Best Bets: Longshot Plays at Belmont, Churchill

Horses turn for home on the Belmont Park turf course. (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, April 24

Longshot Play

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, April 22: 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, April 23: 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, April 24: 1 p.m.-11 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, April 25: 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Belmont Park, Race 6, 3:34 p.m. ET

#1 Flying With Angels: He’s disappointed as a short-priced favorite in both of his parimutuel starts, but this time around trying turf for the first time, he should go off as a longshot and could be worthy of a much closer look. He draws the rail post which has been a good one to have at Belmont Park with runners clicking at a 19% rate.

With the rail post, he draws inside of his main rivals which could work to his advantage saving some ground and seeing what type of action unfolds in front of him. I’m willing to take a shot, but he will have to offer a price at post somewhere around his 10-1 morning-line odds.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 6, 8:30 p.m. ET

#1 Convection: He only has one career start under his belt, but that was a winning one getting to the front end early out of post-position 10 and opening up to a five-length victory. Although that was versus maiden claiming competition, there is no reason to believe he can’t duplicate that effort in this start once again within the claiming ranks. This has been a classification trainer Eddie Kenneally has done very well in, clicking at a 28% rate with a big number of participants.

Best Bet

Santa Anita Park, Race 10, 8:53 p.m. ET

#5 Fashionably Fast: He will most likely still end up going off as the favorite at post time, however he should still be a fair price to make a WIN bet on. He gets to take a drop in class out of the stakes ranks to face off against easier competition and return to racing at a sprint distance.

He’s also going to be making his fourth start after five months away from racing, so he should be in peak fitness form. If he’s able to show off some early speed to secure positioning near the front end, this gelding will be super-dangerous working out a stalking trip.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 7, 9:05 p.m. ET

#7 La La Land: Makes his fourth start after making the move to a new barn and 2 1/2 years away from the racetrack. He will also be making his second start on the turf and second start without blinkers. Hoping this equipment change helps to keep him focused down the lane.

Although it’s been a super-long time since he’s landed in the winner's circle, prior to his racing hiatus he was picking up checks versus much tougher against stakes company. He’s definitely capable of pulling off the upset if he brings his “A” game.

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