Piassek's Plays: Saturday Bets in the Buckeye State

Gambling
Pre-race planning in the paddock with the goal of picking winners. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

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.


Thistledown, Race 7, post time 2:48 p.m. ET

weekend Television schedule

Friday, June 24: 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, June 25: 12:30-4 p.m. on FS1; 4-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, June 26: 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. on FS1; 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

#6 Woodland Walk: The seventh race on the loaded Saturday card at Thistledown is a starter allowance race at six furlongs. Even though he's 11 years old, Woodland Walk remains in excellent form. He's run a Brisnet figure of at least 93 in four of his last five starts. His only recent bad race came on the synthetic track at Turfway Park, but he excels at Thistledown with an 11-for-24 lifetime mark on this track. In his first start of the year last out, he raced wide on the pace and drew off impressively to win by 3 1/4 lengths. He should be able to work out a similar trip as last time, and he'll be in prime position to launch a powerful rally on the turn.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$6 to win on 6

$4 exacta, 6 with 1/1A

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 6

$10 exacta, 6 with 1/1A

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$28 to win on 6

$15 exacta, 6 with 1/1A

$7 exacta, 1/1A with 6

Thistledown, Race 8, $75,000 Daniel Sterns Cleveland Gold Cup, post time 3:18 p.m. ET

#2 Rumble Strip Ron: Eight Ohio-bred 3-year-olds will race 1 1/16 miles in the first of four stakes races on the card. This race is essentially a rematch of the June 3 Green Carpet Stakes at Belterra Park. Seven horses in this race last raced there, including the top four finishers. A lot of this race boils down to who you think ran the best race that day.

Rumble Strip Ron overcame a lot of adversity in his performance. Although he usually races near the early lead, he got bumped around a bit at the start and fell well off the pace. However, he made up a lot of ground on the turn and drew into contention in the stretch. He dueled on the rail in the lane and finished second by a neck, equaling his career-top figure with a 79. Sonny Leon, who rode him that day and also usually rides Green Carpet winner Country Club Bobby, has decided to stick with this one, an encouraging sign. With a more idyllic setup, Rumble Strip Ron should be ready to turn in another big effort. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$7 to win on 2

$3 exacta, 2 with 8

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$10 to win on 2

$7 exacta, 2 with 7, 8 ($14 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$14 to win on 2

$9 exacta, 2 with 7, 8 ($18 total)

$3 trifecta, 2 with 7, 8 with 4, 6, 7, 8 ($18 total)

Year-To-Date Statistics

50 starts: 8 wins, 8 seconds, 8 thirds

$10 Budget Plays: $500 bet, $368.20 returned

$25 Budget Plays: $1,250 bet, $1,030.95 returned

$50 Budget Plays: $2,500 bet, $2,073.14 returned 

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