Thursday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Turfway’s $24,626 Super High 5

March 28th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Thursday, March 28 at Gulfstream Park and Turfway Park, including horses to play in Turfway’s $24,626 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.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Gulfstream Park: Race 6: $75,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (one mile, 3:40 p.m. ET)

#6 Knightsbridge (4-5) was terrific in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Churchill Downs last fall, pouncing from midfield to dominate by 10 1/2 lengths. The son of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist earned a strong 92 Brisnet Speed rating.

Knightsbridge hasn’t run since, but he’s trained strongly for his return, most notably breezing a bullet five furlongs over the slow track at Payson Park in 1:00 4/5. Knightsbridge looks like a stakes star in the making, so let’s play him on top of a cold exacta using the multiple stakes-placed #5 Sea Streak (4-1) for second place.


  • #6 Knightsbridge (4-5)
  • #5 Sea Streak (4-1)
  • #3 Cardinale (3-1)


  • $25 Exacta: 6 with 5

Turfway Park: Race 1: $15,000 Maiden Claiming (6 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 5:55 p.m. ET)

#3 Drew d’Oro (10-1) didn’t show much in a trio of maiden special weights at Belmont Park and Horseshoe Indianapolis last year, finishing fifth, fourth, and eighth. But he can improve in his first start since August. He’s dropping in class, adding Lasix, removing blinkers, making his first start as a gelding, picking up a 10-pound weight allowance courtesy of apprentice jockey Summer Pauly, and switching to the hot barn of Randy Klopp.

Some combination of these changes can trigger the improvement necessary for Drew d’Oro to vie for victory at double-digit odds, so a win bet is in order.


  • #3 Drew d’Oro (10-1)
  • #4 Prince Colton (8-5)
  • #5 Mighty Les (2-1)


  • $25 to win on #3 Drew d’Oro

Turfway Park: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs on Tapeta, 7:55 p.m. ET)

#9 Colormecairo (12-1) is a daughter of Cairo Prince out of a mare by Tale of the Cat, stallions who respectively sire 12% and 15% winners from first-time starters. Hot trainer William Morey (a 20% winner at Turfway since November) has compiled a solid 8-2-2-0 (25%) record saddling first-time starters in sprints at Turfway since 2023, and jockey Gerardo Corrales has gone 5-for-15 (33%) teaming up with Morey over the last two months.

These stats suggest Colormecairo will be ready to fire a winning shot on debut. Throw in the fact she breezed a bullet half-mile in :47 2/5 at Turfway last Saturday, and Colormecairo is well worth betting to win.


  • #9 Colormecairo (12-1)
  • #4 Under Advisement (7-2)
  • #1 Dee Minus (3-1)


  • $25 to win on #9 Colormecairo

Carryover Watch

Turfway Park: Race 8: $24,626 Super High 5 carryover (9:25 p.m. ET)

An 82-1 upset in the Wednesday finale at Turfway Park triggered a $24,626 Super High 5 carryover for Thursday’s card.

The $1 wager is available to play in Race 8, a six-furlong Tapeta maiden special weight for three-year-old fillies. Seven of the 13 entrants are first-time starters, so uncovering the winning combination won’t be easy. But after analyzing the entries, we’ve identified five horses you’ll want to include (in varying degrees) on your Super High 5 tickets:

  • #1 Closing Prayer (6-1): Although Closing Prayer failed to factor when ninth in her Feb. 28 debut over this track, distance, and class level, it’s worth noting trainer James Baker wins at a 21% rate with second-time starters. Closing Prayer is adding blinkers and may move forward after breezing a near-bullet half-mile on March 17.
  • #2 Midnight Angel (6-1): With her 0-for-14 lifetime record, Midnight Angel probably isn’t the type of filly to play on top. But she’s finished third in her last two starts sprinting over this track and class level, so a spot in the Super High 5 is likely within reach.
  • #5 Naughty Miss (9-2): Naughty Miss cracked the top five in all four of her starts against maiden special weight competition on dirt at Ellis Park and Churchill Downs last year. She hasn’t run since September, but she enters off sharp workouts and is adding Lasix for her three-year-old debut. There’s a lot to like about her chances.
  • #9 Midway Vow (12-1): Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen isn’t a frequent winner with first-time starters at Turfway, going 1-for-17 (6%) since 2019. But four others finished in the top three, and Midway Vow showed some speed when breezing half a mile from the Turfway starting gate in :47 4/5 earlier this month, so there are reasons to believe this filly can snatch a top-five finish on debut.
  • #12 Classy’n Connected (7-2): Classy’n Connected hasn’t finished out of the top five in a trio of starts at Turfway since December. She ran particularly well in a one-mile maiden special weight last month, closing ground to finish second against a next-out winner, so victory under Turfway’s leading jockey Luan Machado may be within reach.

Good luck!