Best Bets: Fall Stars Weekend Plays, Matron Stakes Selection

A fan at Keeneland cheers home a winner. (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. 9

Best Bet

weekend Television schedule

Thursday, Oct. 7: 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, Oct. 8:
12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 5 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Oct. 9:
12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. on FS2; 5 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Oct. 10:
12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. on FS2; 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on FS1; 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS2; 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Belmont Park, Race 6, $150,000 Matron Stakes, 3:15 p.m. ET

#7 Bubble Rock: This filly really should be undefeated at this point, having put forth two really solid efforts, however she was tracked down late from a horse closing from out of the clouds in her racing debut. She followed that runner-up finish capitalizing off a perfect trip next time out to win by more than three lengths.

There appears to be quite a bit of speed entered which could work to the advantage of this filly who is likely to be working out a stalking trip. I love her chances in here, especially if the tempo is quick early on.

Longshot Play

Keeneland, Race 11, 6:20 p.m. ET

#11 Gilded Age: He was not a factor in either parimutuel start, however they were versus much tougher groups than he will be up against on Saturday. I do like that he has experience routing and, although he was never a factor, having racing experience is always invaluable especially in your juvenile campaign.

Jose Ortiz will be on board for the first time which really adds to the appeal. Perhaps with a new jockey, we could expect different results and maybe different tactics as well. I think he’s in with a good shot and should go overlooked at post.

Sunday, Oct. 10

Longshot Play

Keeneland, Race 6, 3:40 p.m. ET

#11 Silky Warrior: Wide-open allowance contest which has me going price shopping looking for a filly who seems to be on the improve and very likely to offer value. This filly has looked great in her three most recent outings and has taken well to racing longer distances. She’s looked good off stalking trips and, with an outside draw, it should put her involved just behind the pacesetters early.

Although she’s yet to compete against winners, having just broken her maiden last time out, she seems capable of building off last race’s success and I think doesn’t meet too difficult of a group to make it two in a row.

Best Bet

Keeneland, Race 8, $200,000 Indian Summer Stakes, 4:44 p.m. ET

#7 Averly Jane: She’s an undefeated 3-for-3 with all attempts resulting in a wrapped-up winner late. She’s looked dominant thus far and now gets to try her luck for the first time racing on the turf. She’s won on all different grades of dirt tracks and there is no reason to believe she won’t take well to trying the grass for the first time. 

Look for this filly to flaunt her early speed and look to be controlling the tempo early on. If she’s able to duplicate her most recent outing, nobody will be able to touch her.

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