Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of June 8

June 8th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Thursday, June 8 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Belterra Park, along with horses to single in Belterra’s $4,266 Pick 5 carryover.

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.
  • Woodbine Mohawk Let 8 Ride: Place $10 win bets at Woodbine Mohawk on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for a chance to win a share of a $5,000 jackpot.

Picks and Plays

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 1: $12,500 Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs, 2:10 p.m. ET)

#2 Dare Me (7-5) was competitive in a $10,000 claimer sprinting six furlongs at Oaklawn Park last month, rallying from midpack to lead at the furlong marker before flattening out to finish third by 2 1/4 lengths. Cutting back to 5 1/2 furlongs for her second run of the season can send Dare Me to the winner’s circle for red-hot trainer Steve Asmussen, who has compiled an 11-5-1-4 (45%) record at Horseshoe Indianapolis this meet.

#1 Sister Saint (4-1), runner-up over this track, distance, and class level on May 18, can complete the exacta.


  • #2 Dare Me (7-5)
  • #1 Sister Saint (4-1)
  • #7 Perfect Smokey Eye (6-1)


  • $25 Exacta: 2 with 1

Belterra Park: Race 5: $7,500 Maiden Claiming (one mile, 2:25 p.m. ET)

A couple of contenders stand out in this small field. The lightly raced six-year-old gelding #2 Past Imperative (2-1) finished third in a $12,500 maiden claimer at Belterra last month and looms as a logical win threat while dropping in class. But #4 Utopian Treasure (3-1) exits runner-up finishes in his last two starts against $12,500 and $5,000 maiden claiming competition at Belterra and has shown better form over one mile than Past Imperative.

Let’s aim for a mild upset and key Utopian Treasure over Past Imperative in a cold exacta.


  • #4 Utopian Treasure (3-1)
  • #2 Past Imperative (2-1)
  • #1 Johnny’s Moment (7-2)


  • $20 Exacta: 4 with 2

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (7 1/2 furlongs on turf, 5:16 p.m. ET)

#5 Beyond Oscar (9-2) is a daughter of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Oscar Performance out of Beyond the Waves, previously the dam of 2019 Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar plus three other stakes winners. This is a pedigree geared strongly toward success on turf, so Beyond Oscar is a logical win threat for trainer Jonathan Thomas, who has gone 5-for-12 (42%) at Horseshoe Indianapolis this meet.

If Beyond Oscar’s 9-2 morning line odds hold up, that’s a nice price on a promising filly. We’ll bet her to win and key her over #3 Stephanieswarrior (10-1) and #4 Magic Tip (8-5) in the exacta.


  • #5 Beyond Oscar (9-2)
  • #3 Stephanieswarrior (10-1)
  • #4 Magic Tip (8-5)


  • $20 to win on #5 Beyond Oscar
  • $5 Exacta: 5 with 3,4 ($10)
    Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Belterra Park: Race 4: $4,266 Pick 5 carryover (1:55 p.m. ET)

The Thursday card at Belterra Park features a $4,266 non-jackpot carryover in the 50-cent Pick 5. On a day with few non-jackpot carryovers on the table, the Belterra action is well worth highlighting.

Want to play along, but not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered. After analyzing the entries, we’ve identified a pair of possible singles to bookend the Pick 5:

Belterra Park, Race 4: $12,500 Claiming (one mile on turf): #10 Ribaldry (5-2)

Ribaldry looks like a perfect fit in this $12,500 claimer for fillies and mares who have never won two races. She showed some ability sprinting at Laurel Park last year, winning a $30,000 maiden claimer before finishing eighth (beaten only 3 1/4 lengths) in a $25,000 claimer.

More importantly, Ribaldry thrived when stretching out in distance and dropping in class for a $12,500 claimer racing one mile over the Horseshoe Indianapolis lawn last month. After tracking the pace from second place, Ribaldry closed nicely to finish second by a neck.

Ribaldry figures to find the competition a bit easier at Belterra Park, where trainer Thomas Van Berg has gone 1-for-1 this meet. Throw in red-hot jockey John McKee (a 29% winner this meet) and Ribaldry is a solid single to start the Pick 5.

Race 8: $16,000 Maiden Claiming (six furlongs): #2 Priceless Picture (5-2)

Priceless Picture wasn’t disgraced in a trio of non-state-restricted $7,500 maiden claimers held over the Turfway Park Tapeta track between December and March, finishing roughly midpack each time. And she improved her form when tackling a maiden special weight for Ohio-breds sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs at Belterra Park last month, finishing second with a career-best 65 Brisnet Speed rating.

Dropping into a $16,000 maiden claimer for Ohio-breds can send Priceless Picture to the winner’s circle. She’s the fastest filly in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings and defeated key rival #5 Ohio Lady (7-2) by 8 1/4 lengths in the above-mentioned Belterra maiden special weight, so any way you slice it Priceless Picture is a logical win choice and a compelling single.

Good luck!