Keeler Johnson’s picks and plays of Nov. 22, 2023

November 22nd, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, Nov. 22 at Mahoning Valley, Tampa Bay Downs, and Churchill Downs, along with a single for the mandatory-payout $381,939 Pick 5 carryover at Parx Racing.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Hong Kong Jockey Club 15% Win Bonus: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 daily) on winning win bets at Happy Valley (HK) and Sha Tin (HK) every race day in November.
  • Churchill Downs $2,000 Late Pick 5 Hit It & Split It: Hit the Late Pick 5 at Churchill Downs on any racing day from Nov. 1 through Nov. 26 to win your share of a $2,000 daily jackpot.
  • 10x Points at Churchill Downs: Receive 10x reward points on all wagers at Churchill Downs from Nov. 8 through Nov. 26.

Picks and Plays

Mahoning Valley: Race 2: Allowance (5 1/2 furlongs, 1:12 p.m. ET)

#6 One Way Farrior (6-1) has posted a competitive series of Brisnet Speed ratings in Maryland and West Virginia, most recently throwing down a 73 when rallying to win a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Charles Town.

Trainer Anthony Farrior is winning at a 35% rate to start the Mahoning meet, and hot jockey Luis Rivera has won at a 33% rate teaming up with Farrior over the last two months, so at 6-1 One Way Farrior is worth betting to win.


  • #6 One Way Farrior (6-1)
  • #5 Poker Partner (5-2)
  • #3 Lucky Cougar (4-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 One Way Farrior

Tampa Bay Downs: Race 6: $25,000 Maiden Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs, 3:08 p.m. ET)

#11 Black Bullet (10-1) has put together a sharp series of workouts at the Nelson Jones Farms and Training Center, including a bullet five furlongs from the starting gate in 1:01. Trainer Ramon Minguet wins at a 23% rate with horses debuting in maiden claimers, so if Black Bullet’s 10-1 morning line odds hold up, she’s worthy of a win bet.

#2 Lady Prospect (5-2), runner-up in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Delaware Park last time out, is a logical choice to complete the exacta.


  • #11 Black Bullet (10-1)
  • #2 Lady Prospect (5-2)
  • #10 Corinth (10-1)


  • $15 to win on #11 Black Bullet
  • $5 Exacta: 11 with 2
    Total: $20

Churchill Downs: Race 6: $100,000 Maiden Claiming (1 1/16 miles, 3:31 p.m. ET)

#8 Avalon Girl (6-1) has a chance to outrun her morning line odds for high-percentage trainer Brad Cox, a 26% winner with horses debuting over one mile or farther. The daughter of Catalina Cruiser recently breezed a bullet half-mile in :48 4/5 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and is slated to be ridden by hot jockey Florent Geroux, who has gone 11-for-44 (25%) at Churchill Downs this meet.

We’ll keep things simple with a straightforward win bet on Avalon Girl.


  • #8 Avalon Girl (6-1)
  • #2 Standoutsensation (7-2)
  • #10 Savannamarie (10-1)


  • $20 to win on #8 Avalon Girl

Carryover Watch

Parx Racing: Race 6: $381,939 Pick 5 mandatory payout (2:20 p.m. ET)

Normally, the “Philly Big 5” is a jackpot-style Pick 5 wager offered twice per day at Parx Racing, which allows the carryover to grow to impressive size. Heading into Wednesday’s card, the prize pool for the 50-cent bet stands at $381,939.

Of course, winning the carryover requires assembling a unique winning ticket, which doesn’t happen very often. But on Wednesday, the Philly Big 5 is being offered only once, and the carryover is slated for mandatory payout. Bettors who select the highest number of winners (presumably five) will split the carryover equally, no unique winning ticket required.

Wednesday’s Philly Big 5 spans Race 6 through Race 10, a sequence encompassing 50 horses (averaging 10 per race) and 92,400 possible outcomes before scratches. It’s a tricky sequence as far as Pick 5s go, but we can reduce the complexity by singling #8 Glory Dia (5-2) in Race 8, a $5,000 claimer for fillies and mares who haven’t won a race since May 22.

The distance is six furlongs on dirt, which should suit Glory Dia just fine. Although the six-year-old mare has lost eight straight races since winning a 6 1/2-furlong allowance at Parx in December 2021, she’s been facing tougher competition then she’ll encounter on Wednesday.

Indeed, Glory Dia exits a third-place finish in a $10,000 claimer sprinting six furlongs on Nov. 13 at Parx, a race in which she earned a sharp 80 Brisnet Speed rating. That marked Glory Dia’s first start since being claimed by high-percentage trainer Jamie Ness, who wins at a lofty 29% rate with horses running for the second time after being claimed.

Dropping down to the $5,000 claiming level should make Glory Dia tough to beat. None of her rivals have recently earned a Brisnet Speed rating as high as 80, and Ness strikes at an impressive 33% rate with horses dropping multiple levels down the class ladder. Throw in the fact she’ll be ridden by jockey Ruben Silvera (24% winner teaming up with Ness over the last two months), and Glory Dia is a compelling single for the middle leg of the Philly Big 5.

Good luck!