Best Bets: Stakes Spotlight at Turfway, Gulfstream Park

Horses leave the gate at Turfway Park in 2018. (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, March 27

Best Bet

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, March 25: post time varies on TVG

Friday, March 26:
post time varies on TVG

Saturday, March 27:
8 p.m.-1 p.m. ET on FS1; 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m. ET on FS2; 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET on FS1; 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, March 28:
1 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Turfway Park, Race 7, $100,000 Latonia Stakes, 4:10 p.m. ET

#2 Ujjayi: She finished third in her lone previous start on an all-weather surface, takes a drop-in class here, and drew a solid post position. Saturday she has a good inside post to work out a stalking trip similar to the one orchestrated in her most recent try versus graded stakes company when she had to settle for a runner-up finish. Trainer Mike Maker is clicking at a 25% rate for horses moving from dirt to all-weather. She looks like the one to beat on paper.

Longshot Play

Turfway Park, Race 9, $150,000 Twinspires Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes, 5:10 p.m. ET

#9 Visitant: Unfortunately, he drew toward the outside once again, but pending a clean break he should have no problems getting involved in the pace scenario early. There isn’t much speed entered, and that could help this horse to overcome the difficult outside draw. He’s looked good racing on all-weather surfaces, posting a 5-1-1 record through seven attempts on it. He has yet to race as long as a mile and an eighth, however he looks up to the task and could be an intriguing option if you are looking to play against some of the shorter prices in here.

Longshot Play

Turfway Park, Race 10, $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks, 5:45 p.m. ET

#6 California Lily: She comes back very quickly off a victory in her most recent start March 12, when she got to the front end and cruised to a well-rated victory. This was her second try racing on the all-weather surface and her first try routing. Although that start was versus much easier, timing-wise it was impressive and it looks like she can show off that early speed once again with an ideal post draw to work with. Her experience on the all-weather and at Turfway Park gives her a slight edge over the field here.

Best Bet

Gulfstream Park, Race 13, $100,000 Orchid Stakes, 5:55 p.m. ET

#9 Always Shopping: She’s won three of her last four on the turf and almost made it four straight, losing by only a head racing at 1 1/2 miles on Oct. 18. Look for this mare to be put into play early and, depending on what else happens and who else fires, either look for her to be the one controlling the tempo or working out a stalking trip. Although this is a graded stakes, her most recent few have been versus tougher competition and she’s been up to the challenge in both. Although she will be bet heavily at the windows, she looks like a very logical single in all of your multi-leg wagers or a superfecta key to build tickets around.

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