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: Longshot Bet scored; the Exacta Box missed, our two horses finished first and third.
Sunday: Best Bet scored and the Exacta Box also scored.
Best Best (Monkey Bet/Win Bet)
Belmont, Race 4, 2:38 p.m. ET
#1 Kingsford Drive: He finished last in his most recent start on the turf, but today he goes back to the dirt where he most recently recorded a win. He has two starts on this race track and that includes one second-place finish in addition to the previously mentioned win. He likes this distance, shows a couple of good workouts, and the combination of jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Bruce Brown are winning at a 30% clip.
Longshot Bet (Granny Bet/Show Bet)
Belmont, Race 5, 3:09 p.m. ET
#5 Saved the Best: He ran a disappointing sixth in his last start after a wide trip around both turns. If we get a firm turf course, I think he will run much better on today’s track. Four starts ago he was seen winning on this turf for a slightly higher level of $35,000. Today, he runs for $25,000 and gets good rider that is not a common name for the New York circuit, so hopefully we get a great price.
Exacta Box (Gonzo Bet)
Barretts at Fairplex Park, Race 3, 4:50 p.m. ET
#2 Warren’s Tyler S.: Ran a good second last week on this track against a similar field at this same distance. He finished more than two lengths clear of the third-place finisher that day and now picks up the services of the second-leading jockey Edwin Maldonado.
#6 Grant: He has faced tougher competition in his short four-race career and his early speed make him very dangerous. He has a very good price of 10-to-1 on the morning line and if he improves in his first start for this new trainer, he might steal the race on the lead.
#8 Senor Pegasus: He made his career debut on this track and finished a very good second. He made a move on the final turn, got the lead and got passed late. I expect improvement in his second start and the addition of blinkers should help him focus more and show a little bit more speed. My top pick.
Best Bet (Monkey Bet/Win Bet)
Barretts at Fairplex Park, Race 8, 7:35 p.m. ET
#9 Lovmeister: He was claimed out of his last start in a $16,000 claiming race, where he finished fifth, by trainer Bill Spawr who is winning at a 24% clip with new claims. Today, he is dropping to the $10,000 claiming level and gets back on the dirt. His last few starts have been on synthtic or turf surfaces but if you go down his past performances to find his most recent dirt start, you will notice he finished third in a $200,000 stakes race against much tougher way back in March. In addition, that third-place finish came under today’s jockey.
Longshot Bet (Granny Bet/Show Bet)
Belmont, Race 6, 3:41 p.m. ET
#6 Familyofroses: Other than the favorite in this race (#11), I feel like this race is wide open and this filly has a chance to hit the board at a good price. She is only making her sixth lifetime start and it seems that all she needs is a trouble-free trip to show more talent. As little as three starts ago, she was considered the favorite against a similar field at this track. In contrast, today she is 12-1 on the morning line. They are removing the blinkers today and hopefully that allows her to view more of her surroundings and stay out of traffic trouble. I have a feeling we have not seen the best of this filly.
Exacta Box (Gonzo Bet)
Barretts at Fairplex Park, Race 10, 7:45 p.m. ET
#1 Laugh At Life: This horse has plenty of positives going for him. He has good speed (this is a speed-favoring track), has the leading jockey aboard, and gets back on the dirt (which looks to be his preferred surface). The last time he ran on the dirt, he won a $20,000 claiming race by more than seven lengths. Today’s race is for $32,000 but he fits well with this group.
#3 Tahoe Flash: He comes off a good allowance win where he earned his career-best speed figure to date. His trainer is having a solid meet and his horses that won their last race tend to win at a 26% clip the next time they race. I also like his style of racing; this horse looks like he can lay off the leaders and establish a good position to win.
#8 Kafister: I like his record and his potential to improve. He began his career with two wins, finished fourth in a $100,000 stakes race, and then was seen running third in his first start of 2013 back in April. He shows a good workout in preparation for this race and comes form the barn of trainer Ron Ellis who is winning at a 32% clip with new horses.