Piassek’s Plays: Banking on Bounce-Back Races at Gulfstream

Horses race into the stretch coming off the far turn at Gulfstream Park. (Eclipse Sportswire)

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, April 17

Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 4:18 p.m. ET

weekend TV schedule

Friday, April 16: 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, April 17:
5 p.m.-8 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, April 18:
1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. on FS2; 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS1; 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

#3 Swing Low: Generally, horseplayers are deterred by a poor last-out performance by a horse. However, if the horse has shown promise in the past, had a valid reason for the poor effort, and looks ready to bounce back, it can result in a great wagering opportunity.

In his debut on Jan. 20, he was the only horse in the field of seven making his first start. He set the pace while being pressured from the outside but hung in gamely in spite of that. Swing Low managed to finish second, outfinishing his dueling partner on the lead by five lengths. In his next race, he stumbled at the start and cost himself a good spot up front. As a result, he was well-beaten. Since then, he’s had some good workouts, including one a week after his poor performance. With a clean break this time, I’m expecting a similar race to his debut, where he sets the pace and hangs on in the end.


$5 to win on 3

$5 exacta: 3 with 7


$15 to win on 3

$5 exacta: 3 with 2,7 ($10 total)


$20 to win on 3

$5 exacta key box: 3 with 2,7,8 ($30 total)

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 5:22 p.m. ET

#4 Reservenotattained: This is a somewhat unusual race as it’s a sprint allowance race with plenty of good horses, but not a ton of early speed. Reservenotattained looks like the fastest one early on, having been on or near the lead in five of his last six races. In his last start, he chased a loose longshot leader who led from start to finish, while Reservenotattained failed to change leads in the stretch and ended up third. His three races prior, in which he won after being on the pace, gives me reason to believe he can go gate-to-wire here. There is speed drawn to his outside, but Reservenotattained can keep them all hung wide from his post draw.


$4 to win on 4

$1 exacta box: 1,3,4 ($6 total)


$10 to win on 4

$1 exacta box: 1,3,4 ($6 total)

$1 trifecta: 4 with 1,2,3 with 1,2,3,8 ($9 total)


$12 to win on 4

$5 exacta key box: 4 with 1,3 ($20 total)

$2 trifecta, 4 with 1,2,3 with 1,2,3,8 ($18 total)

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