Piassek's Plays: New Year's Day Picks at Fair Grounds

Gambling
Horses break from the starting gate at Fair Grounds. (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, Jan. 1

Fair Grounds, Race 6, post time 4:35 p.m. ET

Television schedule

Thursday, Dec. 30: post time varies on TVG

Friday, Dec. 31: 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Jan. 1: 2:30 p.m.-6 p.m. on FS1; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Jan. 2: 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on FS1; post time varies on TVG

#3 Misthaven: After a string of starts against stakes company, this filly should enjoy the class relief into non-winners of two allowance company. She impressively broke her maiden at Kentucky Downs in September, rating in the middle of the pack early on and drawing off to victory. Since then, she's raced twice against stakes horses, and while she ran competitive speed figures for this level, she was not a factor in either one of those races. She adds Lasix for the first time for her 3-year-old debut and should put in a big performance. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$5 to win on 3

$5 exacta, 3 with 1/1A

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 3

$10 exacta, 3 with 1/1A

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$20 to win on 3

$15 exacta 3 with 1/1A, 5 ($30 total)

Fair Grounds, Race 9, post time 6:07 p.m. ET

#10 Isn't It Time: This Louisiana-bred maiden race predominantly features horses who have raced just once. The key to this race is figuring out who ran the best race on debut and is most likely to move forward second time out.

Isn't It Time looks like that horse. In her first career start on Nov. 27 she was well-backed at this level, going off as the even-money favorite in a race of predominantly first-time starters. She broke slowly but closed well and got up for third. She adds Lasix here and has several recent good workouts. As long as she breaks cleanly, she shouldn't have much trouble with this field. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$4 to win on 10

$3 exacta, 10 with 7, 8 ($6 total)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$10 to win on 10

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

50-cent trifecta, 10 with 7, 8 with 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 ($5 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$20 to win on 10

$10 exacta, 10 with 7, 8 ($20 total)

$1 trifecta, 10 with 7, 8 with 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 ($10 total)

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