. 30: 2:30 p.m.-8 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, Oct. 1: 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Oct. 2: 12:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Oct. 3: 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on FS2; 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS1; 5:30 p.m.-6 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Churchill Downs, Race 7, 3:50 p.m. ET

#7 Scattershack: His best effort was in his second career start and the first time he tried his luck racing on the dirt. He was working out a great ground-saving trip but just didn’t fire down the lane. I think with a middle of the pack draw today he’s likely to work out a similar type of trip, and I don’t think he meets that tough of a field in here.

What’s most appealing is the angle going from turf to dirt which has been a profitable one for trainer Dale Romans. I think he’s in with a great shot to pull off a huge upset.

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 7, 4:26 p.m. ET

#7 Believing: I really like what I saw in her 2021 debut which just so happened to be her first start in over nine months away from the track. Although she was unable to sustain her speed down the stretch, I thought she raced well and needed that one as a tightener.

Today she stretches out in distance to try her luck routing for the first time and she is likely to utilize her early speed to be involved in the pace scenario early. Trainer Josie Carroll is one of the best at Woodbine in making those necessary adjustments and having her horses ready for their second start off layoffs.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 11, 5:58 p.m. ET

#4 Laughing Boy: He was able to click in his third start off a lengthy seven-month layoff by flaunting early speed, rating well, and controlling the tempo upfront early. He’s been at his best when showing off that early speed and I think with a good inside draw to work with, he could get the jump on some of the other speed who drew outside.

I like that he’s coming in off a dominant maiden-breaking score and I think he can build off that success despite moving up to take on winners for the first time.


Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 10, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes, 8:00 p.m. ET

#7 Tripoli: He meets an extremely strong field in here and this is definitely the toughest task of his racing career, especially since he switched to dirt. Getting this colt off Lasix (furosemide) and stretching out to try routing has proven to be a very successful move for trainer John Sadler

I love that this colt has won at longer distances and is versatile. He’s blessed with tactical speed and seems to have a world of opportunities to win off any kind of trip. I love his chances in here.

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