Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of April 18

April 18th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $90 worth of picks and plays for Tuesday, April 18 at Parx Racing and Turf Paradise, 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

Parx Racing: Race 6: $40,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (one mile, 2:59 p.m. ET)

#2 Praetorian Guard (7-2) has been rallying from off the pace as of late, finishing third in the Rittenhouse Square S. and second in a $40,000 allowance optional claimer. But the three-year-old gelding broke his maiden with dueling tactics and is adding blinkers for his second route race, suggesting he’ll show more speed on Tuesday. That would be a positive since 50% of dirt routes at Parx this year have been won in gate-to-wire fashion.

#6 Blue Royal (3-1) and #5 All Eyes On You (6-1) can battle for exacta honors.


  • #2 Praetorian Guard (7-2)
  • #6 Blue Royal (3-1)
  • #5 All Eyes On You (6-1)


  • $20 to win on #2 Praetorian Guard
  • $5 Exacta: 2 with 5,6 ($10)
    Total: $30

Turf Paradise: Race 4: $5,000-4,000 Starter Optional Claiming (7 1/2 furlongs on turf, 5:50 p.m. ET)

#6 Heart River (3-1) has cracked the trifecta in three of his four grass races, all at turf Paradise. He’s been particularly sharp in two starts this year, rallying strongly to finish second in a $10,000-$8,500 claimer before improving to second place in a $5,000-$4,000 starter optional claimer.

Heart River is sticking to the same class level on Tuesday and looks like the horse to beat for hot trainer Jeffrey Metz, a 21% winner at Turf Paradise this meet. We’ll bet him to win, key him over #1 And I Know (9-2) in a cold exacta, and toss in a small trifecta with #2 Seven Points (4-1) to pursue the Trifecta Tuesday promotion.


  • #6 Heart River (3-1)
  • #1 And I Know (9-2)
  • #2 Seven Points (4-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 Heart River
  • $8 Exacta: 6 with 1
  • $2 Trifecta: 6 with 1 with 2
    Total: $30

Turf Paradise: Race 8: $30,000 Maiden Optional Claiming (7 1/2 furlongs on turf, 7:47 p.m. ET)

#7 Yankee Tea Party (5-1) has shown some ability in two starts sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt, finishing fourth in a pair of $30,000 maiden optional claimers at Turf Paradise. In his latest run, Yankee Tea Party carved out a solid pace and led by 3 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole before weakening late. The third-place finisher, Napoleonic Code, returned to win his next start.

As a son of Noble Mission out of a mare by Lonhro, Yankee Tea Party has the pedigree to improve while switching to turf. Throw in hot jockey Luis Negron (a 23% winner at Turf Paradise this meet), and Yankee Tea Party is a logical choice to upset #5 Baron’s Song (3-1).


  • #7 Yankee Tea Party (5-1)
  • #5 Baron’s Song (3-1)
  • #2 Mongolian Apple (8-1)


  • $20 to win on #7 Yankee Tea Party
  • $10 Exacta: 7 with 5
    Total: $30

Good luck!