Keeler Johnson's picks and plays April 11

April 11th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, April 11 at Turf Paradise and Mahoning Valley, including a trifecta capitalizing on the Trifecta Tuesday promotion.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus on trifecta winnings excluding stake amount; up to $25 per day.
  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, receive 10x reward points on all wagers at any harness track.

Picks and Plays

Turf Paradise: Race 3: $20,000 Maiden Claiming (six furlongs, 5:20 p.m. ET)

The par winning Brisnet Speed rating for this type of race is 74, but none of the experienced runners have posted a number higher than 68. Therefore, we’ll take a shot with the first-time starter #2 Splash of Love (8-1).

Splash of Love has put together an encouraging work tab highlighted by five furlongs in 1:00 on April 5. Trainer Billy Christian has saddled one winner and one runner-up for three first-time starters since 2021, good for a 33% win rate and a 67% in-the-money rate. The winner was My Classy Wife, a half-sister to Splash of Love.

At 8-1, Splash of Love is worth betting to win and keying over #1 He’s Init to Winit (2-1) and #5 Coastal Fog (3-1) in the exacta and trifecta. We’ll play the latter ticket to take advantage of the Trifecta Tuesday promotion.


  • #2 Splash of Love (8-1)
  • #1 He’s Init to Winit (2-1)
  • #5 Coastal Fog (3-1)


  • $16 to win on #2 Splash of Love
  • $5 Exacta: 2 with 1,5 ($10)
  • $2 Trifecta: 2 with 1,5 with 1,5 ($4)
    Total: $30

Mahoning Valley: Race 4: $7,500 Claiming (six furlongs, 2:03 p.m. ET)

Between March 31 and April 6, 50% of six-furlong sprints at Mahoning Valley were won in gate-to-wire fashion. Even more remarkable, 44% of those contests were won by the horse breaking from the rail post.

These stats bode well for #1 Patio Party (2-1). The speedy four-year-old has finished second in three straight route races over this track and class level, on each occasion setting or pressing the pace. He’s run well sprinting in the past and should be dangerous if he secures a forward position from the rail draw on Tuesday.

#3 Julie’s Ferrari (9-2) and #4 Templeman Alley (9-5) can battle for exacta honors.


  • #1 Patio Party (2-1)
  • #3 Julie’s Ferrari (9-2)
  • #4 Templeman Alley (9-5)


  • $20 to win on #1 Patio Party
  • $5 Exacta: 1 with 3,4 ($10)
    Total: $30

Mahoning Valley: Race 7: Allowance (six furlongs, 3:34 p.m. ET)

#6 Tivis (2-1) has won a few stakes at Mahoning Valley, most recently overcoming a stumbling start to win the six-furlong Mahoning Distaff S. by a neck. That effort produced a sharp 90 Brisnet Speed rating, almost as quick as the 92 Tivis posted when second in a six-furlong allowance two starts back.

Tivis hasn’t run since November, but trainer Robert Gorham wins at a solid 19% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, so Tivis should be ready to fire a winning shot under hot jockey Erik Barbaran. We’ll bet Tivis to win and key her over #7 R Three Angels (5-2) and #4 Wine Me Up Baby (5-1) in the exacta.


  • #6 Tivis (2-1)
  • #7 R Three Angels (5-2)
  • #4 Wine Me Up Baby (5-1)


  • $15 Exacta: 6 with 4,7 ($30)

Good luck!