Friday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Turfway's $7,880 Super High 5

January 26th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Friday, Jan. 26 at Turfway Park and Fair Grounds, including analysis of non-jackpot Pick 6 and Super High 5 carryovers.

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 8: $50,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (one mile on Tapeta, 9:25 p.m. ET)

#7 Botanical (6-5) is unbeaten and unchallenged in four starts at Turfway Park. She was much the best in a pair of Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifiers over this oval last March, trouncing the one-mile Cincinnati Trophy S. by 6 1/2 lengths and the 1 1/16-mile Bourbonette Oaks by 2 1/2 lengths.

Those victories yielded strong Brisnet Speed ratings of 91 and 94. Botanical hasn’t raced since finishing 13th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last May, but if she brings her A-game off the layoff, she can deliver victory under jockey Luan Machado, who has won more races at Turfway since November than any other rider.

Let’s single Botanical to start double and Pick 3 wagers, then key her on top of a cold exacta using the Grade 1-placed #8 Chop Chop (9-5) for second place.


  • #7 Botanical (6-5)
  • #8 Chop Chop (9-5)
  • #2 Cat Attack (15-1)


  • $15 Double: 7 with 11
  • $5 Pick 3: 7 with 11 with 12
  • $10 Exacta: 7 with 8
    Total: $30

Turfway Park: Race 9: Allowance (6 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 9:55 p.m. ET)

#11 Suncroft (3-5) was tons the best when debuting in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Turfway last month, setting quick fractions before powering away to win by 8 1/2 lengths with a 94 Brisnet Speed rating.

Suncroft is sticking to the same track and distance for his second start, and the Juddmonte homebred should be mighty tough to beat for the hot jockey/trainer duo of Axel Concepcion and Brad Cox, who have won at a 31% rate teaming up together over the last two months. Let’s single Suncroft to start another double wager.


  • #11 Suncroft (3-5)
  • #6 Chance (6-1)
  • #7 Kid Marvelous (8-1)


  • $20 Double: 11 with 12

Turfway Park: Race 10: Maiden Special Weight (6 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 10:25 p.m. ET)

Since 2022, trainer Paulo Lobo has compiled a stellar 5-for-11 (45%) record debuting three-year-olds in sprints at Turfway Park. With this powerful angle in mind, how can we oppose Lobo’s unraced #12 Atlantic Cat (12-1) in this maiden sprint for three-year-olds?

Atlantic Cat has put together a decent work tab at The Thoroughbred Center and isn’t facing the toughest field on paper, so the chestnut colt has every chance to spring a surprise at double-digit odds. A win bet is in order, and we’ll also single Atlantic Cat to conclude our double and Pick 3 wagers.


  • #12 Atlantic Cat (12-1)
  • #3 Dashed (15-1)
  • #10 Trouble’s Roaring (7-2)


  • $25 to win on #12 Atlantic Cat

Carryover Watch

Fair Grounds: Race 4: $8,505 Pick 6 carryover (3:15 p.m. ET)

No one hit the $1 Pick 6 at Fair Grounds on Thursday, a day when the track was sloppy and horses racing along the rail held an advantage. That’s important to keep in mind if you want to pursue a share of Friday’s $8,505 Pick 6 carryover.

There’s a chance the bias will arise again on Friday. After all, there’s more rain in the forecast for Fair Grounds, and the track figures to stay sloppy.

If early races on Friday suggest the rail is once again advantageous, that would make #1 Knockalittlelouder (4-1) a must-use contender in Race 4, the opening leg of the Pick 6. Race 4 is a $12,500 claimer for Louisiana-breds, and while it’s slated to take place over about one mile on turf, in all likelihood rain will cause Race 4 to be switched to one mile and 70 yards on dirt.

Knockalittlelouder has set the pace in each of his last three starts. Last time out, he finished second in a $12,500 claimer for Louisiana-breds racing about 7 1/2 furlongs over the Fair Grounds turf. But he’d previously wired back-to-back non-state-restricted $4,000 and $5,000 claimers on dirt at Evangeline Downs, smashing the $5,000 contest by 7 3/4 lengths.

With his speed and rail draw, Knockalittlelouder figures to have little difficulty securing an advantageous trip if Friday’s track comes up speed-favoring. That might be all he needs to reach the winner’s circle for the third time in his last four starts.

Turfway Park: Race 10: $7,880 Super High 5 carryover (10:25 p.m. ET)

The final race on Friday at Turfway Park features a $7,880 carryover in the $1 Super High 5.

We’ve already pointed out #12 Atlantic Cat (12-1) as a live threat to win on debut for trainer Paulo Lobo, so why not take a stand and key Atlantic Cat on top in the Super High 5? If he prevails at double-digit odds, we’ll be in line for a big payoff.

Underneath, we have to respect #10 Trouble’s Roaring (7-2) and #8 How’s Ur Attitude (3-1), who have placed in maiden special weight sprints at Turfway. And #3 Dashed (15-1) could be another live longshot after posting a couple of bullet half-mile workouts at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Here’s how we’ll bet the Super High 5:

  • $1 Super High 5: 12 with 8,10 with 8,10 with 1,2,3,4,7 with 1,2,3,4,7 ($40)
  • $1 Super High 5: 12 with 8,10 with 1,3,4 with 8,10 with 1,2,3,4,7 ($24)
  • $1 Super High 5: 12 with 1,3 with 8,10 with 8,10 with 1,2,3,4,7 ($16)
    Total: $80

Heads up for Woodbine Mohawk $125,693 Super High 5 mandatory payout

Fans of harness racing should keep their eyes on Woodbine Mohawk. The 20-cent Super High 5 has accumulated a jackpot carryover worth $125,693 USD ($169,686 CAD) and counting. It’s slated for a mandatory payout day on Saturday. If you want to get in on the action, you might want to start handicapping now.

Good luck!