Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of Aug. 17

August 17th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Thursday, Aug. 17 at Horseshoe Indianapolis, Presque Isle Downs, and Saratoga, including a 12-1 longshot.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Hoosier Park $1,000 Pick 4 Hit It & Split It: Hit the late Pick 4 on Thursdays at Hoosier Park to win your share of a $1,000 weekly jackpot.
  • Colonial Downs Thursday Leaderboard: Place $10+ win bets on Thursdays at Colonial Downs to compete for your share of a $2,500 weekly jackpot.
  • Saratoga $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races Wednesday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 6 at Saratoga.
  • Del Mar Daily Double Down: Receive a 25% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning daily double wagers on Thursdays and Fridays at Del Mar. Your base wager amount must be minimum $2.

Picks and Plays

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs, 4:45 p.m. ET)

#1 Andele Andele (8-5) is a logical favorite after finishing second in his first two starts over this track and class level, but he was beaten by clear margins on both occasions and isn’t necessarily unstoppable at a short price.

Let’s try to beat Andele Andele with the first-time starter #4 Tremor (12-1), who has put together a respectable work tab at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Trainer Michelle Elliott has compiled a sharp 6-for-26 (23%) record saddling first-time starters at this track since 2021, so Tremor is eligible to outrun his double-digit morning line odds.

A win bet is in order, along with a cold exacta keying Tremor on top of Andele Andele.


  • #4 Tremor (12-1)
  • #1 Andele Andele (8-5)
  • #6 Positive Change (15-1)


  • $20 to win on #4 Tremor
  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 1
    Total: $30

Presque Isle Downs: Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (one mile on Tapeta, 5:15 p.m. ET)

#4 Frizzante (6-1) ran into traffic trouble when finishing fourth in his debut sprinting five furlongs over this track and class level. As a son of Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Vino Rosso, Frizzante has the pedigree to improve while stretching out in distance under Presque Isle’s leading jockey Pablo Morales, so with a clean trip Frizzante can visit the winner’s circle at a nice price.

#5 Wincham (7-2), #1 Mortal Sin (8-1), and #6 Uncle Kenny (3-1) can battle to complete the exacta.


  • #4 Frizzante (6-1)
  • #5 Wincham (7-2)
  • #1 Mortal Sin (8-1)


  • $18 to win on #4 Frizzante
  • $4 Exacta: 4 with 1,5,6 ($12)
    Total: $30

Saratoga: Race 9: Rick Violette S. (1 1/16 miles on turf, 5:46 p.m. ET)

#1 Ramblin’ Wreck (9-5) was compromised by a pedestrian pace in the New York Stallion Series S. at Saratoga last month, but gained a lot of ground down the homestretch to finish second by a neck against gate-to-wire winner #4 Itsallcomintogetha (4-1). There should be more pace in the Rick Violette, allowing Ramblin’ Wreck to turn the tables.

Itsallcomintogetha and #6 Let’s Go Big Blue (5-2) are logical candidates to complete the exacta.


  • #1 Ramblin’ Wreck (9-5)
  • #4 Itsallcomintogetha (4-1)
  • #6 Let’s Go Big Blue (5-2)


  • $15 Exacta: 1 with 4,6 ($30)

Good luck!