Monday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: 6-1 for a hot trainer

March 25th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Monday, March 25 at Mahoning Valley, Will Rogers Downs, and Turf Paradise, including a 6-1 shot conditioned by a hot trainer.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Mahoning Valley: Race 1: Allowance (six furlongs, 3:43 p.m. ET)

Hot trainer Jason DaCosta has won with eight of his last 16 starters at Mahoning Valley, so we’ll throw our support behind DaCosta’s #3 Spunky One (2-1) in this allowance dash for Ohio-bred fillies and mares. The three-year-old filly ran second over this track, distance, and class level on March 11, earning a sharp 63 Brisnet Speed rating while pulling 4 3/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher.

This looks like a perfect spot for Spunky One to secure her second victory, so we’ll bet her to win and key her over #5 Miz Keeta (8-5) in the exacta. The latter filly won a maiden special weight at Thistledown last summer by two lengths over a next-out winner.


  • #3 Spunky One (2-1)
  • #5 Miz Keeta (8-5)
  • #4 Price and Attitude (3-1)


  • $25 to win on #3 Spunky One
  • $5 Exacta: 3 with 5
    Total: $30

Will Rogers Downs: Race 5: $7,500 Maiden Claiming (six furlongs, 4:03 p.m. ET)

Trainer Steve Williams has been hot at Will Rogers Downs in recent days, winning with four of his last 14 starters (29%). Three of those winners were racing for the first time in 2024.

That’s why we’re going to support the Williams trainee #6 Youneedtocalmdown (6-1) in this $7,500 maiden claimer for Oklahoma-bred fillies and mares. She might be 0-for-15 lifetime, but Youneedtocalmdown finished second in a one-mile contest over this track and class level in May 2023, and cutting back to six furlongs may prove more suitable. It’s encouraging to note she’ll be ridden by Curtis Kimes, who has gone 2-for-4 (50%) teaming up with Williams over the last two months.

At 6-1, a win bet is in order.


  • #6 Youneedtocalmdown (6-1)
  • #5 Gospel Spear (5-2)
  • #7 Aunt Kendra (5-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 Youneedtocalmdown

Turf Paradise: Race 8: $4,000 Claiming (six furlongs, 7:49 p.m. ET)

Trainer Robertino Diodoro has been winning races left and right at Turf Paradise, going 5-for-9 (56%) during the last three weeks. Perhaps Diodoro can pick up another victory courtesy of #1 Loudmouthsoup (3-1), who recently trounced a $6,250-$4,500 claimer sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs at Turf Paradise by four lengths.

That victory mark Loudmouthsoup’s first start since November, and it translated to a sharp 81 Brisnet Speed rating higher than the par winning number (80) for Monday’s conditions. Throw in the fact jockey Guillermo Rodriguez has gone 7-for-15 (47%) teaming up with Diodoro over the last two months, and Loudmouthsoup looks likely to shine at the $4,000 claiming level.

We’ll bet Loudmouthsoup to win and call it a day.


  • #1 Loudmouthsoup (3-1)
  • #10 Surprise Fashion (5-1)
  • #7 Sharp Warning (9-2)


  • $30 to win on #1 Loudmouthsoup

Good luck!