Piassek's Plays: Seeing Green on Sunday at Kentucky Downs

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.


Sunday, Sept. 5

Kentucky Downs, Race 8, post time 5:15 p.m. ET

#3 Thedevilyousay: This 2-year-old maiden race comes down to who you think ran the better race at Ellis Park on Aug. 1. Thedevilyousay and #8 She’s Gone hit the finish line together in a three-horse blanket finish. Thedevilyousay finished second by a head, with She’s Gone another head back in third. Now, they’re the two morning-line favorites in this uber-competitive field.

Although She’s Gone is a slight morning line favorite at 3-1, I’ll give the edge to Thedevilyousay. She rated right off the leaders early on the inside, and it’s always promising when a horse shows speed in their debut. She’s Gone was about two lengths slower than her early on. Thedevilyousay lacked clear running room for part of the stretch, while She’s Gone had a clear path the whole way but struggled to make headway until late. She’s also making her second start for Steve Asmussen, who is 23% with his second-time starters. If Thedevilyousay goes off at a higher price than She’s Gone, as the morning line indicates, she’d make a great bet.

STRATEGY ON A $10 BUDGET

$5 to win on 3

$5 exacta: 3 with 8

STRATEGY ON A $25 BUDGET

$10 to win on 3

$5 exacta: 3 with 8, 10, 14 ($15 total)

STRATEGY ON A $50 BUDGET

$20 to win on 3

$5 exacta: 3 with 8,10,14 ($15 total)

$1 trifecta, 3 with 8,10,14 with 4,5,6,8,10,14 ($15 total)

Kentucky Downs, Race 9, Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks, post time 5:50 p.m. ET

#4 Line Dancing: Nine three-year-old fillies will travel 1 5/16 miles on the grass, taking one full lap on Kentucky’s sweeping turf course. None of them seems very likely to want the lead. In fact, none of them has had the lead at the first or second point of call in any of their recent races. This could make for a dawdling pace and give whoever has even a morsel of early speed an advantage. 

In her recent starts, Line Dancing has at least been close to the early pace. Last out, in an allowance-optional claiming race at Belmont Park, she rated right off the early leader and ended up losing by 2 1/4 lengths. As a 2-year-old in Maryland last year, she also prompted the pace, often sitting just a few lengths off the lead as they neared the halfway point. She’s the only one in the race who can be described as a front-runner even in the loosest sense, and that will play to her favor here. If Tyler Gaffalione sends her to the front, she can open up a comfortable advantage on the closers, set a slow pace, and leave them reeling as she pulls off the upset.

STRATEGY ON A $10 BUDGET

$5 to win on 4

$5 exacta: 4 with 8

STRATEGY ON A $25 BUDGET

$7 to win on 4

$7 exacta: 4 with 3,8 ($14 total)

$2 exacta: 3,8 with 4 ($4 total)

STRATEGY ON A $50 BUDGET

$10 to win on 4

$10 exacta: 4 with 3,8 ($20 total)

$5 exacta: 3,8 with 4 ($10 total)

$1 trifecta: 4 with 3,8 with 1,2,3,6,7,8,9 ($10 total)

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