Best Bets: Pimlico and Woodbine Longshots, Spa Selection

A fan at Saratoga Race Course celebrates a winner during the 2021 meet. (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 July 24th

Best Bet

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, July 22: 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, July 23:
1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, July 24: 1 p.m.-7 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, July 25:
1 p.m.-2 p.m. and 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on FS2; 2 p.m.-3 p.m. on FS1; post time varies on TVG

Pimlico, Race 4, $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash Stakes, 2:10 p.m. ET

#5 Golden Can: This filly comes in riding a two-race winning streak. Both victories have come versus easier competition, however she’s been able to work out two perfect stalking trips in both efforts. She’s won 2-of-3 tries at Pimlico with her only loss here coming in a runner-up finish. Expect her to utilize that early speed right from the break and get involved in the pace scenario early.

Give her a slight edge for her knack for finding the winner's circle and clear affinity for the turf course at Pimlico.

Longshot Play

Woodbine, Race 6, $175,000 Nassau Stakes, 3:43 p.m. ET

#6 Our Secret Agent: This filly has been extremely consistent hitting the board in all 10 career starts. She’s yet to try her luck racing on the turf, however she has raced well on both dirt and all-weather surfaces, so expect her to be able to find her footing on the turf.

Along with the new change of surface, she also will be stretching out in distance to try her luck at a route. This could actually benefit her and adds to the appeal as her best efforts have been from a little bit off the pace.

Longshot Play

Pimlico, Race 8, $200,000 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup Stakes, 4:19 p.m. ET

#3 Talk or Listen: The favorite is going to be really tough in here from the rail as he’s been racing very well versus some super-tough graded stakes competition, however this gelding has as good of a shot as any in pulling off the upset. Timing wise, he’s as quick as any and looms as a major threat if he’s able to execute a stalking trip just behind some of the early speed.

He’s been steadily improving in each start and has done his best racing on firm turf. With only sun in the forecast in Baltimore all week, the surface should be ideal.

Best Bet

Saratoga Race Course, Race 9, 5:39 p.m. ET

#8 Flash Magic: She was a really good-looking winner in her debut for new trainer Steve Asmussen. In that effort she was able to show off early speed and draw clear in deep stretch to win her most recent contest by 5 1/2 lengths. Today, she gets another try at a sprint distance and should be really tough if she’s able to get the front end and control it from there.

Expect her to build off that impressive maiden-breaking score and be even sharper making her second start off an eight-month layoff.

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