Monday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Finger Lakes Pick 6 single

June 17th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Monday, June 17 at Presque Isle Downs and Assiniboia Downs, along with a single for the $994 Pick 6 carryover at Finger Lakes.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Assiniboia Downs 15% Win Bonus: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning single-horse win bets every Monday through Wednesday in June.
  • Presque Isle Downs 10x Points: Receive 10x reward points on all wagers at Presque Isle Downs (excluding show bets) on Mondays in June and July.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Presque Isle Downs: Race 2: Maiden Special Weight (4 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 1:27 p.m. ET)

Since 2019, trainer Ron Potts has complied a solid 6-for-28 (21%) record debuting juveniles at Presque Isle Downs. This suggests #7 Golden Dogecoin (8-1) is a fair bet at her morning line odds.

A daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Goldencents, Golden Dogecoin breezed a bullet three furlongs in :38 on June 3 at Presque Isle, then followed up with half a mile from the starting gate in :48 2/5 last Tuesday. There’s enough potential here to warrant a win bet.


  • #7 Golden Dogecoin (8-1)
  • #2 Hazard Pay (7-2)
  • #5 Willow Oak (8-1)


  • $20 to win on #7 Golden Dogecoin

Presque Isle Downs: Race 3: $50,000 allowance optional claiming (one mile and 70 yards on Tapeta, 1:54 p.m. ET)

There isn’t much pace in this five-horse field, so we’ll favor #3 Happyisashappydoes (5-2), a speed horse who wired a June 5 $40,000 allowance optional claimer over this track and distance by 2 1/2 lengths. That victory yielded a sharp 91 Brisnet Speed rating.

If Happyisashappydoes shakes loose on an uncontested lead, he can snatch another gate-to-wire victory for red-hot trainer Teresa Connelly, who has gone 4-for-9 (44%) at Presque Isle this meet. A win bet is in order, and we’ll also key Happyisashappydoes over #2 Hush of a Storm (9-5) in the exacta.


  • #3 Happyisashappydoes (5-2)
  • #2 Hush of a Storm (9-5)
  • #1 Dreaming of Kona (3-1)


  • $25 to win on #3 Happyisashappydoes
  • $5 Exacta: 3 with 2
    Total: $30

Assiniboia Downs: Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs on dirt, 11:05 p.m. ET)

#1 Sebadas (9-5) earned Brisnet Speed ratings of 73 and 71 when finishing sixth and third in her first two starts against $40,000 maiden optional claiming competition on turf at Woodbine. She’s bred to handle dirt and should find the competition easier at Assiniboia Downs (where none of her rivals have earned a Brisnet Speed rating higher than 67), so Sebadas is a deserving morning line favorite.

#8 Tree Hugger (3-1) and #6 Lola Lee (4-1) can battle to complete the exacta.


  • #1 Sebadas (9-5)
  • #8 Tree Hugger (3-1)
  • #6 Lola Lee (4-1)


  • $15 Exacta: 1 with 6,8 ($30)

Carryover Watch

Finger Lakes: Race 3: $994 Pick 6 carryover (2:13 p.m. ET)

The $1 Pick 6 at Finger Lakes went unsolved last Wednesday, so there’s a $994 Pick 6 carryover up for grabs when racing resumes at the New York oval on Monday.

With 373,248 possible outcomes before scratches, the six-race sequence doesn’t appear inscrutable from a mathematical perspective. Even better, we can slice the possibilities to consider all the way down to 31,104 by singling #5 Aelfgar (5-2) in Race 6, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight for three-year-olds and older horses sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt.

With 12 horses in the entries, Race 6 features the largest field in the Pick 6 sequence, so it’s not an obvious place to seek a single. But Aelfgar’s form lines suggest he’s a reliable choice to take home top honors.

Aelfgar spent his first six starts competing against New York-bred rivals at Aqueduct, most notably placing third in the six-furlong Damon Runyon S. Along the way he earned a trio of Brisnet Speed ratings in the 74-83 range.

Aelfgar made his Finger Lakes debut in a non-state-restricted maiden special weight sprinting six furlongs on May 29. The three-year-old gelding lacked racing room late on the far turn and had to wait in traffic before shifting to the rail for a clear lane. At that point, he rallied resolutely inside the winner to finish second by half a length, earning a 71 Brisnet Speed rating.

The only horse in Monday’s field who can boast Brisnet Speed ratings comparable to Aelfgar is #8 Pentangeli (7-2), and he’s finished second in six of his nine starts over this track and class level, suggesting the four-year-old gelding has a tendency to settle for minor awards. Aelfgar has more upside than his older rival while racing for only the second time at Finger Lakes, especially if he’s able to work out an unencumbered trip.

Bettors with large budgets might want to include both Aelfgar and Pentangeli on their tickets. Even the lightly raced longshot #2 Jake’s Orchard (12-1) offers some appeal while making his first start since a maiden special weight at Saratoga last summer. But for bettors playing on budgets, Aelfgar is an in-form favorite with a strong chance to visit the winner’s circle, and that’s a good recipe for a single.

Good luck!