Piassek’s Plays: Take Two at Turfway

Horses race into the turn earlier this year at Turfway Park. (Coady Photography)

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, March 27

Turfway Park, Race 8, Animal Kingdom Stakes, 4:40 p.m. ET

weekend TV schedule

Friday, March 26: post time varies on TVG

Saturday, March 27:
8 p.m.-1 p.m. ET on FS1; 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m. ET on FS2; 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET on FS1; 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, March 28:
1 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

#9 El Sobreviviente (12-1): This race features a lot of out-of-town horses. Many of them have been competing at glamorous tracks in high-quality races, in contrast to the more moderate competition at Turfway. However, there’s nothing wrong with taking a horse who has raced well on this track. It helps to know that a horse has experienced success on Turfway’s Tapeta Footings surface and will not be thrown out of their element.

El Sobreviviente is one such horse. His first start of the year on Jan. 23 was a solid effort. He recovered from a bad start to finish fifth in a first-level allowance race. In his next start, he broke cleanly and ran even bigger. He faced stiff competition on the lead from Fire Sword, a Wesley Ward trainee who was the overwhelming 1-2 favorite and looked very tough on paper. Fire Sword and El Sobreviviente dueled in the early stages, but as they entered the stretch Fire Sword began to tire while El Sobreviviente drew off. He crossed the finish line 1 ¾ lengths in front, earning a career-high Equibase Speed Figure in the process. He’s a fast-improving horse, he’s got early speed, and has success on this track. If he goes off near his morning line, he’ll be a fantastic bet.


$4 to win on 9

$1 exacta box: 1,7,9 ($6 total)


$8 to win on 9

$2 exacta key box: 9 with 1,7 ($8 total)

$1 trifecta: 9 with 1,2,7 with 1,2,7,8 ($9 total)


$16 to win on 9

$4 exacta key box: 9 with 1,7 ($16 total)

$1 trifecta key box: 9 with 1,2,7 ($18 total)

Turfway Park, Race 10, Bourbonette Oaks, 5:45 p.m. ET

#8 Adventuring (3-1): Trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux are always a dangerous pair. They’ve hit at a 27% win rate when they team up over the past 60 days.

They’ll team up once again with this filly, who most recently broke her maiden in impressive fashion at Fair Grounds. She rated well off the early pace, then launched her bid around the turn and drew off in the stretch. That race bodes well for her chances here as there’s lots of early speed. If the horses on the front end burn each other out, she’ll be right there waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces. It would be nice if she had some experience on the track, but the likely pace scenario here is so favorable for her, she should be just fine unless she absolutely hates the synthetic Tapeta Footings surface.


$5 to win on 8

$5 exacta: 8 with 3


$15 to win on 8

$5 exacta box: 8 with 3 ($10 total)


$26 to win on 8

$5 exacta key box: 8 with 3,10 ($20 total)

$1 trifecta: 8 with 3, 10 with 3,7,10 ($4 total)

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