Best Bets: Lecomte Stakes Standout, Trio of Longshots

Horses race through the stretch at Fair Grounds. (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, Jan. 16

Longshot Play

Fair Grounds, Race 4, 2:29 p.m. ET

#8 Warrant: Along with most in here, this colt is set to make his racing debut. He’s put forth some steady works since October, many of which were very impressive timing-wise. Here’s hoping that he’s blessed with early speed as that looks like a very useful asset.

Along with his recent fast times, trainer Brad Cox has done really well with first-time starters clicking at 18 percent, and also within the maiden special weight ranks at 24 percent.

Longshot Play

Fair Grounds, Race 10, $125,000 Louisiana Stakes, 5:23 p.m. ET

#6 Title Ready: Hopefully drawing a better post on Saturday helps get this horse a lot closer and much more involved, as in his recent races traffic trouble has affected any chance of a late run or stretch rally.

Along with a better draw, he gets to take a class drop to face off against easier opponents and gets new jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. on board. All of these factors add to the appeal and I’m willing to try this horse if he goes off anywhere near his 6-1 morning-line odds at post.

Longshot Play

Fair Grounds, Race 11, $125,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Stakes, 5:52 p.m. EST

#1 Logical Myth: He’s been very good since making the move following a claim to the Joe Sharp barn at the end of May. There has been noticeable improvement since Sharp has taken over the training duties and this gelding just got his first stakes victory in his most recent start capitalizing off a perfect trip.

Saturday he draws the rail and could end up working out a very nice ground saving trip if he gets involved in the mix early on. I like his chances to double up.

Best Bet

Fair Grounds, Race 13, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes, 6:49 p.m. ET

#10 Mandaloun: He’s a perfect 2-for-2 racing at shorter distances and versus easier groups; however, he takes the logical move up in class to try his luck versus stakes company. Backing trainer Brad Cox with horses trying their luck first time routing has been a profitable angle, clicking at 27 percent.

Although he draws a difficult outside post today, he’s still jockey Florent Geroux’s choice over a few others in here, and he should be set up well to track down some of the early speed late in the stretch.

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