Monday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: A pair of 3-1 shots

March 11th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Monday, March 11 at Mahoning Valley, Will Rogers Downs, and Turf Paradise, including win bets on a couple of 3-1 shots.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Woodbine Mohawk 15% Trifecta Boost: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning trifecta wagers at Woodbine Mohawk during the month of March.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Mahoning Valley: Race 7: Allowance (5 1/2 furlongs, 3:43 p.m. ET)

#9 Wildcat Express (3-1) has tons of early speed and regularly puts it to good use. He’s led all the way to win six of his last eight starts, including a couple of $8,000 starter allowances sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs against Ohio-bred company at Mahoning Valley.

Those victories yielded strong Brisnet Speed ratings of 89 and 90. Wildcat Express was subsequently beaten to second place in a non-state-restricted six-furlong allowance at Mahoning, but he set a strong pace that day and earned another 89 Brisnet Speed rating even in defeat. He holds a Brisnet Speed rating advantage against Monday’s field and should be tough to catch under hot jockey Jose Bracho.

We’ll place a win bet on Wildcat Express, then add in a small exacta using #5 Moester (7-2) for second place.


  • #9 Wildcat Express (3-1)
  • #5 Moester (7-2)
  • #1 Mutiny (6-1)


  • $25 to win on #9 Wildcat Express (3-1)
  • $5 Exacta: 9 with 5
    Total: $30

Will Rogers Downs: Race 5: $30,000 Handicap (one mile, 4:03 p.m. ET)

#2 Mandolin Wind (9-5) broke his maiden racing one mile at Will Rogers Downs last spring, and he’s improved a lot since then. On Nov. 17, he pressed the pace on his way to winning a one-mile $20,000 claimer at Remington Park by 6 3/4 lengths. On Dec. 9, he charged from a couple lengths off the pace to win an allowance over the same track and distance by 5 3/4 lengths.

Those victories produced strong Brisnet Speed ratings of 87 and 89. Mandolin Wind looks ready to win right back while sticking to his preferred one-mile trip, so we’ll bet him to win and throw in an exacta using #4 United Patriot (6-2) for second place.


  • #2 Mandolin Wind (9-5)
  • #4 United Patriot (6-1)
  • #5 Tommyhawk (8-5)


  • $22 to win on #2 Mandolin Wind
  • $8 Exacta: 2 with 4
    Total: $30

Turf Paradise: Race 7: $20,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (six furlongs, 7:14 p.m. ET)

#2 Blessed Angel (3-1) has won three straight $16,000 and $20,000 claimers at Santa Anita, Los Alamitos, and Turf Paradise. She led all the way in two of them, including a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at Turf Paradise in which she set strong fractions of :22.09 and :44.12.

That victory produced a strong 91 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest number in Monday’s field. Blessed Angel has every chance to record a fourth straight victory for hot trainer Vann Belvoir (a 25% winner at Turf Paradise this meet), so a large win bet is in order.


  • #2 Blessed Angel (3-1)
  • #1 Sailing Along (4-1)
  • #7 Alberta Sun (7-2)


  • $30 to win on #2 Blessed Angel

Good luck!