Piassek's Plays: Making Money at Mountaineer

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, Aug. 7

Mountaineer Race Track, Race 2, $75,000 West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker’s Cup Stakes, post time 2:25 p.m. ET

#2 Monarchs Glen: An eclectic field of 12 has lined up for this one mile, seventy yard grass affair. Florent Geroux has picked up three mounts on the card for trainer Mike Maker, and this 7-year-old gelding is one of them. He’s coming off two consecutive wins at Churchill Downs and Indiana Grand Race Course. In both those starts, he came from the back of the pack and frantically rallied to victory. Last out, he faced a similar bunch in the Jonathan Schuster Memorial Stakes, and got up for a half-length win after a wide trip. Since getting claimed by Maker in mid-March at Gulfstream Park, his only bad race came in the Louisville Stakes, where the 1 1/2-mile distance may have been a bit too far for his liking. It didn’t help that he was extremely wide the whole way. Here, he’s drawn towards the inside, should get a good pace to run at, and is in the capable hands of Geroux.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$4 to win on 2

$1 exacta box, 2, 4, 8 ($6 total)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$7 to win on 2

$3 exacta box, 2, 4, 8 ($18 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$17 to win on 2

$4 exacta box, 2, 4, 8 ($24 total)

$1 trifecta, 2 with 4, 8, 11 with 1, 4, 8, 11 ($9 total)

Mountaineer Race Track, Race 8, $750,000 West Virginia Derby, post time 5:35 p.m. ET

#2 Kinetic Sky: The likely favorite in the field of seven is Mr. Wireless, coming off an impressive win in the Indiana Derby last out. Perhaps his stiffest competition will come from a pair of Brad Cox runners. Warrant is the likely second choice, off a win in the Texas Derby at Lone Star Park.

I’ll try his stablemate, who will go off at higher odds and has lots of room for improvement. Kinetic Sky was impressive against first-level allowance optional claiming horses last out at Churchill Downs, stalking the pace and running away by 1 1/4 lengths. His figures have improved sharply from age 2 to 3, running four Equibase speed figures in the 90s in a row. Geroux opted for Cox’s other runner, but this one gets a capable substitute in Joe Talamo. Horses with profiles like Kinetic Sky’s often win races like the West Virginia Derby, and I’m hoping he does so at a nice price.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$5 to win on 2

$5 exacta, 2 with 4

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$15 to win on 2

$5 exacta, 2 with 4, 5 ($10 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$30 to win on 2

$10 exacta, 2 with 4, 5 ($20 total)

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