America’s Best Racing brand ambassador Jose Contreras – who puts his picks out for the public regularly on his own blog www.losponies.com - will help DerbyJackpot players with his insight in a regular blog feature for ABR.
Each week, Jose will give out his “Best Bet” of the weekend, ideal for a “Monkey Bet” (a win bet) on DerbyJackpot, as well as his Lonshot Play of the weekend, a nice opportunity to swing for the fences on a Monkey Bet or to take a shot with “The Granny” (a show bet, or top-three finish).
Jose also will lay out either a quick-hitting Granny Parlay or a Gonzo Bet. The Granny Parlay essentialy is a bet in which players will have an opportunity to place one Granny bet after another on a sequence of four or five races within an hour or so of each other, essentially letting it ride as they go "all in" search of a nice return on investment. The idea of the parlay is to steadily grow your bankroll until you have a sizeable stash of cash to let it ride on the final leg for a nice payout. The Gonzo Bet requires players to select the first two finishers in a given race in order, the same as a traditional exacta bet.
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Recap of Last Week
Saturday: Both win bets finished off the board, we narrowly missed the exacta, our horses finished first and third.
Sunday: Our Aqueduct play was scratched, our Hollywood Play finished off the board.
With racing at Betfair Hollywood Park coming to an end this Sunday, I decided to provide my selections for every race on the card.
(Monkey Bets/Win Bets)
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 1, 3:30 p.m. ET
#3 Wicked Finance: He ran second beaten by a neck in his first start on the turf three weeks ago in a similar spot. He closed from the back of the pack that day and today he gets and extra sixteenth of a mile to work with. There are a couple of speed horses that should set it up for him.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 2, 4:00 p.m. ET
#1 Miracle Merger: She finished third behind a horse who has now won three consecutive races (Julio’s Gold) in a similar spot. She has shown early speed before in her career, and I think she will be closer to the lead today against this field.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 3, 4:30 p.m. ET
#1 Love Tale: Was claimed out of her last race by a trainer who can surprise with this move from time to time. She has faced a few of these before and she shortens back up to a mile today. With the inside post and the short run to the first turn, I think she will sit a good trip.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 4, 5:01 p.m. ET
#3 Boss of Me: His speed-figure numbers are consistent and they stand out against his competition. He’s taking another class drop here. This looks like the perfect spot for him to break his maiden.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 5, 5:32 p.m. ET
#1 Mia Isabel: She’s taking the biggest drop in class in her career today. She has won on this track before, too. The big question is whether she can regain her form and win against this bunch. I think she can do it.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 6, 6:04 p.m. ET
#10 Moon Ride: Finished sixth in a field of 11 last time out against $40,000 maidens. She drops to the $20,000 level today and retains the services of top jockey Rafael Bejarano. She’s adding blinkers, and I expect her to show more speed.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 7, 6:35 p.m. ET
#1 Dekko: Has been off since June of this summer and shows some steady workouts leading up to this. He’s a two-time winner on the turf and will be cutting back in distance, which I think is what he prefers. He will be a solid price at post time.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 8, 7:05 p.m. ET
#8 Koukla: The thing that I like about this first-time starter is that she has a pair of six-furlong workouts leading up to her debut. She comes from strong human connections and they paid $315,000 at auction for her in April.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 9, 7:35 p.m. ET
#4 Pulpit’s Express: Has been off since a third-place finish at Del Mar back in August at this same distance. He shows a good workout in preparation for today’s comeback and a repeat of any of his last four efforts will make him tough to beat.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 10, 8:05 p.m. ET
#9 Aotearoa: He finished second, beaten less than two lengths, in the Grade 3 Generous stakes here at Hollywood in his most recent start. He cuts back in distance and returns to a synthetic surface, which was the formula of his impressive debut win.
Betfair Hollywood Park, Race 11, 8:35 p.m. ET
#12 Insideondoutside: He finished sixth as the favorite in his most recent start but that race was on the synthetic after being taken off the turf. He returns to the turf today and looks to have enough speed to establish good position while breaking from the outside post. The same rider who won with him two starts ago is back aboard today.