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, Feb. 27
weekend Television schedule
#7 Monarchs Glen: He makes the move to new trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. following a runner-up finish versus allowance company in his most recent start. Entering horses first start off the claim has been a profitable angle for Joseph, who is hitting at a 33 percent rate through a larger sample size.
Even if the break is a little slow for this gelding, there should be an honest enough pace upfront that it could help set him up well. Although he has been a little camera shy as of late, the change of scenery in a new barn could help to spark a big effort.
Santa Anita Park, Race 1, 3:30 p.m. ET
#5 Big Talker: He tries his luck versus winners for the first time, but comes in off a very nice rallying effort getting up in time after spotting the field as many as 11-lengths early on. With a much smaller field, I would expect him to be positioned near the back of the pack, but not too far off of it.
With all of the early speed, the pace scenario should work out perfectly for this gelding to pick up the pieces late. I’ll be building my multi-leg tickets around him expecting a short price at post.
#4 Curlin’s Catch: She rides a two-race winning streak since making the move to the dirt. Her wins have come in different ways, although I would expect to see this filly flaunting some of that early speed, likely looking to control it on the front end. Trying her luck versus graded stakes company on Saturday will be a tall order, however timing-wise, she fits in well and takes the logical move up in class after defeating some good overnight stakes horses in her most recent. She should offer some value with the favorite likely to be over-bet in this spot.
#3 Antoinette: She had a slower than ideal break in her most recent start, and she’s usually someone that likes to be forwardly placed. In a race like this lacking speed, she could really get away with a key second-half breather if rated well. She just missed wiring the field two starts back in the Belmont Oaks, but wasn’t able to finish. Today she races at a shorter distance and draws a great post to be sent along and put into play early.