Friday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: 15-1 shipper at Churchill

June 21st, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Friday, June 21 at Gulfstream Park and Churchill Downs, along with live longshots to support in the $1,377 Pick 5 carryover at Century Mile.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: Receive 10x reward points on all harness racing wagers (excluding show bets) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • Churchill Downs Selected Races $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in selected races at Churchill Downs every Friday through Sunday.
  • Hastings Racecourse $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any eligible race at Hastings Racecourse each racing day in June.
  • Royal Ascot $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select races at Ascot (UK) from Tuesday through Saturday.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Gulfstream Park: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on Tapeta, 12:55 p.m. ET)

Trainer Jose D’Angelo wins at a respectable 16% rate when debuting juveniles on Tapeta at Gulfstream, with 48% of such runners finishing in the money. These percentages are high enough to warrant a win bet on D’Angelo’s unraced two-year-old #3 Run My Card (8-1).

A son of Khozan (who sires a sharp 15% winners from first-time starters), Run My Card showed speed when breezing half a mile in :47 2/5 on June 2. His 8-1 morning line odds are enticing given all the positives in his corner.


  • #3 Run My Card (8-1)
  • #4 Shace Sloane (8-1)
  • #10 Torch Is Passed (7-2)


  • $20 to win on #3 Run My Card

Churchill Downs: Race 2: $100,000 Maiden Claiming (five furlongs on dirt, 1:14 p.m. ET)

#5 Galpin Sunday (9-2) is a son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who sires a decent 11% winners from first-time starters. The bay colt has put together a sharp work tab for trainer Aaron West, including a near-bullet half-mile in :47 2/5 and five furlongs from the starting gate in 1:00 4/5.

West wins at a 20% rate with first-time starters, and jockey Samuel Bermudez has gone 3-for-9 (33%) teaming up with West over the last two months, so there are a lot of positives in Galpin Sunday’s corner. At 9-2, he’s worth betting to win.


  • #5 Galpin Sunday (9-2)
  • #7 Complex Music (5-2)
  • #4 Sell It (5-1)


  • $20 to win on #5 Galpin Sunday

Churchill Downs: Race 7: Allowance (six furlongs on dirt, 3:50 p.m. ET)

#3 Midnight Dajoey (15-1) impressed when debuting in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs last month. Never more than two lengths off the pace, Midnight Dajoey was absolutely full of run down the homestretch, going from a head in front at the eighth pole to nine lengths in front at the finish line.

Midnight Dajoey rocketed his final sixteenth of a mile in :05.68 and appears to have meaningful talent. If he can handle the transition to dirt at Churchill for hot trainer Glenn Wismer, Midnight Dajoey can surprise at a big price.

We’ll place a win bet and call it a day.


  • #3 Midnight Dajoey (15-1)
  • #7 Lakota Territory (9-2)
  • #5 Cats by Five (2-1)


  • $20 to win on #3 Midnight Dajoey

Carryover Watch

Century Mile: Race 5: $1,377 Pick 5 carryover (10:15 p.m. ET)

The Friday card at Century Mile in Alberta, Canada is shaping up as a good one. There are two stakes on the agenda, and both are included within a 20-cent Pick 5 that features a $1,377 USD ($1,900 CAD) carryover.

The first stakes is Race 5, the $50,000 Shirley Vargo H. for fillies and mares sprinting seven furlongs on dirt. The seven-horse field is led by #6 Missczech (2-1), who was much the best in the six-furlong RedTail Landing H. at Century Mile last month. The five-year-old mare dueled for the lead before drawing off to win by 2 3/4 lengths with a career-best 92 Brisnet Speed rating.

Four of Missczech’s six rivals in the Shirley Vargo were defeated in the RedTail Landing, so if those form lines hold on Friday, Missczech will be tough to beat. But will they hold? That’s not necessarily a given. #1 Burrow Down (10-1), who finished fourth by 6 1/4 lengths while making her 2024 debut in the RedTail Landing, could potentially turn the tables in her second run of the season.

Burrow Down went 4-for-8 in 2023 while winning four stakes over distances from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. She ran particularly well in the 7 1/2-furlong Canada S., winning by 1 1/4 lengths with an 87 Speed rating. Burrow Down bounced out of the RedTail Landing to breeze a bullet half-mile in :46 1/5 at Century Mile last Friday, so don’t leave this double-digit longshot off your Pick 5 tickets.

The second stakes is Race 8, the $50,000 Spangled Jimmy H. taking place over seven furlongs on dirt. The logical favorite is #2 Decoy (7-2), who recently launched a last-to-first rally to win the six-furlong Journal H. at Century Mile by 1 3/4 lengths. His reward was a 90 Speed rating, his third 90+ number from his last six starts.

Still, we wouldn’t underestimate the chances of #5 Kauai Dan (15-1), who faded to finish third by 2 3/4 lengths in the Journal after dueling for the lead through hot fractions. He kicked off 2024 by wiring a 5 1/2-furlong $17,500 allowance optional claimer at Century Mile, winning by 6 1/4 lengths with a 94 Speed rating. If he can avoid getting burned up in a hot pace in the Spangled Jimmy, Kauai Dan has a chance to turn the tables on Decoy at double-digit odds.

Good luck!