Keeler Johnson's picks and plays July 13

July 13th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, July 13 at Colonial Downs, Delaware Park, and Horseshoe Indianapolis, along with tickets for Mountaineer’s $1,565 Super High 5 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Colonial Downs $10 Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in any eligible race at Colonial Downs.
  • Assiniboia Downs $1,000 Late Pick 4 Hit It and Split It: Hit the late Pick 4 at Assiniboia Downs on any of three days from July 11-13 to win your share of a $1,000 daily jackpot.
  • Rest of the World Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in eligible races at Happy Valley (Hong Kong).

Picks and Plays

Delaware Park: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs, 12:30 p.m. ET)

Since 2021, trainer Cathal Lynch has compiled an excellent 12-3-5-1 (25% wins, 67% in the money) record debuting juveniles on dirt at Delaware Park. This impressive record suggests #4 Saloon (8-5) is a threat to win on debut.

A son of Malibu Moon (who sires a respectable 13% winners from first-time starters), Saloon has turned in four workouts over the Delaware Park main track, including a swift half-mile from the starting gate in :48 2/5. Lynch has been on fire at Delaware this meet, winning at a 41% rate, and hot jockey Mychel Sanchez (a 25% winner at Delaware) is named to ride.

We’ll bet Saloon on top in the exacta and trifecta.

  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 1,5 ($20)
  • $5 Trifecta: 4 with 1,5 with 1,5 ($10)
    Total: $30

Colonial Downs: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles on turf, 3:09 p.m. ET)

#3 Ansel (3-1) knocked heads with some tough horses on the New York circuit last year, including future Transylvania S. (G3) winner Sy Dog and the multiple graded stakes-placed Portfolio Company. Along the way, Ansel posted respectable Brisnet Speed ratings.

Ansel hasn’t run since December, but he’s been cranking out fast workouts in preparation for his return and may find the competition a bit easier at Colonial Downs. Taking advantage of the Colonial Downs $10 Bet Back promotion, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Ansel.

#1 Evan Harlan (9-5), a trifecta finisher in his first three starts, can complete the exacta.

  • $10 to win on #3 Ansel
  • $20 Exacta: 3 with 1
    Total: $30

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 7: Clarksville S. (five furlongs on turf, 5:36 p.m. ET)

There’s a ton of speed in this five-furlong turf dash, so we’ll throw our support behind #4 Miss Majorette (4-1). The Mark Casse trainee is squaring off against arguably easier competition after competing in three straight stakes on the New York circuit, most notably coming home second in the six-furlong License Fee S. at Belmont.

Prior to her New York foray, Miss Majorette had recorded three wins and a second from four starts on turf in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The stretch-running mare should receive a favorable setup at Horseshoe Indianapolis, opening the door for a mild upset victory.

For second place, we’ll use the speedy #6 Elle Z (2-1), a three-time stakes winner this year.

  • $20 to win #4 Miss Majorette
  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 6
    Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Mountaineer, Race 8: $1,565 Super High 5 carryover (9:55 p.m. ET)

Care to pursue a non-jackpot carryover this Wednesday? Then you’re advised to check out the $1,565 Super High 5 prize pool up for grabs at Mountaineer.

The wager is available to play in Race 8, a $4,000 claimer for fillies and mares that haven’t won a race since July 13, 2021. The distance is 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt, and eight horses have been entered, which equates to a very manageable 6,720 possible outcomes.

The morning line favorite is #5 Black Kettle (8-5), and she looks solid. The six-year-old mare consistently throws down Brisnet Speed ratings in the 65-79 range, fast enough to vie for victory against Wednesday’s field. Most recently, she came home third in a $4,000 claimer dashing five furlongs at Mountaineer, her first start over the local surface and her first start under the care of trainer Shane Spiess.

Spiess also conditions #2 Rushing Time (5-2), a four-time winner at Mountaineer. The five-year-old mare hasn’t been in the strongest form this season, but she did place third in a $4,000 claimer dashing five furlongs at Mountaineer last month, suggesting a top-five finish is within reach.

#1 Queen of Corona (20-1) is a longshot worth supporting. Her recent Brisnet Speed ratings are respectable, and she finished only 4 3/4 lengths behind Black Kettle when fifth in a $4,000 claimer over this track last month. That start marked Queen of Corona’s first run of the season, and considering she’d placed in three straight $4,000 claimers to wrap up 2021, Queen of Corona is eligible to bounce back to that level of form in her second start off the layoff.

#4 Dah Philly (8-1), fourth and third in a pair of recent $4,000 claiming sprints at Mountaineer, is another contender with top-five credentials. So too is #3 Twn Tawfeers Party (8-1), who is cutting back in distance off a couple efforts racing one mile. And although it’s been a while since #7 Hot August Storm (7-2) produced a competitive run, she’s dropping in class out of tougher races at Canterbury Park and can’t be completely dismissed.

Here’s how we’ll bet the Super High 5:

  • $1 Super High 5: 5 with 1,2,4 with 1,2,3,4 with 1,2,3,4 with 1,2,3,4,7,8 ($54)

Good luck!