Keeler Johnson’s picks and plays of Nov. 3, 2023
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Friday, Nov. 3 at Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs, and Delta Downs, along with horses to play in large carryovers at Gulfstream and Aqueduct.
Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:
- 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.
- 20x Points at Churchill Downs: Receive 20x reward points on all wagers at Churchill Downs from Friday through Sunday.
- Breeders’ Cup $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in any Breeders’ Cup race on Friday or Saturday. Field size minimums apply.
Picks and Plays
Gulfstream Park: Race 8: Cellars Shiraz S. (1 1/16 miles on Tapeta, 4:18 p.m. ET)
#7 Time Passage (8-5) boasts a 3-for-3 record running long over the Gulfstream Park Tapeta. Those three wins have come in consecutive fashion since Aug. 20, and she led all the way each time, most recently trouncing the Miss Gracie S. by 2 3/4 lengths.
Time Passage looks ready to win right back at a short price, so we’ll take a shot betting her over the graded stakes-placed #4 Flakes (9-2) in a cold exacta.
- #7 Time Passage (8-5)
- #4 Flakes (9-2)
- #5 Coco (7-2)
- $15 Exacta: 7 with 4
Churchill Downs: Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (seven furlongs, 4:31 p.m. ET)
#2 Bang Bang Fury (7-2) debuted against 10 rivals in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Churchill Downs and rallied from fifth place to finish third, beaten only a neck by next-out Rags to Riches S. winner West Sunset.
That effort produced an 86 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest number in Friday’s field and four points higher than the par winning number (82) for these conditions. In short, Bang Bang Fury is a logical choice to upset favored #3 West Omaha (2-1), a Brad Cox trainee who debuted with an 83 Brisnet Speed rating.
A win bet with a cold exacta is the way we’ll play.
- #2 Bang Bang Fury (7-2)
- #3 West Omaha (2-1)
- #9 Pun Intended (10-1)
- $25 to win on #2 Bang Bang Fury
- $5 Exacta: 2 with 3
Delta Downs: Race 2: Delta Mile S. (one mile, 6:43 p.m. ET)
#5 Touchuponastar (3-1) has won seven of his last eight starts by daylight margins. All of those wins came against Louisiana-bred competition, but Touchuponastar has also run well against open company, finishing second by 1 1/2 lengths in the Steve Sexton Mile (G3) at Lone Star Park.
Touchuponastar has lots of speed and is 3-for-3 at Delta Downs, so tackling a non-state-restricted stakes at Delta should fit the four-year-old gelding just fine. If his enticing 3-1 morning line odds hold up (which isn’t guaranteed), we’ll place a large win bet on Touchuponastar and call it a day.
- #5 Touchuponastar (3-1)
- #6 Miles D (5-1)
- #1 Katonah (6-1)
- $40 to win on #5 Touchuponastar
Aqueduct: Race 5: $37,683 Pick 6 carryover (2:16 p.m. ET)
Aqueduct: Race 6: $147,582 Pick 5 carryover (2:51 p.m. ET)
A 100-1 shot won the Thursday finale at Aqueduct, triggering a pair of non-jackpot carryovers worth $37,683 ($1 Pick 6) and $147,582 (50-cent Late Pick 5).
The two wagers overlap and include Race 9, the $150,000 Discovery S. for three-year-olds racing 1 1/8 miles on dirt. At first glance, morning line favorite #2 Crupi (7-5) looks like a viable single. He’s the only horse in the field to have cracked the triple-digit Brisnet Speed rating plateau, and he’s done so twice, winning a 1 1/8-mile Saratoga allowance with a 101 before earning a 100 when fifth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1).
But those big figures were earned over wet tracks. When Crupi broke his maiden over dry footing at Monmouth Park, he earned a 91 Brisnet Speed rating.
Pick 5 and Pick 6 bettors might want to use #6 Tabeguache (2-1) as backup. The improving Brad Cox trainee has won three straight starts, most notably rallying into a slow pace to win the 1 1/16-mile St. Louis Derby by a head over next-out Bourbon Trail S. winner Slip Mahoney.
Tabeguache has yet to run as fast as Crupi, but he’s progressing in the right direction for a high-percentage trainer and enters off a sharp series of workouts. He looks capable of springing a mild upset.
Gulfstream Park: Race 5: $48,216 Pick 5 carryover (2:48 p.m. ET)
There’s a $48,216 non-jackpot carryover up for grabs in Friday’s 50-cent Late Pick 5 at Gulfstream Park.
The sequence is tricky, but not inscrutable. The five races contain 45 horses (averaging nine per race) before scratches, which adds up to 51,597 possible outcomes.
You can slice that number all the way down to 7,371 if you’re willing to single the above-mentioned #7 Time Passage (8-5) in Race 8, the Cellars Shiraz S. There are only seven horses in the entries, so mathematically speaking the Cellars Shiraz is an ideal spot in which to seek a Pick 5 single.
As we’ve outlined already, Time Passage is in hot form and brings speed to the table. She’s never lost running long over the Gulfstream Tapeta track and rates as the fastest entrant from a Brisnet Speed rating perspective, so for all these reasons Time Passage is a compelling single.