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, Dec. 11
Aqueduct, Race 6, 2:39 p.m. ET
#9 Honey Money: Just missed in her return race to trainer Wayne Potts after a brief stint being claimed earlier in October. She boasts wins versus much tougher competition and is at her best when involved in the pace scenario early.
Look for this filly to utilize her early speed. Hopefully, she isn’t caught too wide making a stretch rally. That has cost her a few lengths and perhaps even a victory or two this year already. With a great draw toward the outside of most of her main rivals, she should be able to get the jump on them early in a battle for early positioning.
Gulfstream Park, Race 7, 2:58 p.m. ET
#6 Street Facts: Made up a lot of ground late in his career debut, but it was pretty clear he didn’t take well to the muddy track. It was nice to see him kick home well and improve his positioning, especially since fractions were front-end favoring. This time around he gets to try his luck at the mile distance and gets a change of scenery at Gulfstream Park for the first time.
His most recent bullet workout indicates that he very likely has a lot more speed than he showed in his debut, and I think with the right trip he could light up the toteboard.
Gulfstream Park, Race 9, 3:59 p.m. ET
#2 Palatial Times: He’s a big question mark for me in this field trying his luck on the all-weather surface for the first time and also stretching out in distance for the first time going a route of ground. His particular running style from off the pace could be particularly beneficial as it seemed like he ran out of racetrack late in some closing bids racing much shorter.
Look for him to be a huge factor on the drop down in class and second start for new trainer Mike Maker, who has been known to turn horses around in a hurry.
Gulfstream Park, Race 11, 5:05 p.m. ET
#8 Hashtag No Wonder: Cross a line through his most recent start – he was never involved, tired late, and clearly did not take well to the race being moved from turf to dirt. That effort was also versus much tougher, so getting to drop into the maiden optional claiming ranks could prove to be a recipe for success.
He’s entered for a price tag of $50,000 in here and could be much improved getting a new jockey on board in Junior Alvarado, who has had quite a bit of success for these connections before. He’s worth a play at big odds because all signs point to him being much sharper in here.