Piassek's Plays: Saturday Stakes Action at Delaware Park

Fans watch the races at Delaware Park in 2019. (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.

Delaware Park, Race 4, $100,000 Alapocas Run Stakes, post time 2 p.m. ET

weekend Television schedule

Friday, July 1: 12:30-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, July 2: 12:30-3 p.m. on FS1; 3-5 p.m. on FS2; 4-6 p.m. on NBC; post time varies on TVG

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

Monday, July 4: 12:30-6 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

#1 Greeley and Ben: A field of nine will sprint six furlongs in the first of four stakes races on the Saturday Delaware Park card. The field includes the top two finishers from the June 4 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth Park, and those two will likely be the favorites. Drafted took advantage of a very fast pace and got up to win, for his third stakes victory of the year. Greeley and Ben was close to the early pace, but fought on in the stretch and lost to Drafted by just three quarters of a length. He's shown in recent starts that he can get to the front and not be intimidated by fast fractions, hanging on gamely until late. What's more, Trevor McCarthy, who usually doesn't ride at Delaware, is coming down for some stakes mounts. He's one of the strongest riders on his home circuit of New York, and always gets a maximum effort out of his horses. With a usual vigrous Trevor ride, Greeley and Ben should be able to withstand pace pressure and hold off Drafted's rally.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$6 to win on 1

$4 exacta, 1 with 3

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 1

$10 exacta, 1 with 3

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$30 to win on 1

$20 exacta, 1 with 3

Delaware Park, Race 6, $300,000 Delaware Oaks, post time 3 p.m. ET

#5 Morning Matcha: Eight 3-year-old fillies will go 1 1/16 miles on dirt in the feature race on the card. Although she finished off the board in her two prior graded stakes attempts, I still think Morning Matcha has lots of promise. She likes to rate near the back early on and then make a big closing rally. That strategy worked for her in the Main Line Stakes at Parx Racing in March, which she won by 6 3/4 lengths. She got caught behind a slow pace in the Gazelle Stakes next out and had no chance, although she had a great late pace figure. In the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, she made up lots of ground from last place and got up for sixth. Carol Cedeno, one of the leading jockeys at Delaware, gets the mount for the first time, and the filly is also adding Lasix. With lots of speed horses in the race, the pace should be honest, enabling Morning Matcha to use her late speed to maximum effect. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$7 to win on 5

$3 exacta, 5 with 3

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$13 to win on 5

$6 exacta, 5 with 3, 4 ($12 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$26 to win on 5

$12 exacta, 5 with 3, 4 ($24 total)

Year-To-Date Statistics

52 starts: 9 wins, 8 seconds, 8 thirds

$10 Budget Plays: $520 bet, $408 returned

$25 Budget Plays: $1,300 bet, $1,130.95 returned

$50 Budget Plays: $2,600 bet, $2,237.24 returned 

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