Thursday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: $23,618 Super High 5 at Turfway

March 21st, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Thursday, March 21 at Turfway Park and Charles Town, including horses to play in Turfway’s $23,618 Super High 5 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Winter Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races every Thursday-Sunday.
  • 10x Points at Fraser Downs: Receive 10x reward points on all wagers (excluding show bets) at Fraser Downs on Thursdays and Fridays in March.
  • 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

Turfway Park: Race 1: $5,000 Claiming (one mile on Tapeta, 5:55 p.m. ET)

#6 Q Bond (2-1) was in hot form during the fall of 2022. After launching a gigantic rally to win a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight over the Belterra Park turf course, she switched to dirt for a one-mile $12,500 allowance optional claimer at Mountaineer and closed from last place to prevail by a neck.

Stretch runners perform well racing one mile at Turfway, and Q Bond has run well at Turfway in the past, so she should be formidable in her 2024 debut for trainer Paulo Lobo, who wins at a 23% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more.

Let’s bet Q Bond to win and single her to start a double wager.


  • #6 Q Bond (2-1)
  • #3 Rock the Nile (7-2)
  • #2 English Charm (3-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 Q Bond
  • $5 Double: 6 with 8
    Total: $25

Turfway Park: Race 2: $15,000 Maiden Claiming (one mile on Tapeta, 6:25 p.m. ET)

#8 Boat House (5-1) didn’t show much when debuting in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Turfway Park, finishing eighth. But the quality of competition was strong - runner-up Epic Ride has since won the Leonatus S. and placed in the John Battaglia Memorial S.

Boat House is bred to enjoy stretching out over one mile, and dropping in class for a $15,000 maiden claimer should put him in the hunt for victory. Let’s bet Boat House to win and single him to conclude our double wager.


  • #8 Boat House (5-1)
  • #5 Favorite Haunt (3-1)
  • #6 All About Tonite (5-2)


  • $20 to win on #8 Boat House

Charles Town: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (4 1/2 furlongs, 7:00 p.m. ET)

#4 Indicator (9-5) showed some speed in his debut over this track, distance, and class level on Feb. 24, racing less than one length off the early pace before closing over a muddy track to finish second by half a length. His narrow defeat yielded a 71 Brisnet Speed rating, matching the par winning number for the conditions.

Indicator should be tough to beat while sticking to the same conditions on Thursday, so we’ll bet him to win and key him over the first-time starter #2 Pork Chop Pete (2-1) in an exacta. Pork Chop Pete breezed a bullet half-mile from the Charles Town starting gate in :48 3/5 last month and appears to have some talent.


  • #4 Indicator (9-5)
  • #2 Pork Chop Pete (2-1)
  • #3 Greatest Notion (3-1)


  • $20 to win on #4 Indicator
  • $5 Exacta: 4 with 2
    Total: $25

Carryover Watch

Turfway Park: Race 8: $23,618 Super High 5 carryover (9:25 p.m. ET)

The $1 Super High 5 at Turfway Park has proven elusive in recent days, leading to an enticing non-jackpot carryover worth $23,618 for Thursday’s card.

The prize pool is available to chase in Race 8, a $7,500 maiden claimer for three-year-olds and older horses racing one mile on Tapeta. A field of 13 (including one also-eligible) has entered; assuming a dozen horses face the starter, there will be 95,040 possible Super High 5 outcomes.

Narrowing down the contenders isn’t easy, but we have to recognize #8 Egyptian King (8-5) as the horse to beat for hot trainer Kelsey Danner, a 21% winner at Turfway Park since November. Egyptian King has made four starts at Turfway during the same timeframe, and though he failed to win any of them, it’s hard to knock his form.

Egyptian King kicked off his Turfway campaign for trainer Tim Glyshaw with a sixth-place finish in a $15,000 maiden claimer sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs. Dropping in class for a six-furlong $7,500 maiden claimer reaped a better finish, as Egyptian King rallied after a poor start to finish third.

Egyptian King was claimed out of that contest by Danner, who entered the four-year-old colt in a $15,000 maiden claimer sprinting six furlong. After rating in ninth place, Egyptian King gained a lot of ground to finish fifth by 1 3/4 lengths, earning a career-best 77 Brisnet Speed rating.

However, Egyptian King secured the best finish of his career when stretching out for a one-mile $7,500 maiden claimer on Feb. 28 at Turfway. Guided by hot jockey Adam Beschizza for the first time, Egyptian King started as the favorite and dropped back to seventh place early on before gobbling up ground to finish second by half a length.

With Brisnet Speed ratings of 76, 77, and 74 from his last three starts, Egyptian King consistently runs fast enough to win a race under Thursday’s conditions—the par winning Speed rating is 75. He also has some positive jockey and trainer stats in his corner; Danner wins at a 24% rate with horses beaten as the favorite in their previous start, while Beschizza has won at a 26% rate teaming up with Danner over the last two months.

We recommend assembling Super High 5 tickets around Egyptian King, counting on the morning line favorite to finish either first or second. #7 American Raider (9-2) and #11 Secession (7-2) are other logical contenders worth emphasizing, while #3 Liam’s Lad (10-1) and #5 Lead Actor (20-1) could potentially crash the top five at larger prices.

Good luck!