Best Bets: Kentucky Derby Standout, Pat Day Mile Longshot

Horses race on the turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day 2019. (Eclipse Sportswire)

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, May 1

Longshot Play

weekend Television schedule

Friday, April 30: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN; 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET and 8:30 p.m.-9 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, May 1: 12 p.m.-3 p.m. and 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on FS2; 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; 2:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET on NBC; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, May 2: 1 p.m.-3 p.m. and 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Churchill Downs, Race 4, 12:04 p.m. ET

#7 Oak Hill: He has only tried his luck sprinting thus far in 2021 and clearly just ran out of course late in both tries. This time around stretching out to race at the mile distance, the break from the gate is not as pivotal. He’s raced near the front and from off the pace and in a larger field that versatility could definitely come in handy.

Look for this turf runner to be even sharper third start off the layoff and getting to stretch out in distance and return to routing.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 8, $500,000 Pat Day Mile Presented by LG&E and KU, 2:48 p.m. ET

#12 Joe Frazier: He won his most recent race versus a much easier group in an optional claiming contest in early April. He showed off some early speed and was able to get to the front end pretty early and control it. Although it was not versus the deepest group, his seven-furlong time was very impressive finishing in 1:22.31.

On Saturday he draws the extreme outside post, but possesses more than enough early speed to overcome it to secure good positioning. This longshot is worthy of a much closer look and might warrant a play betting him across the board.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 12, $3,000,000 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, 6:57 p.m. ET

#15 Rock Your World: He impressed mightily in his one and only dirt try most recently in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. He was able to show off that early speed and wire the field. He draws outside once again, which works to his advantage when leaving the gate and vying for early positioning.

This is a big step up for this colt from a competition standpoint, but he projects to set the pace. There does not appear to be a ton of other early speed, and if rated well on the lead, he could prove to be incredibly tough to track down late.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 13, 7:55 p.m. ET

#6 Triple Tap: He did what he needed to in his debut, coming through as a short-priced favorite in a very small field with only three others. That race was difficult to gauge with the smaller field and this colt was able to get to the front end easily and control it.

Saturday he tries his luck versus winners, and gets to race on Lasix (furosemide) for the first time. This has been a particularly profitable angle for trainer Bob Baffert this year, clicking at a 33% rate through 9 starters.

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