Piassek's Plays: Betting the Babies at Lone Star

Horses on the track at Lone Star 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, July 10

Lone Star Park, Race 9, Texas Thoroughbred Futurity, post time 6:53 p.m. ET

weekend TV schedule

Friday, July 9: 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, July 10:
1 p.m.-3 p.m. on FS1; 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, July 11:
12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. on FS2; 4 p.m.-5 p.m. on FS1; post time varies on TVG

#3 Red Hot Moon: A field of nine 2-year-old fillies line up here, in a race limited to Texas-breds or horses sold at the Texas Thoroughbred Auction sale. Two-year-old races at this time of the year can be tricky, as many of the horses have limited experience. However, I think this race has great wageirng potential, as two of the horses in it are very likely to be overbet.

The Reese Beast is the 5-2 morning-line favorite, despite being the only first-time starter in the race. While this filly has been working well, I always give horses with experience the edge in 2-year-old races over first-time starters. Expect the Boss, at 9-2 on the morning line, goes out for trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Stewart Elliott. They're all but certain to win their respective trainer-jockey titles at the meet, and hit at 19% when they team up. However, this filly had a clear lead in the stretch of her last start, but coughed it up when she stopped once she hit the front. Furthermore, her speed figures are a cut below those of the other contenders. Bettors are going to see that she's trained by Asmussen and ridden by Elliott, and flock to the windows.

The presence of two significant underlays makes this a very interesting betting race. Anyone else who you like will almost certainly go off at an inflated price.

I was impressed by Red Hot Moon's last start. She got engaged in a three-way speed duel with heavy pace pressure from two horses on her outside. However, she brushed them off and drew away to a 5 1/4-length win. One of her dueling rivals just barely held on for second, while the other was beaten almost 12 lengths. It was a big effort under tough circumstances, and she'll be very tough here if she keeps moving forward. Lane Luzzi, who rode her in her debut, is sidelined by injury right now, but she picks up a very capable substitute in David Cabrera, one of Lone Star's top jockeys.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$6 to win on 3

$2 exacta box: 6,3 ($4 total)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$8 to win on 3

$5 exacta: 3 with 2,6,8 ($15 total)

$2 exacta: 6 with 3 

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$9 to win on 3

$10 exacta: 3 with 2,6,8 ($30 total)

$5 exacta: 6 with 3 

$1 trifecta: 3 with 2,6,8 with 2,6,8 ($6 total)

Lone Star Park, Race 10, Texas Thoroughbred Futurity, post time 7:25 p.m. ET

#6 Tengo Mis Papeles: A full field of 12 has been assembled for the colts and geldings division of this race. Although Tengo Mis Papeles has been entered in another Texas-bred stakes for his second start, it's very likely that trainer Bret Calhoun has bigger goals in mind for him. He broke his maiden by 9 3/4 lengths in the Texas Stallion Staunch Avenger Stakes in an impressive effort. He broke alertly and went straight to the front, then brushed off a brief challenge and drew away while geared down by jockey Reylu Gutierrez. He won by a big margin in an impressive time, and although he's facing a tougher field here, he looks to have a world of potential based off his last performance. I'm excited to see him go longer distances in the future. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$4 to win on 6

$3 exacta: 6 with 5,9 ($6 total)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 6

$5 exacta: 6 with 5,9 ($10 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$26 to win on 6

$6 exacta: 6 with 5,8,9 ($18 total)

$1 trifecta: 6 with 5,8,9 with 5,8,9 ($6 total)

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