Friday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Pick 6 carryovers galore

February 2nd, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Friday, Feb. 2 at Turfway Park and Delta Downs, along with horses to play in a trio of Pick 6 carryovers at Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, and Santa Anita.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Winter Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races every Thursday-Sunday.
  • Bayou & Bluegrass 10x Points: Receive 10x reward points on all wagers (excluding show bets) at Fair Grounds and Turfway Park from Nov. 29 through Feb. 4.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Turfway Park: Race 2: $15,000 Maiden Claiming (six furlongs on Tapeta, 6:25 p.m. ET)

#3 Phat Chance Fancy (4-1) showed some promise against maiden special weight competition at Ellis Park last year. After finishing fifth in her first two starts on dirt, the daughter of Bolt d’Oro switched to turf and employed pace-pressing tactics to finish third in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint.

Dropping in class for a $15,000 maiden claimer on Tapeta should help Phat Chance Fancy vie for victory under apprentice jockey Erick Fuentes, who rides with a 10-pound weight allowance. A large win bet is in order.


  • #3 Phat Chance Fancy (4-1)
  • #6 Wing and a Player (3-1)
  • #7 Beatrice Kiddo (8-1)


  • $30 to win on #3 Phat Chance Fancy

Delta Downs: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (6 1/2 furlongs, 7:13 p.m. ET)

This maiden special weight for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds hasn’t come up especially deep on paper, so we’ll take a shot betting first-time starter #6 Steel Argument (10-1). Trainer Juan Larrosa wins at a 25% rate with horses debuting in maiden special weights, and for good measure he’s gone 2-for-9 (22%) debuting three-year-olds in sprints at Delta Downs since 2021.

Throw in the fact Steel Argument is a son of Closing Argument (who sires a solid 15% winners from first-time starters), and there are reasons to believe he can outrun his 10-1 morning line odds. We’ll place a win bet on Steel Argument.


  • #6 Steel Argument (10-1)
  • #7 Tussling Charlie (2-1)
  • #3 Island Cabana (7-2)


  • $20 to win on #6 Steel Argument

Turfway Park: Race 6: Leonatus S. (one mile on Tapeta, 8:25 p.m. ET)

#6 Vote No (5-2) is 2-for-2 on Tapeta and 3-for-4 overall. His lone defeat was a respectable third-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Bourbon (G2) on turf at Keeneland.

Vote No recently returned to Tapeta for the 6 1/2-furlong Turfway Prevue S. at Turfway Park, in which he rallied strongly from off the pace to dominate by 5 1/4 lengths. Trainer William Morey wins at a 31% rate in non-graded stakes, so let’s count on Vote No to deliver a second straight Turfway stakes score.

#5 Epic Ride (3-1), a five-length maiden winner sprinting six furlongs at Turfway last month, can complete a cold exacta. But first, we’ll capitalize on the Winter Money Back promotion and place a win bet on Vote No.


  • #6 Vote No (5-2)
  • #5 Epic Ride (3-1)
  • #7 Salvattore Prince (4-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 Vote No
  • $10 Exacta: 6 with 5
    Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Aqueduct: Race 3: $29,051 Pick 6 carryover (1:50 p.m. ET)

If you want to win a share of Friday’s non-jackpot $29,051 Pick 6 carryover at Aqueduct, you’ll have to be careful handicapping Race 7, the penultimate leg of the $1 wager.

Race 7 is a $62,500 allowance optional claimer for older horses sprinting six furlongs on dirt. #5 Full Moon Madness (8-5) is the favorite after romping by 4 1/2 lengths in a six-furlong allowance at Aqueduct last month, but his career-best 94 Brisnet Speed rating doesn’t stand out by any means against Friday’s field. All of his rivals have run as fast or faster.

Coupled entrymates #1 Lord Captain (9-5) and #1A Power Seeker (9-5) both have the talent to challenge Full Moon Madness, but we’d argue #6 Listentoyourheart (5-2) is the most likely winner of all. He recently returned from a lengthy layoff to finish a close fourth over this track, distance, and class level on Dec. 31, beaten only one length while earning a 97 Brisnet Speed rating.

Last April, Listentoyourheart smashed a $45,000 allowance optional claimer for New York-breds at Aqueduct, beating a couple of next-out winners by 6 3/4 lengths with a 105 Brisnet Speed rating. Trainer Raymond Handal wins at a 22% rate with horses running back for the second time off a layoff, so there are reasons to believe Listentoyourheart can fire a winning shot on Friday.

Fair Grounds: Race 3: $6,746 Pick 6 carryover (2:45 p.m. ET)

Friday’s $1 Pick 6 at Fair Grounds has tossed up a non-jackpot carryover worth $6,746.

One of the most straightforward Pick 6 legs to handicap is Race 4, a $5,000 claimer for fillies and mares who have never won two races. The six-furlong dirt sprint isn’t exactly overflowing with pace on paper, which should favor #6 Mahomebred (2-1). The five-year-old mare has set the pace in four straight sprints, most notably wiring a $12,500 maiden claimer at Horseshoe Indianapolis and finishing second in a $16,000 claimer at Churchill Downs.

Mahomebred got burned up setting a fast pace in a six-furlong $15,000 claimer at Fair Grounds last month, fading to finish sixth. She should escape with an easier lead while dropping down to the $5,000 level, which stamps Mahomebred as a logical single.

Santa Anita: Race 3: $74,329 Pick 6 carryover (4:32 p.m. ET)

Looking for a single to build tickets around in Friday’s $74,329 Pick 6 carryover at Santa Anita? You’re in luck, because the $1 wager features a viable single candidate in the form of #6 Sweet Azteca (8-5), the morning line favorite in Race 7.

Race 7 is a $50,000 allowance optional claimer for fillies and mares sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt, which should suit Sweet Azteca just fine. She set a blazing pace when wiring her debut sprinting six furlongs at Churchill Downs and recently returned from an eight-month layoff to finish third in Santa Anita’s six-furlong Las Flores (G3).

Sweet Azteca set the pace in the Las Flores, and from all appearances she’ll secure an easier lead while dropping in class on Friday. She enters off a bullet five-furlong workout in :58 3/5 at Santa Anita, suggesting Sweet Azteca will be mighty tough to beat in her second start off the layoff.

Good luck!