Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of Sept. 12

September 11th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, Sept. 12 at Fort Erie, Horseshoe Indianapolis, and Assiniboia Downs, including the Prince of Wales S.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Summerside 10x Points: Opt in and receive 10x reward points on all Summerside wagers (excluding show bets) on Tuesdays from Sept. 12 through Oct. 24.
  • Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus on trifecta winnings excluding stake amount; up to $25 per day.

Picks and Plays

Fort Erie: Race 10: Prince of Wales S. (1 3/16 miles, 5:35 p.m. ET)

#8 Paramount Prince (8-5) has never run on dirt, but as the primary speed horse in a largely paceless Prince of Wales field, he figures to avoid kickback by working out a favorable trip on the front end.

Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, Paramount Prince is 2-for-2 since stretching out around two turns, wiring the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial S. over the Tapeta track at Woodbine before employing identical tactics to wire the 1 1/4-mile King’s Plate S. over the same track. With improving Brisnet Speed ratings of 91 and 96 under his belt, Paramount Prince has to be viewed as the horse to beat at Fort Erie.

For second place, let’s try the well-bred maiden #11 Ottawa (20-1) plus Plate Trial runner-up #12 Cool Kiss (8-1), whose lone start on dirt yielded a decent runner-up finish in a $75,000 allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park last winter.


  • #8 Paramount Prince (8-5)
  • #12 Cool Kiss (8-1)
  • #11 Ottawa (20-1)


Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles on turf, 5:36 p.m. ET)

#4 Redhotjustice (10-1) showed nothing in a couple of recent dirt starts, but her lone turf try back in July yielded a close runner-up finish in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Horseshoe Indianapolis. The form of that effort was flattered when the third-place finisher returned to win her next start.

Returning to turf can place Redhotjustice in the hunt for an upset victory over logical favorites #5 Willadean (5-2) and #6 Signature Call (3-1). We’ll bet Redhotjustice to win and play exacta and trifecta tickets for good measure.


  • #4 Redhotjustice (10-1)
  • #5 Willadean (5-2)
  • #6 Signature Call (3-1)


  • $18 to win on #4 Redhotjustice
  • $8 Exacta: 4 with 5
  • $4 Trifecta: 4 with 5 with 6
    Total: $30

Assiniboia Downs: Race 3: J. W. Sifton S. (1 1/8 miles, 9:25 p.m. ET)

#1 Private Frank (4-5) is the favorite after winning four of his five starts at Assiniboia Downs this year, including a stakes. But he completely misfired in the one-mile Phil Kives S. last month, trailing for much of the journey before easing up down the homestretch to finish last.

#5 I Love My Life (7-5) finished second behind Private Frank in the six-furlong Frank Arnason Memorial Sire S. back in July, but more recently he came home second in a $15,000 allowance optional claimer racing one mile at Assiniboia. He’s progressing in the right direction for high-percentage trainer Lise Pruitt (a 30% winner in non-graded stakes) and has a chance to surprise under hot jockey Antonio Whitehall.


  • #5 I Love My Life (7-5)
  • #1 Private Frank (4-5)
  • #6 Kentucky Jake (10-1)


  • $20 Exacta: 5 with 1

Good luck!