Thursday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: $286,380 Pick 6 carryover at Keeneland

April 25th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Thursday, April 25 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Gulfstream Park, along with horses to play in the $286,380 Pick 6 carryover at Keeneland.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Hoosier Park $1,000 Hit It & Split It: Hit the Late Pick 4 at Hoosier Park on Thursdays in April to win your share of a $1,000 daily jackpot.
  • Keeneland Double Down: Hit two double wagers in a single day at Keeneland to receive a 25% bonus (up to 50% per day) on all winning double wagers for the day, every Wednesday through Friday in April.
  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: Receive 10x reward points on all harness racing wagers (excluding show bets) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (one mile, 2:10 p.m. ET)

#4 Silk (6-5) has finished second, fifth, and fourth in her first three starts sprinting on Tapeta at Turfway Park. As a daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of the Theatrical mare Comedy—the dam of Humana Distaff (G1) winner Taris—Silk is bred to thrive while stretching out around two turns on dirt.

Taris is trained by Brad Cox, a 28% winner with horses running long for the first time. She’s adding blinkers (also a 28% winning move for Cox) and enters off a bullet five-furlong workout in :59 2/5 at Horseshoe Indianapolis. All signs suggest Silk is sitting on a winning dirt debut.

Let’s place a $50 win bet on Silk and try to double our money.


  • #4 Silk (6-5)
  • #6 Starina (8-1)
  • #1 Anointed of God (20-1)


  • $50 to win on #4 Silk

Gulfstream Park: Race 5: $25,000 Maiden Claiming (five furlongs on Tapeta, 3:14 p.m. ET)

Since 2022, trainer Jack Sisterson has compiled a sharp 10-3-2-0 (30%) record saddling first-time starters at Gulfstream Park. Even better, Sisterson has compiled a 3-for-5 (60%) tally debuting horses in maiden claimers at all tracks over the past few years.

These stats suggest Sisterson’s first-time starter #11 Icelander (8-1) is worth backing in this $25,000 maiden claimer for three-year-olds. The son of Speightster breezed a fast five furlongs in :47 2/5 over the Palm Meadows turf course last month and is slated to be ridden by jockey Edwin Gonzalez, who is 1-for-1 teaming up with Sisterson over the last two months.

We’ll keep things simple with a win bet on Icelander.


  • #11 Icelander (8-1)
  • #4 Parakeet (9-5)
  • #5 Red Abarrio (8-1)


  • $25 to win on #11 Icelander

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 8: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs, 5:47 p.m. ET)

The experienced runners in this field of Indiana-bred maidens don’t appear overly tough; the two morning line favorites are 0-for-14 and 0-for-10 lifetime.

So why don’t we oppose them with the first-time starter #2 Texas Free (5-1)? He worked a respectable half-mile in :48 2/5 at Horseshoe Indianapolis earlier this month and is conditioned by hot trainer Randy Klopp, a 21% winner to start this Horseshoe Indianapolis meet and a solid 15% winner saddling first-time starters over the Horseshoe Indianapolis main track since 2021.

Throw in the fact Texas Free will be ridden by jockey Evin Roman (a 21% winner to start this meet), and his 5-1 odds are enticing. A win bet is in order.


  • #2 Texas Free (5-1)
  • #6 Paige Perfect (5-2)
  • #7 Buckle Up (7-2)


  • $25 to win on #2 Texas Free

Carryover Watch

Keeneland: Race 5: $286,380 Pick 6 carryover (2:34 p.m. ET)
Keeneland: Race 10: $7,022 Super High 5 carryover (5:09 p.m. ET)

There are a couple of non-jackpot carryovers up for grabs on Thursday at Keeneland. The $1 Super High 5 has tossed up a decent if not especially remarkable $7,022 prize pool, while the $1 Pick 6 is making headlines with a massive $286,380 carryover.

The feature event in the Pick 6 sequence is Race 8, a 1 3/16-mile grass allowance for three-year-old fillies. Morning line favorite #9 Style Points (2-1) is a must-use contender after finishing second in the Sweetest Chant (G3) and Florida Oaks (G3), but there are also two appealing live longshots in the entries.

One is #1 Sassy Princess (12-1), who showed a decent finishing kick when starting 2024 with a maiden victory racing about 1 1/8 miles over the Gulfstream Park turf. In her debut at Saratoga last summer, Sassy Princess finished a decent fourth (beaten only 2 3/4 lengths) against future Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Hard to Justify.

The other interesting price play is #11 Tarneema (8-1). After overcoming a troubled start to finish third behind a pair of next-out winners in her debut on grass at Fair Grounds, Tarneema dominated a maiden special weight racing about 1 1/16 miles over the same turf course, winning by 3 1/2 lengths. Trainer Brad Cox strikes at a 25% rate with last-out maiden winners, and red-hot jockey Florent Geroux (a 30% winner at Keeneland this meet) retains the mount.

The Pick 6 wraps up in Race 9, which is also the event in which Super High 5 wagering is offered. It’s a six-furlong maiden special weight for three-year-old fillies, and since most of the experienced runners haven’t been running particularly fast on the Brisnet Speed rating scale, we’re keen to support the first-time starter #1 Day Dawning (9-2).

Purchased for $450,000 as a two-year-old in training, Day Dawning is a daughter of champion two-year-old male Classic Empire out of the Tale of the Cat mare Dear to All, who previously foaled the early-maturing Christiana S. winner Out of Sorts. Trainer Jonathan Thomas wins at a 21% rate with horses debuting in maiden special weights, and Day Dawning has been training up a storm, breezed half a mile in :47 and change on five occasions in the last two months. Under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, Day Dawning looks ready to deliver a winning debut, so she’s worth emphasizing in the Pick 6 and Super High 5.

Good luck!