Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of Sept. 6

September 5th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, Sept. 6 at Horseshoe Indianapolis, along with horses to single in the $12,055 Pick 5 carryover at Colonial Downs.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Hoosier Park $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any eligible race at Hoosier Park.
  • Colonial Downs $3,000 Challenge: Make winning $10+ win wagers in selected races at Colonial Downs to compete for your share of a $3,000 prize.

Picks and Plays

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 4: $7,500 Maiden Claiming (five furlongs, 4:03 p.m. ET)

#4 Action Seeker (9-5) is a logical favorite after cracking the trifecta in three straight $12,500 maiden claimers sprinting at Horseshoe Indianapolis. But Action Seeker has never finished within 2 1/2 lengths of victory, and his 9-0-3-2 lifetime tally indicates he had a tendency to settle for minor awards rather than vie for victory. Will dropping down in class be enough to trigger a winning performance?

Let’s try to beat Action Seeker with #6 Prince of Pennies (7-2). A speedy pacesetter, Prince of Pennies finished second by a neck in a $12,500 maiden claimer over the Belterra Park turf course during the spring. More recently, he ran fourth by 2 3/4 lengths after carving out the pace in a $10,000 maiden claimer over the Ellis Park dirt. Dropping down in class and shipping from Kentucky to Indiana can produce a winning run.


  • #6 Prince of Pennies (7-2)
  • #4 Action Seeker (9-5)
  • #2 Majestic Mr. Jones (10-1)


Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 8: Back Home Again S. (six furlongs, 6:07 p.m. ET)

#6 The Kid Pataky (12-1) raced greenly when debuting in a five-furlong maiden special weight at Horseshoe Indianapolis, but nevertheless battled her way to victory by a neck. She subsequently stepped up in class for a six-furlong allowance against males at Horseshoe Indianapolis and finished third after chasing blazing fractions of :21.75 and :44.65.

That performance produced sharp Brisnet E1 and E2 Pace ratings of 98 and 100. The Kid Pataky appears to have the most early speed of any Back Home Again entrant, so returning to the filly ranks (and hopefully catching an easier pace) can send The Kid Pataky to the winner’s circle at a big price.

We’ll bet The Kid Pataky to win and single her to start a double wager.


  • #6 The Kid Pataky (12-1)
  • #9 Gospel Music (7-2)
  • #4 Noneofyourbusiness (3-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 The Kid Pataky
  • $10 Double: 6 with 2
    Total: $30

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 9: Circle City S. (six furlongs, 6:38 p.m. ET)

#2 Molly’s Town (9-5) was tons the best in a six-furlong allowance at Horseshoe Indianapolis last month, setting intense fractions of :21.75 and :44.65 before powering clear to win by 8 1/2 lengths. Among his beaten rivals was the above-mentioned filly The Kid Pataky.

Molly’s Town’s blowout allowance score followed a five-length debut victory at Horseshoe Indianapolis. With improving Brisnet Speed ratings of 73 and 87 under his belt, Molly’s Town is the fastest horse in the Circle City field and an easy choice to take home top honors.

#1 Goodlookinjustice (3-1) can complete the exacta, while #10 Castille (5-1) and #8 Funtastic Vow (6-1) can battle for a spot in the trifecta.


  • #2 Molly’s Town (9-5)
  • #1 Goodlookinjustice (3-1)
  • #10 Castille (5-1)


  • $20 Exacta: 2 with 1
  • $5 Trifecta: 2 with 1 with 8,10 ($10)
    Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Colonial Downs: Race 1: $12,055 Pick 5 carryover (1:30 p.m. ET)
Colonial Downs: Race 5: $3,351 Pick 6 carryover (3:22 p.m. ET)

The Wednesday card at Colonial Downs is kicking off on a high note with a $12,055 carryover up for grabs in the 50-cent Early Pick 5.

There’s also a $3,351 carryover on the table in the $1 Pick 6, which gets going later in the afternoon.

We’ll focus our attention on the larger Pick 5 carryover, highlighting a couple of viable singles to start the sequence:

Race 1: #1 Shut It Cali (6-5)

The Wednesday opener is a $12,500 claimer for fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs on dirt. The par winning Brisnet Speed rating for these conditions is 74, a number Shut It Cali posted when finishing second in a seven-furlong dash over this track and class level on Aug. 18.

Shut It Cali has shown consistency in four starts since being claimed by trainer Maria Bowersock, posting Brisnet Speed ratings of 72, 77, 70, and 74. She boasts the best recent form of any horse in Wednesday’s field and shouldn’t have any trouble visiting the winner’s circle if she brings her A-game under hot jockey Antonio Gallardo, a 23% winner at Colonial Downs this meet.

Race 2: #1 Arius (7-5)

The second race on the card is a $25,000 maiden claimer for two-year-olds racing one mile over the inner turf course. Seven horses have been entered, and among the experienced competitors, Arius looks like a standout.

After two uninspiring performances against maiden special weight company on Tapeta at Gulfstream Park, Arius switched to turf for a $25,000 maiden claimer at Colonial Downs last month and ran a much-improved race. After tracking and setting quick fractions in the one-mile contest, Arius stayed on to finish second with a 66 Brisnet Speed rating that tops Wednesday’s field.

Arius pulled 7 1/2 lengths clear of the rest, and in doing so he beat three of his Wednesday rivals. Unless a first-time starter jumps forward with a giant debut, Arius should graduate with ease in his second turf try.

Good luck!