Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of May 23

May 23rd, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, May 23 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Presque Isle Downs, including a cold double wager.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

Picks and Plays

Presque Isle Downs: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (4 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 3:00 p.m. ET)

#6 Spending Cuts (3-1) breezed a quick half-mile from the Presque Isle starting gate in :47 4/5 on May 15, suggesting she has the speed to factor on debut for hot trainer Ron Potts. Potts has gone 2-for-4 (50%) to start the meet and wins at a respectable 12% rate with first-time starters.

We’ll bet Spending Cuts to win and single her to start a double wager.


  • #6 Spending Cuts (3-1)
  • #1 Alexandra’s Song (9-5)
  • #2 Shot Girl (4-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 Spending Cuts
  • $10 Double: 6 with 2
    Total: $30

Presque Isle Downs: Race 2: $6,250 Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 3:27 p.m. ET)

#2 Deise Delight (5-2) faltered in her most recent start against tougher competition, finishing seventh in a $12,500 claimer over the Tapeta track at Gulfstream Park. But two starts back, Deise Delight led all the way to trounce a $7,500 claimer over the Turfway Park Tapeta by seven lengths.

Dropping down to the $6,250 level at Presque Isle should be perfect for Deise Delight. Trainer Stephen Lyster (1-for-1, 100% this meet) wins at a 50% rate with horses dropping multiple levels down the class ladder, and hot jockey Pablo Morales (5-for-15, 33% this meet) is named to ride.

There’s a lot to like about Deise Delight, so we’ll bet her to win, single her to conclude our double wager, and key her over #4 Tudox Roadster (9-2) in the exacta.


  • #2 Deise Delight (5-2)
  • #4 Tudox Roadster (9-2)
  • #6 Looking for Love (8-1)


  • $20 to win on #2 Deise Delight
  • $10 Exacta: 2 with 4
    Total: $30

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on turf, 4:03 p.m. ET)

#2 Zartownis (1-1) ran strongly in his first turf try at Ellis Park last summer. After tracking the pace in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight, Zartownis closed ground to finish third by less than one length against a pair of next-out winners.

Zartownis hasn’t run since, but trainer Cherie DeVaux wins at a lofty 21% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Zartownis enters off a lengthy series of workouts at Keeneland. Let’s key him over #4 Mister Kitty (7-2) in a cold exacta.


  • #2 Zartownis (1-1)
  • #4 Mister Kitty (7-2)
  • #3 Brazilian Fury (6-1)


  • $20 Exacta: 2 with 4

Good luck!