Piassek’s Plays: Betting Speed at Santa Anita

Gambling
And they’re off at The Great Race Place, Santa Anita 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.


weekend Television schedule

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

Friday, April 2: 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, April 3: 1 p.m.-7 p.m. on FS2; 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Santa Anita Park, Race 7, post time 6 p.m. ET

#7 Rip City: Speed has been good on the turf course at Santa Anita Park all winter long, and this is a race without a lot of horses who want the early lead. In his last start, Rip City got stuck behind a very funky pace scenario. Whisper Not, who was the overwhelming 1-2 favorite, went out to the front and opened up a long, uncontested early lead. Although Rip City closed on him late, Whisper Not held on for a 1 ¼-length win.

If you took Whisper Not out of that race, Rip City would have led at every point of call, and finished an impressive 5 ¼ lengths ahead of the others. He’s been either on the lead or close to it in every recent start, which is not something many of his opponents can say. He’s also making his second start off the layoff and has finished first or second in four of five races over this track. Without a horse as good as Whisper Not to contend with early on, Rip City should be able to control the pace and go gate-to-wire.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$6 to win on 7

$2 exacta box, 7 with 8 ($4 total)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 7

$5 exacta box, 7 with 8 ($10 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$30 to win on 7

$5 exacta key box, 7 with 2, 8 ($20 total)

Santa Anita Park, Race 10, Evening Jewel Stakes, post time 7:30 p.m. ET

#5 Becca Taylor: This Steve Miyadi-trained filly makes her stakes debut here off a very impressive in a California-bred allowance race last out. She rated just off the lead in the early stages and then made a move right into the teeth of a fast pace at the opening quarter. She got a challenge from early leader Maddie’s Mojito in the stretch, but she kept that rival at bay and held on to win by a neck, earning a lifetime top Equibase Speed Figure by seven points. She brings a perfect 3-for-3 record into this race, has great tactical speed, and gets a jockey upgrade to Santa Anita’s top rider, Flavien Prat. As such, she looks likely to take another step forward here, which would make her very tough to beat. If she wins this California-bred stakes, a try against open graded stakes company might be next.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$5 to win on 5

$5 exacta, 5 with 9

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$9 to win on 5

$3 exacta key box, 5 with 8, 9 ($12 total)

$1 trifecta, 5 with 8, 9, with 4, 8, 9 ($3 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$21 to win on 5

$5 exacta key box, 5 with 8, 9 ($20 total)

$3 trifecta, 5 with 8, 9 with 4, 8, 9 ($9 total)

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