Best Bets: Weekend Plays at Churchill Downs

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 June 19th

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 1, 12:45 p.m. ET

#2 Reserve: He’s faded pretty badly in most of his tries and has been the victim of some tough trips. This time around he returns to trying his luck racing on the dirt and gets some added furlongs to work with.

He draws inside of his main rivals which could help keep this colt out of a wide trip. He also gets new jockey Tyler Gaffalione on board which could help get this colt positioned a little closer perhaps with a more aggressive ride.

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 6, 3:18 p.m. ET

#6 Chantry Flats: He’s looked good in his two most recent tries versus a similar group, logging a victory and runner-up finish. He’s blessed with some early speed and that could definitely work to his advantage to secure some tactical positioning upfront early on. That could also help this runner avoid traffic trouble navigating deep stretch.

In a race with not a ton of gate speed, hopefully he’s able to get to the front end fairly easily and fend off some late closing bids.

Longshot Play

Churchill Downs, Race 11, 5:58 p.m. ET

#8 Ms Temptation: Made her parimutuel debut on the turf last month at the route distance. She ended up fading late, but was working out a very nice stalking trip. This time around she shortens in distance and gets to try her luck sprinting once again racing over the turf.

Hopefully she is able to save some ground and navigate a trip which doesn’t force her as wide. This is a winnable spot for her, and with a large field, we should be getting a great price to take a shot.

Sunday June 20th

Best Bet

Churchill Downs, Race 8, 4:22 p.m. ET

#5 Falkirk: He’s raced very well since making the move to racing on the turf, picking up quite a few checks and hitting the board off different types of trips. We’ve seen him ridden more aggressively showing some early speed, but also look really good working out rallying efforts as well. That type of versatility could really come in handy in a full field like this.

Jockey Corey Lanerie regains the mount, and seems to get along really well with this gelding, winning his most recent start with a well timed bid after just missing in two prior efforts.

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