Piassek’s Plays: Looking for Winners at Oaklawn

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, April 23

Oaklawn Park, Race 7, post time 4:22 p.m. ET

#7 Acehigh Royal: This race is a maiden special weight contest for 3-year-olds at six furlongs. Acehigh Royal ran a big race on debut last out, closing from well behind to get second, beaten by just three-quarters of a length. His Brisnet figure of 83 is tied for the second-best last-out mark in the race. The only horse in the field with a higher figure in his most recent start, Plausible Denile, has been second or third in each of his three starts and has burned a lot of money in the process. If he takes a lot of money again, that could drive up the price of the more lightly-raced Acehigh Royal. That one showed a lot of promise in his first start, and if he improves just a little bit, he’s got a big chance.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$6 to win on 7

$4 exacta, 7 with 3

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$13 to win on 7

$6 exacta, 7 with 3, 9 ($12 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$30 to win on 7

$10 exacta, 7 with 3, 9 ($20 total)

Oaklawn Park, Race 11, $1,000,000 Oaklawn Handicap, post time 6:41 p.m. ET

#5 Rated R Superstar: The co-feature race of the Saturday card drew a field of eight, including some of the top older horses based at Oaklawn. One of them is 9-year-old veteran Rated R Superstar. He’s won two stakes races at the meet so far, both times at big prices. He won the Fifth Season Stakes earlier in the year at 25.90-1, coming from just off the pace to win by a neck. In the Essex Handicap last out, he rated off the pace in the early stages and then came charging down the stretch and won by 2 1/4 lengths.

This horse has run triple digit Brisnet figures in both of those wins, and is one of two starters in the Oaklawn Handicap to have run at least a 100 twice in their last three starts. The other one, Idol, hasn’t raced since Oct. 2, and will almost assuredly be at a disadvantage compared to his more recently-raced rivals. Rated R Superstar, by contrast, is porven over this track and has beaten similar rivals recently. Hopefully he’ll once again go off at an overlaid price.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$5 to win on 5

$5 exacta, 5 with 8

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$11 to win on 5

$7 exacta, 5 with 2, 8 ($14 total)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$18 to win on 5

$10 exacta, 5 with 2, 8 ($20 total)

$2 trifecta, 5 with 2, 8 with 2, 3, 6, 8 ($12 total)

Year-To-Date Statistics

30 starts: 7 wins, 6 seconds, 6 thirds

$10 Budget Plays: $300 bet, $339.20 returned

$25 Budget Plays: $750 bet, $972.95 returned

$50 Budget Plays: $1,500 bet, $1,928.14 returned