Friday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Fair Grounds Pick 6 single

March 15th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Friday, March 15 at Gulfstream Park, Turfway Park, and Charles Town, along with a horse to single in the $3,393 Pick 6 carryover at Fair Grounds.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Power Hour 15% Profit Boost: Receive a 15% boost (up to $25 per day) on your winning win, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagers in all eligible races at all tracks during a designated hour on March 15 and March 22. Today’s hour is 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.
  • Winter Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races every Thursday-Sunday.
  • Turfway Park 15% Win Bonus: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning single-horse win bets at Turfway Park every Friday in March.
  • Woodbine Mohawk 15% Trifecta Boost: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning trifecta wagers at Woodbine Mohawk during the month of March.
  • 10x Points at Fraser Downs: Receive 10x reward points on all wagers (excluding show bets) at Fraser Downs on Thursdays and Fridays in March.
  • Australian Autumn Racing Carnival $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any eligible race at Rosehill Gardens or Royal Randwick in Australia. Today’s track is Rosehill Gardens.
  • Kentucky Derby Week Bankroll Builder: Wager at least $50+ during the duration of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools and receive a cash bonus to wager during Kentucky Derby week, May 1 through May 4.
  • Cheltenham $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in any eligible race at Cheltenham on Tuesday through Friday.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Gulfstream Park: Race 2: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on turf, 1:40 p.m. ET)

#4 Far and Few (7-5) ran strongly over this course, distance, and class level on Feb. 23. Making her first start under the care of trainer George Weaver, Far and Few set blazing fractions of :21.39 and :43.76 before battling on to finish second by a neck.

Pacesetters have won 46% of five-furlong turf sprints at Gulfstream this meet, and Weaver wins at a 20% rate with horses running for the second time under his care, so Far and Few should be tough to catch on Friday. We’ll place a win bet on the daughter of Omaha Beach, then key her over the fast-working first-time starter #3 Antique Silver (5-1) in a small exacta.


  • #4 Far and Few (7-5)
  • #3 Antique Silver (5-1)
  • #1 Parade Ring (6-1)


  • $25 to win on #4 Far and Few (7-5)
  • $5 Exacta: 4 with 3
    Total: $30

Turfway Park: Race 1: $30,000 Maiden Claiming (six furlongs on Tapeta, 5:55 p.m. ET)

#3 One Sharp Tiz (6-1) is an intriguing new face in this $30,000 maiden claiming sprint. The son of Sharp Azteca showed a bit of speed in his debut sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs against maiden special weight competition at Ellis Park last July before fading to finish fifth.

One Sharp Tiz hasn’t run since, but he’s dropping in class, adding Lasix, and switching to Tapeta for his return, any or all of which could trigger improvement. He’s also switched to the care of trainer Eliska Kubinova, who has compiled a strong 9-2-1-4 (22%) record at Turfway Park since November.

Let’s take a shot betting One Sharp Tiz to win.


  • #3 One Sharp Tiz (6-1)
  • #4 Cause a Ruckus (4-1)
  • #5 Mr. Melo (9-2)


  • $20 to win on #3 One Sharp Tiz

Charles Town: Race 2: $5,000 Maiden Claiming (4 1/2 furlongs, 7:32 p.m. ET)

Pacesetters have been incredibly dominant in 4 1/2-furlong sprints at Charles Town this year, winning at a 61% rate. Horses drawn on the rail have also enjoyed abundant success, winning 22% of the time.

These stats bode well for the rail-drawn favorite #1 Free Admission (3-5), who has set the pace in each of her last five starts against $20,000 and $12,500 maiden claiming competition at Laurel Park. Dropping in class and cutting back from six furlongs to 4 1/2 furlongs should make this speedy filly mighty tough to catch.

Let’s bet Free Admission on top of a cold exacta using #5 Tap the Keg (4-1) for second place. The latter filly has cracked the trifecta in a couple of recent $5,000 maiden claimers sprinting 4 1/2 furlongs at Charles Town.


  • #1 Free Admission (3-5)
  • #5 Tap the Keg (4-1)
  • #3 Purple Calla (20-1)


  • $20 Exacta 1 with 5

Carryover Watch

Fair Grounds: Race 4: $3,393 Pick 6 carryover (7:27 p.m. ET)

After going unsolved for multiple racing days in a row, the ever-elusive $1 Pick 6 at Fair Grounds has tossed up a $3,393 carryover for Friday’s card.

A tricky sequence is on the agenda. Before scratches, the Pick 6 contain 59 horses (averaging about 9.8 per race), which works out to 844,800 possible outcomes. Only two of the 59 horses are also-eligible entrants, and each race contains at least eight horses, so finding a reliable single to build tickets around isn’t easy.

That said, we’ll give it a try in Race 6, a $10,000 maiden claimer for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds racing one mile on dirt. Even though a large 12-horse field has turned out, the majority of the entrants have run poorly in recent starts over this class level, so narrowing down the top contenders is reasonably straightforward.

The slight morning line favorite is #11 Kee Jee (4-1), who is dropping in class after finishing fourth and seventh in his first two starts against Louisiana-bred maiden special weight competition racing one mile at Fair Grounds. Those efforts earned Brisnet Speed ratings of 60 and 56 that stack up well against Friday’s field, so dropping in class should put Kee Jee in the thick of things down the homestretch. But he trailed during the early stages of his first two starts, and since there isn’t a crazy amount of speed in Friday’s field, Kee Jee may prove vulnerable from a pace perspective against #10 Takeover Fiftyfour (9-2).

Takeover Fiftyfour showed little after breaking slowly in his debut sprinting six furlongs in a $20,000 maiden claimer for Louisiana-breds at Fair Grounds, finishing eighth. But he improved sharply when dropping in class and stretching out over one mile in a $10,000 maiden claimer for Louisiana-breds at Fair Grounds, tracking the early pace before staying on to finish second with a 61 Brisnet Speed rating.

The fact Takeover Fiftyfour has run faster than Kee Jee on the Brisnet Speed rating scale is appealing, and the speed he showed last time out over Friday’s track, distance, and class level should ensure that he works out a favorable trip in his second start over this configuration. For these reasons, we’re willing to take a stand and single Takeover Fiftyfour at a nice price.

Good luck!