Best Bets: Looking for Live Longshots at Woodbine, Belmont

Fans at Belmont Park celebrate a victory in this file photo. (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, Sept. 18

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, Sept. 16: 2 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, Sept. 17: 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Sept. 18: 1 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on FS2; 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Sept. 19: 1 p.m.-2 p.m. on FS2; 2 p.m.-6 p.m. on FS1; 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 2, 1:43 p.m. ET

#8 Maritime Mission: Showed a lot more speed in his most recent outing, which I think could prove to be advantageous here in a race lacking much pace. He’s also been left with a little too much work to do in the past, thus resulting in traffic trouble down the lane.

On Saturday he gets Emma-Jayne Wilson on board, and I’m hoping she can get this colt involved early on. His best result came at this distance and I think looks likely to take another big step forward in this outing.

Longshot Play

Belmont Park, Race 3, 2:04 p.m. ET

#4 Mezcal: Showed early speed in her most recent effort, which also was her first time trying turf. Unfortunately, she ended up fading late, but this filly could really flourish getting another try on this surface and now shortening a little in distance.

What also really benefits this filly is the lack of speed. This time around, if she’s able to get to the front early she may be able to get away with some really slow fractions up front as many look to do their best racing from off the pace. I like her chances at what should be a generous price.

Best Bet

Woodbine, Race 7, 4:28 p.m. ET

#5 Desolator: He’s looked really good in three straight turf tries rotating between the inner and outer turf courses at Woodbine. He’s rallied well in all three outings, picking up good checks in each race. Saturday, he gets to try his luck in the same allowance classification, however he does meet a much easier field than he’s been up against in prior outings.

With quite a bit of speed entered, it should help set this gelding up well to be heard from in the final furlong. Just hoping he can get up in time.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 10, $400,000 Locust Grove Stakes, 10:42 p.m. ET

#7 Shedaresthedevil: Draws outside and hasn’t raced in more than a month, however the time in between races has been a common thing for this filly who is used to longer layoffs between starts.

This filly has been the picture of consistency hitting the board in 14-of-15 lifetime starts and flaunts a perfect 4-for-4 record here at Churchill Downs. She’s going to be incredibly tough to beat as she looks to add another yet another gate-to-wire score to her resume. She’s going to be a single for me in all the multi-leg wagers.

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