Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Feb. 1

February 1st, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and Turfway Park, including a ticket for Turfway’s $13,558 Super High 5 carryover.

Picks and Plays

Gulfstream Park: Race 2: $12,500 Maiden Claiming (six furlongs, 12:39 p.m. ET)

#7 Papa Katz (6-5) hasn’t missed the trifecta in three starts and ran particularly well in his debut over this track, distance, and class level on Dec. 29. After tracking the early pace, Papa Katz took the lead in midstretch before settling for second place by a neck.

Papa Katz pulled six lengths clear of the third-place finisher and earned a 79 Brisnet Speed rating, tied for the highest number in Wednesday’s field. Four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz is picking up the mount, so we’ll key Papa Katz on top of exacta and trifecta tickets using #1 Corporate Affair (6-1) and #6 Stealththirtyfour (7-5) underneath.


  • #7 Papa Katz (6-5)
  • #1 Corporate Affair (6-1)
  • #6 Stealththirtyfour (7-5)


  • $12 Exacta: 7 with 6
  • $8 Exacta: 7 with 1
  • $6 Trifecta: 7 with 6 with 1
  • $4 Trifecta: 7 with 1 with 6
    Total: $30

Tampa Bay Downs: Race 7: $16,000 Claiming (one mile on turf, 3:15 p.m. ET)

Trainer Douglas Nunn has been on fire at Tampa Bay Downs, going 5-for-11 (45%) since the start of the year. We’ll see if Nunn can keep his hot streak going with #5 Tap Em (5-2).

Tap Em has finished third and fourth in his last two starts over this course and class level. On Jan. 11, he was beaten less than one length in a close finish. Perhaps adding blinkers can trigger the improvement necessary for Tap Em to snatch first prize.

In addition to a win bet on Tap Em, we’ll try an exacta using #4 Hey Boss (8-1) and #6 Midnight Tequila (6-1) for second place.


  • #5 Tap Em (5-2)
  • #6 Midnight Tequila (6-1)
  • #4 Hey Boss (8-1)


  • $20 to win: #5 Tap Em
  • $5 Exacta: 5 with 4, 6 ($10)

Turfway Park: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs on Tapeta, 7:55 p.m. ET)

#8 Aunt Becca (8-1) is conditioned by hot trainer Cherie DeVaux, a 27% winner at Turfway Park since Nov. 30. A sharp work tab highlighted by a bullet four furlongs from the Keeneland training track starting gate in :47 3/5 indicates Aunt Becca is ready to challenge on debut, and the fact she’s a daughter of Uncle Mo (who sires a solid 14% winners from first-time starters) adds to the appeal.

At 8-1, Aunt Becca is worth betting to win and keying over #3 Mischievous Doll (7-2) and #10 Jenny Lind (3-1) in the exacta.


  • #8 Aunt Becca (8-1)
  • #10 Jenny Lind (3-1)
  • #3 Mischievous Doll (7-2)


  • $20 to win: #8 Aunt Becca
  • $5 Exacta: 8 with 3, 10 ($10)
  • Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Turfway Park, Race 8: $13,558 Super High 5 carryover (9:25 p.m. ET)

After going unsolved for multiple racing days in a row, the Super High 5 carryover at Turfway Park has climbed to $13,558 for Wednesday’s card.

The $1 wager is available to play in Race 8, a $7,500 claimer for fillies and mares who have never won two races. The distance is one mile on Tapeta, and while there are many viable win contenders, #12 Decree of Love (5-2) looks like a filly worth keying on top of tickets.

Decree of Love has been competing with aplomb against tougher competition. Last fall, Decree of Love finished second in $30,000 and $20,000 claimers racing one mile over the Horseshoe Indianapolis turf course, on both occasions showing pacesetting speed. Then she traveled to Turfway Park and ran third (beaten only 1 1/4 lengths) in a $15,000 claimer racing one mile.

Decree of Love misfired over the same track and class level on Jan. 12, finishing ninth after racing close to the pace, but the 6 1/2-furlong distance may have been too short for her. Stretching back out in trip, dropping in class, and adding blinkers can trigger a rebound. Keep in mind, trainer Mike Maker wins at a lofty 25% rate with horses dropping multiple levels down the class ladder, and hot Turfway jockey Gerardo Corrales (a 24% winner here since Nov. 30) is named to ride.

Who are the other key contenders? Definitely #6 Dialed Inna (9-2), who rallied from midpack to finish second over this track, distance, and class level on Dec. 21. #10 Total Discretion (9-2) also warrants support after running third in a $7,500 claimer racing one mile at Fair Grounds last month. #4 Morning Angel (8-1) broke her maiden for a $7,500 tag at Turfway before finishing a decent sixth in a $15,000 claimer, and #9 Gorilla Girl (8-1) can’t be dismissed after winning a $15,000 maiden claimer at Turfway last spring.

Turfway Park Super High 5 Wager:

  • $1 Super High 5: 12 with 4, 6, 10 with 4, 6, 10 with 2, 4, 6, 9, 10 with 2, 4, 6, 9, 10 ($36)

Good luck!