Friday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: $35,041 Los Alamitos Pick 6

July 5th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Friday, July 5 at Ellis Park, Aqueduct, and Horseshoe Indianapolis, plus a horse to single in the $35,041 Pick 6 carryover at Los Alamitos.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Harness 15% Trifecta Boost: Receive a 15% boost (up to $25 per day) on winning trifecta wagers in any eligible race at all harness tracks every Thursday through Saturday in July and August.
  • Los Alamitos $4,000 Leaderboard: Place $10+ win wagers at Los Alamitos Thursday through Sunday to compete for your share of a $4,000 prize pool.
  • Power Hour 15% Profit Boost: Receive a 15% boost (up to $25 per day) on all winning win, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagers in any eligible race between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Ellis Park: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs on dirt, 2:21 p.m. ET)

Godolphin homebred #6 First Resort (7-2) has been breezing up a storm at Turfway Park for trainer Eoin Harty. On three occasions, he’s posted bullet half-mile workouts in times ranging from :47 to :47 3/5. One of those exercises—half a mile in :47 1/5—came from the starting gate.

Harty has only debuted one juvenile at Ellis Park since 2019, and that one horse was the Godolphin homebred Hedwig, who won an August 2023 maiden special weight at odds of 10-1. Like First Resort, Hedwig conducted his pre-debut training at Turfway Park, though his work tab wasn’t as flashy as the one compiled by First Resort.

For all these reasons, First Resort is a compelling win play at his 7-2 morning line odds.


  • #6 First Resort (7-2)
  • #3 Borrowed Time (8-1)
  • #8 Charlie Tolu (5-1)


  • $25 to win on #6 First Resort

Aqueduct: Race 8: Brooklyn (G2, 1 3/8 miles on dirt, 4:42 p.m. ET)

#6 Next (4-5) is the dominant long-distance dirt racer in the United States. He wired the 2023 Brooklyn and has won three starts since then by double-digit margins, including the Greenwood Cup (G3) by a jaw-dropping 25 lengths.

Next started 2024 on a high note, winning the 1 1/2-mile Isaac Murphy Marathon at Churchill Downs by 11 1/4 lengths while stopping the clock in the track-record time of 2:27.93. A typical performance from Next should be sufficient to add another Brooklyn to his decorated record.

#3 Crupi (7-2), a rallying winner of the 1 1/4-mile Suburban (G2) at Saratoga last month, can complete a cold exacta.


  • #6 Next (4-5)
  • #3 Crupi (7-2)
  • #5 Drake’s Passage (4-1)


  • $20 Exacta: 6 with 3

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 8: William Garrett H. (five furlongs on turf, 5:47 p.m. ET)

#8 Nobals (2-1) won this race last year as part of a decorated season culminating with a Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) triumph. But while Nobals ran strongly in the Breeders’ Cup, he isn't always a dominant turf sprinter; two starts back he was all-out to win the ungraded Da Hoss S. at Colonial Downs by a head.

Nobals hasn’t run in eight months, so perhaps we can beat him off the layoff with #7 Coppola (3-1), winner of the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint and Silks Run S. during the winter at Gulfstream Park. Coppola exits respectable fourth-place finishes behind red-hot turf sprinter Cogburn in the Jaipur (G1) and Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2), so dropping in class for the William Garret H. can put Coppola in the hunt for victory.


  • #7 Coppola (3-1)
  • #8 Nobals (2-1)
  • #2 Mo Stash (9-2)


  • $20 Exacta: 7 with 8

Carryover Watch

Los Alamitos: Race 3: $35,041 Pick 6 carryover (4:58 p.m. ET)

There’s an enticing non-jackpot Pick 6 carryover up for grabs at Los Alamitos this Friday. No one managed to select all six winners on Thursday, triggering a $35,041 carryover.

At many tracks, the minimum bet amount for a non-jackpot Pick 6 has dropped from $2 to $1. Los Alamitos is an exception. The Pick 6 minimum is still $2 at the California oval, so you’ll need either a big budget or a couple of reliable singles if you want to have a fair shot at constructing a winning ticket.

To help your handicapping, we’ll recommend one single: #2 Golden River (2-1) in Race 8, a $50,000 maiden claimer for California-breds sprinting six furlongs on dirt. The three-year-old gelding is the fastest horse in the field from a Brisnet Speed rating standpoint and looks tough to beat under hot jockey Kyle Frey, a 28% winner at Los Alamitos this meet.

Golden River debuted against non-state-restricted competition in a $25,000 maiden claimer sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields. After settling in midfield, he rallied strongly down the homestretch to cross the wire first by 2 3/4 lengths, earning a 77 Brisnet Speed rating. Unfortunately, he caused interference on his way to the lead and wound up being disqualified to seventh place.

Golden River subsequently tackled a six-furlong maiden special weight for California-breds on dirt at Santa Anita. This time, he tracked and pressed the pace before weakening in the final furlong to finish third by 3 1/2 lengths. However, he improved his Brisnet Speed rating to 82, the highest number in Friday’s field at Los Alamitos.

Dropping into a $50,000 maiden claimer for California-breds might be all Golden River needs to visit the winner’s circle. Key rivals #1 Dance Man (7-2) and #7 Last Call Paul (9-2) have both been defeated multiple times over this class level and appear to have less upside than Golden River. Another logical contender, #3 Finners Goldnsense, is switching from turf to dirt and isn’t guaranteed to shine with the transition.

Thus, we’re left with Golden River as the most likely winner in the Pick 6 finale. Bettors planning to chase the carryover on a budget can feel good about singling him.

Good luck!