Piassek's Plays: Aggressive Approach Saturday at Aqueduct

Bundling up for late fall action at Aqueduct. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

In his regular gambling blog, John Piassek presents his top picks for the upcoming weekend in horse racing, offering betting options at different budget levels. Piassek’s Plays is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

Piassek has contributed to the horse racing sites The Racing Biz and Danonymous Racing and worked at Tioga Downs, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga Race Course. He joined America’s Best Racing in January 2021.

Saturday, Nov. 20

Aqueduct, Race 6, post time 2:14 p.m. ET

weekend Television schedule

Friday, Nov. 19: 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Nov. 20: 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Nov. 21: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on FS2; 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS1; post time varies on TVG

#2 Cost Basis: This race is a second-level allowance optional claiming race at six furlongs on dirt. Cost Basis returned from a long layoff in August and he has been getting better with every start since then. He ran a huge race last out, battling on the lead with Newbomb down the stretch before losing a close photo finish. He ran a lifetime-top Equibase Speed Figure of 106 while finishing far ahead of several of his rivals in Saturday's race. He's had plenty of time off since that Oct. 1 effort, making a "bounce," or a regression from his best form, less likely. He's likely to go off at a short price but is a horse you can wager on with confidence.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$6 to win on 2

$4 exacta, 2 with 3

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 2

$10 exacta, 2 with 3

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$30 to win on 2

$10 exacta, 2 with 3, 4 ($20 total)

Aqueduct, Race 8, post time 3:14 p.m. ET

#2 Kawhi Me a River: This 3-year-old John Terranova trainee is the lighest-raced member of the field, having raced just four times going into this race. He broke his maiden two starts back, stalking the pace and drawing off to an easy win at six furlongs at Belmont Park. He ran a lifetime-top Equibase figure of 88 and then earned another lifetime top of 93 with a game fourth-place finish in the Carle Place Stakes. This will be his first start at this level, making him the only horse in the field who has never lost an allowance race. His figures already make him a serious contender, and if he continues to move forward, he'll be tough to beat. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$5 to win on 2

$5 exacta, 2 with 10 

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 2

$10 exacta, 2 with 10

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$20 to win on 2

$15 exacta, 2 with 10

$3 trifecta, 2 with 10 with 1, 3, 6, 7, 9 ($15 total)

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