Piassek's Plays: Saturday Stakes at Delaware Park

Horses leave the gate at Delaware 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 3

Delaware Park, Race 6, Alapocas Run Stakes, post time 3:45 p.m. ET

weekend Television schedule

Friday, July 2: 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, July 3: 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on FS1; 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. on FS2; 5 p.m.-6 p.m. on NBC; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, July 4: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. on FS1; 5 p.m.-6 p.m. on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

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

#4 Golden Candy: This Pennsylvania-bred 4-year-old looks like he's on the verge of a breakthrough here. He's won five of his last seven races, with all those wins coming in allowance races at tracks all over the mid-Atlantic. One of his best races came in his last start, an open allowance race at Parx Racing on June 7. He rated right off a brutally fast pace, then went into the teeth of the battle on the turn and fought gamely in the stretch. He won by a head over Admiral Abe, who is one of the top horses based at Parx. In fact, Admiral Abe came back to win an open allowance at Parx next out for his fourth win in his last six starts.

Golden Candy will make his third start off the layoff here, usually a time where horses run their peak race. He has enjoyed great success at Delaware, with five wins in nine starts on this track. He's never won a stakes before, but he's finished third in his two most recent stakes tries against similar company. The circumstances are ideal for him to run a career-best race here, and that should get him into the winner's circle.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$5 to win on 4

$5 exacta, 4 with 3 ($5 total)

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$11 to win on 4

$5 exacta, 4 with 3, 10 ($10 total)

$2 exacta, 3, 10 with 4 ($4 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget 

$20 to win on 4

$8 exacta, 4 with 3, 8, 10 ($24 total)

$2 exacta, 3, 8, 10 with 4 ($6 total)

Delaware Park, Race 8, $300,000 Grade 2 Delaware Oaks, post time 4:45 p.m. ET

#3 Midnight Obsession: Can another Pennsylvania-bred win a stakes on Saturday at Delaware? Can she upset the heavily favored midwestern invader with multiple graded stakes wins in her career? I'm willing to bet the answer is yes.

Crazy Beautiful, for trainer Ken McPeek, is the likely odds-on choice in this race. She's won two stakes races this year, having prevailed in the Gulfstream Park Oaks and the Summertime Oaks. She has great late pace figures, adds Lasix for the first time, and gets the riding services of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. The main downside to Crazy Beautiful is that she doesn't have any early speed. She likes to sit far behind ealry on and then make a big move late. That can be fun to watch, and she may be talented enough to win this race anyway, but since she'll go off at low odds I'll look elsewhere.

One of the locals, Midnight Obsession, has the best shot. She broke through with an impressive effort in a first-level allowance at Belmont Park on April 25. She won by a length despite a wide trip. In her next start, the Lyphard Stakes at Penn National on May 28, she stayed close to a hot pace, then finished second after fighting with a rival who sat a great trip. This filly should keep moving forward here, and if she does, we could see an upset.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$5 to win on 3

$5 exacta, 3 with 7

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$12 to win on 3

$10 exacta, 3 with 7

$3 exacta, 3 with 6

Strategy on a $50 Budget 

$25 to win on 3

$18 exacta, 3 with 7

$7 exacta, 3 with 6

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