Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of June 6

June 6th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, June 6 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Presque Isle Downs, including tickets for a pair of Pick 5 carryovers at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus on trifecta winnings excluding stake amount; up to $25 per day.

Picks and Plays

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs, 2:30 p.m. ET)

Since 2018, trainer John Ortiz has compiled an otherworldly 8-for-14 (57%) record debuting juveniles in dirt sprints at Horseshoe Indianapolis. That includes a 4-1 victory by Crown Imperial last week.

Ortiz can pick up another victory courtesy of #3 El Peligro (9-5). The son of speedy sprinter World of Trouble enters off encouraging workouts at Keeneland, including a recent half-mile from the starting gate in :48. The fact he’ll be ridden by hot apprentice jockey McKenna Anderson adds to the appeal; Anderson rides with a seven-pound weight allowance and has gone 3-for-7 (43%) teaming up with Ortiz over the last two months.

We’ll bet El Peligro on top in the exacta and trifecta (playing the latter ticket to capitalize on the Trifecta Tuesday promotion), then single him to start a large double wager.


  • #3 El Peligro (9-5)
  • #6 Too Close (8-1)
  • #5 Untroubled (5-2)


  • $10 Exacta: 3 with 5,6 ($20)
  • $2.50 Trifecta: 3 with 5,6 with 5,6,7 ($10)
  • $10 Double: 3 with 6
    Total: $40

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 2: $12,500 Claiming (one mile and 70 yards, 3:01 p.m. ET)

#6 Choctaw Bingo (8-5) has won four of her seven starts over the Horseshoe Indianapolis dirt, including a $22,500 starter optional claimer last summer. She recently finished second by a neck in a $27,500 starter optional claimer over the Horseshoe Indianapolis turf course and should be tough to beat while returning to dirt and dropping into a $12,500 claimer under hot jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr., a 21% winner this meet.

Let’s single Choctaw Bingo to conclude our double wager and key her over #4 Longleggedlaverne (2-1) in the exacta.


  • #6 Choctaw Bingo (8-5)
  • #4 Longleggedlaverne (2-1)
  • #2 Ocelia (8-1)


  • $20 Exacta: 6 with 4

Presque Isle Downs: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs on Tapeta, 4:21 p.m. ET)

Since 2019, trainer John Bourke has compiled a respectable 3-for-18 (17%) record saddling first-time starters at Presque Isle Downs. As a result, we’ll view Bourke’s unraced four-year-old gelding #2 Colorful Lad (5-1) in a positive light.

A son of Senor Amigo, Colorful Lad was produced by the With Distinction mare Real Distinctive, who has already foaled two winners from two starters. Colorful Lad breezed a bullet half-mile in :47 at Presque Isle last month and followed up with five furlongs in 1:00 and a half-mile from the starting gate in :47 4/5, so he appears to have some talent.

Let’s bet Colorful Lad to win and call it a day.


  • #2 Colorful Lad (5-1)
  • #5 Italian Symphony (6-1)
  • #1 Disaster Recovery (6-1)


  • $25 to win on #2 Colorful Lad

Carryover Watch

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 1: $2,053 Pick 5 carryover (2:30 p.m. ET)
Horseshoe Indianapolis, Race 4: $1,154 Pick 5 carryover (4:03 p.m. ET)

Get ready, horseplayers—there are two non-jackpot Pick 5 carryovers up for grabs on Tuesday at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

The 50-cent Early Pick 5 features a $2,053 prize pool, while the carryover for the 50-cent Late Pick 5 stands at $1,151. Both wagers boast a low 11.99% takeout rate.

The Early Pick 5 should be relatively straightforward to play. We’ve already outlined our cases for #3 El Peligro (9-5) in Race 1 and #6 Choctaw Bingo (8-5) in Race 2. Singling them both should be a cost-effective strategy to start the sequence.

In Race 3, a $12,500 claimer for Indiana-breds racing one mile and 70 yards on dirt, we’ll favor #3 Shotgun Joe (7-2), #4 Unbridled Victor (3-1), and #5 Loademupjustice (5-2).

Race 4 and Race 5 are critical events since they’re contained in both the Early Pick 5 and the Late Pick 5. Race 4 is a six-furlong allowance for three-year-olds in which a case can be made for any of the six entrants. It’s tempting to hit the “ALL” button, and in fact that’s the approach we’ll take in both Pick 5s.

Race 5 appears considerably more straightforward. It’s a $30,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares racing 1 1/16 miles on turf. #1 Chiromante (7-5) is a logical favorite after hitting the board in three of her five starts against maiden special weight competition in Kentucky, New York, and Florida. But we’ll back her up with #4 Alexandrova (9-2), whose lone turf start to date produced a third-place finish in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Woodbine.

  • Race 1, 50-cent Pick 5: 3 with 6 with 3,4,5 with ALL with 1,4 ($18)

The Late Pick 5 continues in Race 6, a one-mile and 70-yard allowance for fillies and mares. #7 Stellar Lady (7-5) looks formidable while exiting a series of tough allowance optional claimers at Oaklawn Park, Fair Grounds, and Churchill Downs. She cracked the trifecta in two of them and also placed in a stakes last year, so the three-year-old filly is a logical single while tackling the Horseshoe Indianapolis allowance ranks under hot jockey Joe Talamo, who has gone 2-for-7 (29%) this meet.

Race 7 is a $12,500 claimer for fillies and mares racing 7 1/2 furlongs on turf. It’s a tough race with many viable contenders, so we’ll spread deep with #1 Mizzen Ash (5-2), #2 Wild Tapit (4-1), #3 Joan’s Way (10-1), #4 Lead Performer (5-1), #9 Miss Goodbar (6-1), and #10 America Rules (15-1).

The Late Pick 5 wraps up in Race 8, a 1 1/16-mile turf maiden special weight for Indiana-bred fillies and mares. Many of the entrants are exiting a one-mile race contested over this course and class level on May 15, an event in which #4 Tizzy Justice (7-2) finished second by a head while pulling 4 3/4 lengths clear of the rest. She’ll be tough to beat in her second turf try, so we’ll single her to conclude our ticket.

  • Race 4, 50-cent Pick 5: ALL with 1,4 with 7 with 1,2,3,4,9,10 with 4 ($36)

Good luck!