Thursday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Play this 30-1 longshot

June 13th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Thursday, June 13 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Churchill Downs, along with a ticket for Churchill’s $3,384 Super High 5 carryover and a horse to single in Santa Anita’s $60,770 Pick 6 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Churchill Downs $2,500 Thursday Leaderboard: Place $10+ win wagers at Churchill Downs on Thursday to accumulate points and compete for your share of $2,500 in prizes.
  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: Receive 10x reward points on all harness racing wagers (excluding show bets) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • Hoosier Park $1,000 Late Pick 4 Hit It & Split It: Hit the Late Pick 4 at Hoosier Park on any Thursday in June to win your share of a $1,000 daily prize pool.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 7: Allowance (7 1/2 furlongs on turf, 5:16 p.m. ET)

#10 Candy Corn (30-1) seems a bit overpriced in his first start of 2024. As a two-year-old last year, the Michael Stidham trainee finished third (beaten 1 1/2 lengths) when debuting in a 7 1/2-furlong grass maiden special weight at Delaware Park, after which he finished eighth traveling 6 1/2 furlongs over the tricky course at Kentucky Downs and first in a one-mile and 70-yard maiden special weight over the Presque Isle Downs Tapeta.

Stidham wins at a 21% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more and has gone 3-for-6 (50%) at Horseshoe Indianapolis this meet. Candy Corn has been gelded since his last race and is adding Lasix and picking up apprentice jockey Joseph Bealmear (who rides with a seven-pound weight allowance), so there are plenty of reasons to believe Candy Corn can vie for victory on Thursday.

At 30-1, a win bet on Candy Corn is in order.


  • #10 Candy Corn (30-1)
  • #1 Double Barrel (7-2)
  • #5 Spirit Maker (9-5)


  • $20 to win on #10 Candy Corn

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 8: Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles, 5:47 p.m. ET)

#3 Glenbrook Gerry (3-1) has shown promising form on dirt. In three starts against maiden special weight competition, he’s finished second at Colonial Downs and Keeneland and fourth at Churchill Downs. At Keeneland two months ago, he was beaten only 1 3/4 lengths in a 1 1/16-mile contest while earning an 83 Brisnet Speed rating higher than the par winning number for Thursday’s conditions.

Glenbrook Gerry figures to find the competition a bit easier at Horseshoe Indianapolis, where trainer Kelsey Danner has gone 2-for-7 (29%) this meet. Throw in the fact Glenbrook Gerry is adding blinkers and entering off fast half-mile workouts (including a bullet in :46 4/5 at Turfway Park), and he’s well worth betting to win.


  • #3 Glenbrook Gerry (3-1)
  • #4 Admiral Bouchard (4-1)
  • #5 Dynamis (2-1)


  • $30 to win on #3 Glenbrook Gerry

Churchill Downs: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs, 5:58 p.m. ET)

#1 Spiralizer (5-2) has shown speed in the mornings for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, a 20% winner at Churchill Downs this meet. On May 11, Spiralizer breezed three furlongs from the Keeneland starting gate in a bullet :35 2/5. On May 26, he clocked half a mile from the Keeneland starting gate in a swift :47 2/5.

These workouts suggest Spiralizer is ready to win on debut. It helps that he’s a son of Twirling Candy, who sires a lofty 18% winners from first-time starters. Add in the fact he’ll be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione (a 23% winner teaming up with Asmussen over the last two months), and Spiralizer deserves to be our third win play of the day.


  • #1 Spiralizer (5-2)
  • #3 Morlock (6-1)
  • #6 Charlie Tolu (2-1)


  • $25 to win on #1 Spiralizer

Carryover Watch

Churchill Downs: Race 3: $3,384 Super High 5 carryover (5:58 p.m. ET)

Race 3 at Churchill Downs is worth playing for another reason beyond our confidence in #1 Spiralizer (5-2) as the most likely winner. It’s the race in which a $3,384 Super High 5 carryover is up for grabs, and if we can select the top five finishers in order, we’ll win a share of the carryover.

We’ll start by keying Spiralizer on top. Since there are only six other horses in the field, that simplifies the ticket construction process by a lot.

Underneath, we’ll focus on #3 Morlock (6-1) and #6 Charlie Tolu (2-1). Morlock enters off a bullet half-mile workout from the Churchill Downs starting gate in :47 2/5 for trainer Eddie Kenneally, a respectable 11% winner with horses debuting in maiden special weights. Charlie Tolu, meanwhile, exits a pair of runner-up finishes in Churchill Downs maiden special weights. On May 24, he was beaten only three-quarters of a length by Three Echoes, who returned to finish third in the $150,000 Trement S. at Saratoga.

#7 Mo Hair Sam (9-2) has hit the board in all three of his starts against maiden special weight competition at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, and he can do so again on Thursday. And while the work tabs of #5 Hedge (10-1) and #2 Asleep At Eight (6-1) aren’t especially eye-catching, they have the pedigrees to shine early on and are eligible to finish in the top five.

  • $1 Super High 5: 1 with 3,6 with 3,6,7 with 2,3,5,6,7 with 2,3,5,6,7 ($24)

Santa Anita: Race 4: $60,770 Pick 6 carryover (5:40 p.m. ET)

Looking for a single to build tickets around in Thursday’s $60,770 Pick 6 at Santa Anita? Look no further than #5 Nooni (3-5) in Race 6, a maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies dashing five furlongs on dirt.

Nooni is conditioned by Bob Baffert, who wins at a lofty 28% rate with horses debuting in maiden special weights. A daughter of the stakes-placed juvenile and Grade 1-winning sprinter Win Win Win, Nooni has been training up a storm at Santa Anita, most notably working four furlongs from the starting gate in a bullet :46 1/5. She’s also clocked a regular four furlongs in a bullet :46 2/5.

Nooni sold for $1.8 million earlier this year and looks ready to shine under hot jockey Juan Hernandez, a 24% winner teaming up with Baffert over the last two months. She’ll be a short price, but Nooni looms as a compelling Pick 6 single.

Good luck!