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 31
weekend TV schedule
#5 Channel Maker: Last year's Eclipse Award winner as champion turf male should appreciate returning to North America after a pair of starts in the Middle East. Prior to his departure we saw two extremely impressive gate-to-wire scores where this gelding was able to control it early and dictate the tempo.
This race could serve as a very important precursor and sharpener to the Sword Dancer Invitational held later in August. He’s going to be very tough versus this group, draws well, and is capable off many different types of trips.
Del Mar, Race 9, 9:06 p.m. ET
#9 Rip City: Showing off that early speed has really helped this gelding land in the winner's circle lately, and that looks to be exactly the gameplan drawing an outside post.
After a perfect 4-for-4 season in 2020 with wins in all different ways, he’s been a little camera shy as of late, but still equally impressive. His biggest loss lately in terms of lengths beaten was only a length and a quarter after a rallying effort from an impossible spot three starts back. He’s going to be very tough versus this group.
#8 Dr. Schivel: He ended his 2-year-old campaign strong, breaking his maiden and following that up with a great winning performance in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity. Thus far, he only has one start in 2021 under his belt, a win versus much easier but that should serve as a good tightener for this race.
The early speed entered and horses expected to be vying for the front end could help set this colt up well to work either a stalking trip or an off the pace effort. He would be very tough to beat off either of those trips if fractions are quick up front early.
Del Mar, Race 11, 10:06 p.m. ET
#3 One Fast Bro: It took this gelding a while to break his maiden, but following that score he’s been racing versus much tougher competition in some good allowance races. Another big change was removing blinkers and since that change at the end of November, he's really turned things around and looked much sharper.
On Saturday, he gets to take a drop in class off a runner-up finish. He draws a good post to secure a mid-pack trip and, hopefully, has more than enough left in deep stretch to track down some of the early pacesetters.