Keeler Johnson’s picks and plays of Nov. 6, 2023

November 6th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Monday, Nov. 6 at Mahoning Valley and Zia Park, along with horses to play in the $2,165 Pick 6 carryover at Finger Lakes.

Picks and Plays

Mahoning Valley: Race 1: Allowance (one mile, 12:45 p.m. ET)

#6 Dolce Marie (6-5) has already beaten the majority of the rivals she’ll face in this one-mile allowance for Ohio-bred fillies and mares. She’s never run farther than six furlongs, but she wired her debut and finished second by less than one length after setting the pace in a Mahoning Valley allowance last time out, so Dolce Marie figures to secure an uncontested lead while stretching out in distance.

We’ll single Dolce Marie to start a cold double wager:


  • #6 Dolce Marie (6-5)
  • #1 One Rich Kitten (9-2)
  • #3 Welloiledcat (15-1)


  • $25 Double: 6 with 4

Mahoning Valley: Race 2: $4,000 Claiming (six furlongs, 1:12 p.m. ET)

#4 Lazarus Project (6-5) is dropping in class after finishing sixth (beaten only four lengths) in an $8,000 claimer at Mahoning Valley last month. His Brisnet Speed ratings are strong, and trainer Valerie Shanyfelt wins at a 40% rate with horses dropping multiple levels down the class ladder, so Lazarus Project should be tough to beat on Monday.

We’ll single Lazarus Project to conclude our double wager, then key him over #3 Broadway Jones (4-1) in a cold exacta.


  • #4 Lazarus Project (6-5)
  • #3 Broadway Jones (4-1)
  • #6 Reinsure (5-1)


  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 3

Zia Park: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs, 3:57 p.m. ET)

Since 2021, trainer Joel Marr has gone 4-for-13 (31%) debuting juveniles at Zia Park. This bodes well for Marr’s unraced two-year-old #8 Captain Fabulous (12-1), who has put together a sharp work tab in preparation for his debut. On Oct. 18, the son of Om sped half a mile from the Zia Park starting gate in :47.

At 12-1, a large win bet is in order. We’ll also play Captain Fabulous over fellow first-time starter #6 Desperate Man (9-2) in a small exacta.


  • #8 Captain Fabulous (12-1)
  • #6 Desperate Man (9-2)
  • #5 Son of a Bling (6-1)


  • $20 to win on #8 Captain Fabulous
  • $5 Exacta: 8 with 6
    Total: $25

Carryover Watch

Finger Lakes: Race 3: $2,165 Pick 6 carryover (1:11 p.m. ET)

If you’re still riding the wave of excitement generated by the Breeders’ Cup and feel like chasing down a non-jackpot carryover, check out the Monday card at Finger Lakes. The $1 Pick 6 features a $2,165 carryover.

The feature event of the day is Race 4, the $40,000 Shesastonecoldfox S. for two-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs on dirt. The par winning Brisnet Speed rating for these conditions is 70, which means morning line favorite #4 Sweet Brown Sugar (8-5) looms as a viable single for hot trainer Paul Barrow, a 21% winner at Finger Lakes this meet.

Sweet Brown Sugar debuted in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Finger Lakes last month and obliterated her rivals, dueling for the lead before drawing off in the homestretch to win by 6 3/4 lengths. Her reward was a flashy 80 Brisnet Speed rating.

Sweet Brown Sugar shouldn’t have much trouble securing the lead on Monday, setting the stage for a repeat victory under jockey Jeremias Flores, a 25% winner teaming up with Barrow over the last two months. With these angles backing up her strong Brisnet Speed rating, Sweet Brown Sugar is a compelling Pick 6 single.

We’ll also highlight #8 Tater and Tot (6-1) in the sixth race as a live longshot. Race 6 is a maiden special weight taking place over 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt. Tater and Tot ran well below form in his last two starts, but those were at Aqueduct last December and January.

Tater and Tot ran better in his first three starts, even finishing third in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Aqueduct in September 2022. He’s been gelded for his return from a 10-month layoff and is adding Lasix for good measure, so who’s to say Tater and Tot won’t move forward in his return for hot trainer Jeffrey Englehart, a 23% winner at Finger Lakes this meet? As the co-fourth choice in an 11-horse field, Tater and Tot will add value to the Pick 6 if he posts a surprise victory.

Good luck!