Keeler Johnson’s picks and plays of Oct. 26, 2023
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Thursday, Oct. 26 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Keeneland, including thoughts on Keeneland’s $237,537 Pick 6 carryover.
Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:
- Hoosier Park $1,000 Pick 4 Hit It & Split It: Hit the late Pick 4 on Thursdays at Hoosier Park to win your share of a $1,000 weekly jackpot.
- Keeneland Win Bonus: Hit multiple win bets in a single day at Keeneland to receive a bonus payoff of up to $25 per day.
Picks and Plays
Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 2: Allowance (six furlongs, 2:41 p.m. ET)
#5 Goodlookinjustice (7-5) has finished second in two straight stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis, earning sharp Brisnet Speed ratings of 81 and 73. None of his Thursday rivals have posted a Brisnet Speed rating higher than 70 (a number Goodlookinjustice has exceeded in all four of his starts), so it’s safe to say Goodlookinjustice is a standout while dropping into the allowance ranks.
Let’s key Goodlookinjustice over longshots #1 Funtastic Vow (8-1) and #6 Takeitandrun (10-1) in the exacta.
- #5 Goodlookinjustice (7-5)
- #1 Funtastic Vow (8-1)
- #6 Takeitandrun (10-1)
- $15 Exacta: 5 with 1,6 ($30)
Keeneland: Race 7: Allowance (1 1/16 miles on turf, 4:12 p.m. ET)
#5 Code Omaha (5-1) showed promise in his debut against maiden special weight competition at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Starting as the favorite in the five-furlong turf sprint, Code Omaha dashed to the lead and finished fast (running his final furlong in :11.39) to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
Code Omaha has the pedigree to stretch out in distance for trainer Jonathan Thomas, who wins at a 21% rate with horses running long for the first time. Throw in the fact Code Omaha will be guided by talented turf rider Flavien Prat, and the bay colt is a compelling choice to take home top honors at nice odds.
Let’s bet Code Omaha to win and single him to start a double wager.
- #5 Code Omaha (5-1)
- #10 Fortune Seller (9-2)
- #4 Good Bali (20-1)
- $20 to win on #5 Code Omaha
- $5 Double: 5 with 8
Keeneland: Race 8: Maiden Special Weight (about seven furlongs, 4:44 p.m. ET)
#8 No Judgment (6-1) finished third when debuting in a deep six-furlong maiden special weight at Churchill Downs. He was beaten only 2 1/4 lengths by next-out allowance optional claiming winner Stretch Ride and 1 3/4 lengths by next-out maiden winner Agoo.
There are no guarantees that No Judgment will catch an easier field in his second start, but he seems unlikely to catch a tougher field, so we’ll bet him to win and single him to conclude our double wager.
- #8 No Judgment (6-1)
- #5 Rocketeer (6-1)
- #1 Charleston (9-2)
- $20 to win on #8 No Judgment
Keeneland: Race 4: $237,537 Pick 6 carryover (2:36 p.m. ET)
After going unsolved for the last two racing days, the $1 Pick 6 at Keeneland features a massive $237,537 carryover for Thursday’s card.
A highly difficult sequence is on the agenda. Before scratches, every race contains at least 12 horses, and there are 86 horses (averaging about 14.3 per race) in total. It works out to a staggering 8,257,536 possible outcomes, and even when you exclude the 16 also-eligible entrants, the six races contain 70 horses (averaging about 11.7 per race) and 2,488,320 possible outcomes.
The Pick 6 gets underway in Race 3, a seven-furlong maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies who brought a final bid of $50,000 or less at their most recent auction. #2 Up On the Edge (5-2) is a logical favorite after finishing second twice over this class level, but she was beaten soundly on both occasions and her Brisnet Speed ratings look a little light.
First-time starter #5 Guest of Honor (7-2) is a logical alternative for trainer Brad Cox, who has gone 8-for-26 (31%) debuting juveniles in dirt sprints at Keeneland since 2021. But we’ll also mention #11 Jocelyn (20-1) as a live longshot. The unraced filly is conditioned by Elias Lopez, whose brief training career has yet to yield a winning first-time starter. However, five of the nine horses Lopez has debuted in maiden special weights have finished in the top three, and a bullet half-mile workout at Hawthorne hints Jocelyn has some ability.
Race 4 is a maiden special weight for fillies and mares racing one mile on turf. Viable contenders abound, and one price horse worth playing is #10 Skip To The Beat (8-1). The former Irish campaigner hasn’t run since September 2022, when she ran third in a seven-furlong maiden race at Down Royal in Ireland. The winner, Panic Alarm, has since transferred to the U.S. and recorded top-four finishes in the La Jolla H. (G3) and Del Mar Derby (G2), so Skip To The Beat is eligible to factor if she moves forward off the long layoff.
Race 6 is a $30,000 maiden claimer for two-year-olds racing 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Morning line favorite #4 Mena (5-2) is a must-use contender after showing early speed in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Ellis Park; trainer Brad Cox wins at a 28% rate with second-time starters and with horses running long for the first time, so the class drop should make Mena dangerous. #6 Aspiring Comedian (7-2) can’t be dismissed either; his fifth-place debut in a one-mile maiden special weight at Ellis Park was flattered when the victorious Generous Tipper returned to finish third in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
We’ve already outlined #5 Code Omaha (5-1) in Race 7 and #8 No Judgment (6-1) in Race 8 as live win threats at nice prices, though bettors with large budgets might want to spread with a few other horses as well.
The Pick 6 wraps up with Race 9, a 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance. You can make a case for many of the entrants, including #4 Jefe de Obra (5-1), who shouldn’t be overlooked for high-percentage trainer Wesley Ward. A 12 1/2-length debut winner sprinting five furlongs in Chile last December, the son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Hootenanny has posted a couple of five-furlong workouts over the Keeneland turf course and is eligible to fire a strong shot off the layoff.