Keeler Johnson’s picks and plays of Nov. 13, 2023
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Monday, Nov. 13 at Horseshoe Indianapolis, Mahoning Valley, and Zia Park, along with horses to play in the $3,237 Pick 6 carryover at Finger Lakes.
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Picks and Plays
Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 2: Allowance (one mile, 3:01 p.m. ET)
#2 L. A. Woman (9-5) is a logical favorite for high-percentage trainer Brad Cox after winning her debut over this track and distance by three lengths. But L. A. Woman’s Brisnet Speed rating was only a 65, 11 points lower than the par winning number for Monday’s conditions.
Perhaps #7 Gigi’s World (10-1) can spring a surprise while switching from turf to dirt, which is a 23% winning move for trainer Michael Evans II. Gigi’s World was last seen rallying to finish third in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Keeneland and may find the competition easier at Horseshoe Indianapolis, where she broke her maiden sprinting in August.
Let’s bet Gigi’s World to win and play her in the exacta with L. A. Woman:
- #7 Gigi’s World (10-1)
- #2 L. A. Woman (9-5)
- #8 Si Certo (8-1)
- $15 to win on #7 Gigi’s World
- $10 Exacta: 2 with 7
- $5 Exacta: 7 with 2
Mahoning Valley: Race 8: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 4:06 p.m. ET)
None of the experienced runners in this maiden dash for Ohio-bred juvenile fillies have posted a Brisnet Speed rating higher than 60, which is nine points lower than the par winning number for these conditions.
That’s why we’re willing to back the first-time starter #3 Thirty Something (7-2). Conditioned by hot trainer Robert Gorham (a 27% winner at Mahoning this meet and a 17% winner debuting juveniles at this track since 2018), Thirty Something has shown some speed in training (breezing a bullet half-mile from the Thistledown starting gate in :48) and is slated to be ridden by jockey Erik Barbaran, a 35% winner teaming up with Gorham over the last two months.
We’ll bet Thirty Something to win and key him over #8 Danzaniteaway (4-1) in the exacta.
- #3 Thirty Something (7-2)
- #8 Danzaniteaway (4-1)
- #2 Historyinthemaking (5-1)
- $24 to win on #3 Thirty Something
- $6 Exacta: 3 with 8
Zia Park: Race 8: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs, 5:21 p.m. ET)
Many of the runners in this field of New Mexico-bred juveniles have been beaten multiple times. As a result, the once-raced #3 Hezekiah’s Rule (10-1) may have more upside for improvement.
Hezekiah’s Rule debuted over this distance and class level on Sept. 4 at Ruidoso Downs, finishing fifth after tracking the early pace. He’s put together a decent work tab since then and is adding blinkers for hot trainer Joel Marr, a 23% winner with second-time starters. There are enough positives in Hezekiah’s Rule’s corner to make his 10-1 morning line odds enticing.
We’ll bet Hezekiah’s Rule to win and call it a day.
- #3 Hezekiah’s Rule (10-1)
- #8 Holy Bullet (5-2)
- #12 Comfort J Byrd (7-2)
- $25 to win on #3 Hezekiah’s Rule
Finger Lakes: Race 3: $3,237 Pick 6 carryover (1:11 p.m. ET)
If starting the new week with the pursuit of a non-jackpot Pick 6 carryover sounds appealing, then check out the Monday card at Finger Lakes, where the $1 Pick 6 has tossed up a prize pool with $3,237.
Mathematically speaking, it’s a tricky sequence. The six races contain 50 horses (averaging about 8.3 per race) before scratches, which equates to 326,592 possible outcomes. The number of possible betting combinations is lower (229,376) thanks to a trio of coupled entries, but it’s still a challenging slate of races. Assemble a winning ticket, and there’s an outside chance you’ll sweep the whole pool.
The smallest field can be found in Race 8, a 5 1/2-furlong allowance for fillies and mares who have never won three races. With only seven horses in the entries, it’s an ideal race in which to seek a single. And fortunately, morning line favorite #1 Miss Stones (5-2) is a logical choice.
Formerly a competitor on the New York Racing Association circuit, Miss Stones has done well in two starts since transferring to Finger Lakes under the care of hot trainer Paul Barrow, who has gone 13-for-48 (27%) at this track over the last month. On Aug. 8, she pressed a quick pace in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance for non-winners of two races before weakening late to finish third by half a length. Returning over the same distance and class level on Sept. 12, Miss Stones survived a race-long duel to prevail by a neck over #7 Starr’s Delight, who returned to win her next start under identical conditions.
There isn’t much speed in Monday’s field, so Miss Stones figures to work out a favorable trip. Her main pace rival is Starr’s Delight, whom Miss Stones has already conquered, and Brisnet E1 and E2 Pace ratings suggest Miss Stones is consistently faster early than all of her Monday rivals. Pacesetters have won 42% of 5 1/2-furlong sprints at Finger Lakes this meet, so if Miss Stones makes the lead as expected from the rail draw, she’ll be tough to run down in the homestretch.