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: Best Bet scored and Longshot Bet scored. Only one of our horses in the Exacta Box hit the board.
Sunday: Longshot Bet scored. The Best Bet finished second and the Exacta Box missed by a whisker! We had the winner and third-place finisher.
Given the great racing going on, I am going to focus on just Win Bets for this week.
(Monkey Bets/Win Bets)
Belmont Park, Race 6, Kelso Handicap, 3:41 p.m. ET
#2 Graydar: This horse is good. Really good. I think he will still be a good win bet because i have a feeling he will not be heavily bet given the layoff. I think he will run well off the layoff and hope we get something close to his 7-to-5 morning line odds.
Belmont Park, Race 7, Vosburgh Invitational Stakes, 4:13 p.m. ET
#8 Private Zone: He had a very nice campaign from November to January when running four consecutive second-place finishes against some very talented runners. He was given a break after Dubai and came back with a good win at Del Mar when fighting back after getting passed in the stretch. I like his outside post and his speed should position him in a great spot turning for home.
Belmont Park, Race 8, Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes, 4:45 p.m. ET
#2 Mystical Star: Her last win leads us to believe she is back in good form and deserves a shot here. Trainer Christophe Clement does well when his horses have won their most recent start. They tend to win right back in their next start at a rate of 27%. Another positive is that she owns a win on this track and at this same distance.
Santa Anita, Race 5, Chandelier Stakes, 6:09 p.m. ET
#3 Antiquity: She had a very nice debut win at Del Mar when showing good speed to lay close and then kick away late in the stretch. Her breeding suggests she should have no problem with today’s longer distance. I’m looking for her to run a big race again.
Santa Anita, Race 7, Frontrunner Stakes, 7:13 p.m. ET
#2 Schoolofhardrocks: Hard to go against a 2-year-old that made his debut going a mile won going away at odds of 10-to-1. Any improvement from that performance makes him a top contender in this group. This is a horse that I am excited to see run today.
Santa Anita, Race 9, Zenyatta, 8:15 p.m. ET
#3 Beholder: She’s a Breeders’ Cup winner, she’s a multiple Grade 1 winner, she loves this track and she looked great in her latest win off a 5-month layoff. What’s not to like?
(Monkey Bets/Win Bets)
Belmont Park, Race 8, Matron Stakes, 4:45 p.m. ET
#1 Court Dancer: Her winning debut was a good-looking performance and a great educational run. Her time was slow, but I liked the way she did it. Her sire is having an outstanding year and this filly has all the potential to improve much more in her second career start. She’s worth a bet at odds of 5-to-1 on the morning line.
Santa Anita, Race 8, John Henry Turf Championship, 7:30 p.m. ET
#4 Indy Point: His race in the Arlington Million is a complete throw out. It looks like he grabbed both of his front feet in that race and never recovered. He looked completely out of it and did not run a step at all. If he rebounds and runs back to his win two starts ago, then I think he will be the one to beat. Let’s hope we get that morning line price of 7-to-2.