Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Aug. 30
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, Aug. 30 at Colonial Downs, Horseshoe Indianapolis, and Presque Isle Downs, along with horses to play in a pair of Louisiana Downs carryovers.
Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:
- Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus on trifecta winnings (excluding stake amount; up to $25 per day) on every Tuesday from Aug. 2 through Oct. 4.
Picks and Plays
Presque Isle Downs: Race 3: $20,000 Maiden Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 2:24 p.m. ET)
#1 Parisian Summer (5-2) ran fifth in a $25,000 maiden claimer over the Colonial Downs turf course last month, beaten 3 3/4 lengths after launching a mid-race move to reach contention. This effort produced a 64 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest figure in Tuesday’s field.
Hot trainer Richard Hendriks (a 30% winner at Presque Isle this meet) strikes at a 27% rate with horses transitioning from turf to synthetic, and Presque Isle’s leading jockey Pablo Morales is named to ride, so all signs suggest Parisian Summer is ready to win.
#6 La Panda (3-1), #7 Wine With a Rose (9-2), and #2 Not Like My Road (4-1) can round out the exacta and trifecta. We’ll play the latter ticket to capitalize on the Trifecta Tuesday promotion.
- $15 to win on #1 Parisian Summer
- $7 Exacta: 1 with 6
- $4 Trifecta: 1 with 6 with 2,7 ($8)
Colonial Downs: Race 5: $25,000 Maiden Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on turf, 3:37 p.m. ET)
#7 Saenger Star (5-1) flashed early speed for six furlongs before fading to finish last of eight in her debut racing one mile over the Colonial Downs turf course. But that race was a maiden special weight, and Saenger Star is descending into the maiden claiming ranks for her second start, a winning transition 27% of the time for hot trainer Michael Stidham.
The shorter distance also figures to help Saenger Star’s chances, so we’ll take a shot betting her to win and keying her over #1 La Tache (5-2) and #2 Replicated (4-1) in the exacta.
- $10 to win on #7 Saenger Star
- $5 Exacta: 7 with 1,2 ($10)
Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs, 4:03 p.m. ET)
Since 2020, trainer Brendan Walsh has gone 4-for-11 (36%) debuting juveniles at Horseshoe Indianapolis, which includes a 2-for-4 (50%) record on dirt. These stats bode well for Walsh’s unraced two-year-old #6 Eldest Son (7-2).
A Godolphin homebred son of three-time leading sire Into Mischief (who sires 16% winners from first-time starters), Eldest Son has put together a flashy work tab highlighted by four furlongs from the Churchill Downs starting gate in a swift :47 4/5. Eldest Son looks ready to deliver victory over the experienced #10 Ironsides (3-1) and fellow first-time starter #1 Talkscheap (9-2).
- $20 to win on #6 Eldest Son
- $5 Exacta: 6 with 1,10 ($10)
Louisiana Downs, Race 3: $2,322 Pick 5 carryover (5:01 p.m. ET)
Louisiana Downs, Race 7: $2,193 Super High 5 carryover (6:49 p.m. ET)
Guess what? The Tuesday card at Louisiana Downs features not one, but two non-jackpot carryovers for bettors to chase.
Both carryovers involve Race 7, the final leg of the Pick 5 and the race in which Super High 5 wagering is offered. Unfortunately, Race 7 is a $12,500 claimer for Louisiana-breds who have never won two races, and the distance is about 7 1/2 furlongs on turf—not exactly the easiest race to handicap, especially since logical morning line favorite #10 Sy Michael (8-5) is marooned on the also-eligible list and will need a scratch in order to compete.
In his most recent grass start, Sy Michael ran second in a $20,000 claimer for non-winners of two races, so dropping to the $12,500 level and squaring off against fellow Louisiana-breds would make him tough for high-percentage trainer Karl Broberg. If Sy Michael is allowed to run, we would be inclined to single him in the Pick 5 and key him on top in the Super High 5... but if he doesn’t draw in, one could do worse than support #1 Good Old Charlie (2-1), who ran second by a head in a one-mile turf allowance for non-winners of two races during the spring.
A more definitive play can be found in Race 5, an allowance for fillies and mares who have never won three races. The distance is about one mile on turf, and that should suit the red-hot #9 Lady Jeopardy (5-2) just fine. Two starts back, she wired a maiden special weight over the Louisiana Downs main track, beating a next-out winner by 7 1/4 lengths. Then in a one-mile turf allowance, Lady Jeopardy again led all the way to romp by six lengths under hot jockey Carlos Lozada, who retains the mount on Tuesday.
Lady Jeopardy is facing eight rivals, and a few bring solid credentials to the table. But Lady Jeopardy boasts competitive Brisnet Speed ratings, and her two recent blowout victories suggest she’s viable single material.