Best Bets: Big Race Plays and a Belmont Longshot

Fans celebrate at Belmont 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, July 10

Longshot Play

weekend Television schedule

Friday, July 9: 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, July 10: 1 p.m.-3 p.m. on FS1; 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, July 11: 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. on FS2; 4 p.m.-5 p.m. on FS1; post time varies on TVG

Belmont Park, Race 6, 3:34 p.m. ET

#9 Rift Valley: He is coming off a career-best speed figure in his most recent race and showed some noticeable improvement. This was only his second try racing on the turf and he worked out a wide bid late but was unable to get up in time. Not only did he look really good racing over the turf, he also looked great with the addition of blinkers which he will be racing with once again.

Here's hoping that getting a good post to work with on Saturday, he'll be able to show a little bit more speed and be positioned closer, thus leaving him with a little less work to do late.

Best Bet

Belmont Park, Race 9, $1,000,000 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes, 5:12 p.m. ET

#5 Du Jour: He’s won three straight turf contests all in different ways which adds to the appeal. In his most recent turf try, this colt took advantage of a perfect stalking trip and was able to get up just in time.

There appears to be quite a bit of speed entered in this contest which could set up well for horses sitting just off the pace or working out a stalking trip again. Although he is set to make his first start for new trainer Bill Mott, I think he will be ready and should offer a fair price to take a shot.

Best Bet

Delaware Park, Race 9, $400,000 Delaware Handicap, 5:15 p.m. ET

#5 Bonny South: She raced very well in her two most recent efforts with a win and a runner-up finish. In her most recent try she just ran into an absolute monster in Letruska who was untouchable that day.

Expect this filly to be even sharper on Saturday while making her third start off a lengthy layoff and reuniting with jockey Florent Geroux who has been on board for most of her career starts. She meets an overall easier field and should be very tough.

Best Bet

Arlington Park, Race 5, 5:21 p.m. ET

#6 Coming Up Aces: He has raced much better since trying his luck over the turf. Despite those contests versus overall easier groups and in lower classifications, in both of his wins he has been able to get to the front end, rate well and control the tempo from there.

In Saturday’s contest look for much of the same. He’s shown a really good bit of early speed and majority of other entrants seem to do their best work from off the pace. If he’s able to work out a trip similar to his two most recent victories and avoid a pressed pace, it doesn’t look like anyone will be able to track him down late.

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