Piassek's Plays: Saturday Stakes Action at the Jersey Shore

Cheering home a winner at ‘The Shore’s Greatest Stretch.’ (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.

Monmouth Park, Race 11, $150,000 Eatontown Stakes, post time 4:47 p.m. ET

weekend Television schedule

Friday, June 17: 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, June 11: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on NBC; 1-3:30 p.m. on FS1; 3:30-7 p.m. and 9-11:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, June 12: 12:30-3 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. on FS1; 3-5 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

#8 Fluffy Socks: The Saturday card at Monmouth Park is absolutely loaded. There's four stakes races on the card, all of which serve as preps for stakes races on TVG.com Haskell Stakes day July 23. The Eatontown features a field of fillies and mares going long on the grass. Several of these are likely to reappear in the Matchmaker Stakes on the Haskell undercard.

Chad Brown, who has no shortage of top grass mares in his barn, entered a pair in here. One of them is Fluffy Socks, a graded stakes winner as a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old. She was defeated in both her races this year but she ran huge in both starts. She made her 4-year-old debut in mid-April at Keeneland in a stakes-quality allowance race. After falling off a slow early pace, she made a bold bid at the top of the stretch, but flattened out late and ended up second. Still, considering it was her first race in several months, it was an impressive performance. Next out, in the Modesty Stakes Presented by TwinSpires at Churchill Downs, she once again closed well and finished second to stablemate Bleecker Street, who came back to win the New York Stakes last Friday at Belmont Park. There's no one in here nearly as tough as that rival. Fluffy Socks's speed figures are consistently better than those of the rest, and she improved five points on the Brisnet scale last out from her season debut and six points on the Equibase scale. With Manny Franco set to come down from New York for this mount, Fluffy Socks looks poised to turn in a winning effort.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$6 to win on 8

$4 exacta, 8 with 4

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 8

$5 exacta, 8 with 4, 6 ($10 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$26 to win on 8

$8 exacta, 8 with 4, 6 ($16 total)

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

Monmouth Park, Race 12, $150,000 TVG.com Pegasus Stakes, post time 5:19 p.m. ET

#4 Electability: I'll try Chad and Manny again in this race, which serves as the local prep for the Haskell. Chad has the market cornered on top 3-year-old males as well, with horses like Zandon, Early Voting, and Jack Christopher already in his barn. Electability looks to stamp himself as a major 3-year-old contender here. He was one of the favorites in the Peter Pan Stakes last out, but didn't have much of a chance when We the People ran them off their feet. With the way the pace unfolded, Electability wasn't able to catch We the People, but he ran on well in the stretch and finished third, losing a place photo to Golden Glider. He's gotten better with every start and should find himself in a much more honest pace scenario. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if Manny sent him to the lead and tried to control the terms himself. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$5 to win on 4

$5 exacta, 4 with 2

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 4

$10 exacta, 4 with 2

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$28 to win on 4

$15 exacta, 4 with 2

$7 exacta, 2 with 4

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