Tuesday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: 4-1 shot trying Tapeta

June 18th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Tuesday, June 18 at Presque Isle Downs, Horseshoe Indianapolis, and Assiniboia Downs, along with a horse to single in the $3,138 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 at Assiniboia Downs every Monday through Wednesday in June.
  • Royal Ascot $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select races at Ascot (UK) from Tuesday through Saturday.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Presque Isle Downs: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (one mile and 70 yards on Tapeta, 2:48 p.m. ET)

#2 Talonnade (4-1) has yet to compete on Tapeta, but she’s hit the board a couple of times against maiden special weight competition on turf and dirt. Most recently, she passed a few rivals to finish fourth in a 1 1/16-mile contest on dirt at Pimlico.

Trainer Graham Motion wins at a 20% rate with horses switching from dirt to synthetic and has gone 1-for-1 at Presque Isle this meet. Throw in the fact Talonnade will be ridden by red-hot jockey Antonio Gallardo (a 32% winner at Presque Isle this meet), and a win bet is in order.


  • #2 Talonnade (4-1)
  • #4 Dianthus (5-2)
  • #6 Loyal Royal (3-1)


  • $20 to win on #2 Talonnade

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 7: $32,000 Maiden Claiming (1 3/8 miles on turf, 5:16 p.m. ET)

#8 Rock Lucky (7-2), a stoutly bred daughter of Lookin At Lucky, produced her best effort from three starts in her longest race, finishing third in a 1 3/16-mile maiden special weight over the Keeneland turf course.

Stretching out over 1 3/8 miles should suit Rock Lucky just fine, and it’s important to note trainer Jonathan Thomas wins at a spectacular 39% rate with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming company. If her 7-2 morning line odds hold up, Rock Lucky is worthy of a large win bet.


  • #8 Rock Lucky (7-2)
  • #1 Hoylake (5-1)
  • #2 Call Me Cassius (9-2)


  • $40 to win on #8 Rock Lucky

Assiniboia Downs: Race 2: $4,000 Claiming (7 1/2 furlongs on dirt, 9:00 p.m. ET)

There isn’t much speed in this five-horse field, which should give #2 Hot Stove League (7-5) an advantage. She regularly sets or tracks the pace, and two starts back she won a $2,500 claimer at Fonner Park by 1 3/4 lengths while defeating three of her four Tuesday rivals.

Let’s key Hot Stove League on top of #4 Its a Boy (2-1) and #5 Celerity (3-1) in a trifecta.


  • #2 Hot Stove League (7-5)
  • #4 Its a Boy (2-1)
  • #5 Celerity (3-1)


  • $10 Trifecta: 2 with 4,5 with 4,5 ($20)

Carryover Watch

Finger Lakes: Race 3: $3,138 Pick 6 carryover (12:13 p.m. ET)

The $1 Pick 6 at Finger Lakes has gone unsolved during each of the last two racing days, triggering a double carryover worth $3,138 into Tuesday’s card.

The opening leg of the sequence, Race 3, is one of the most intriguing to handicap. It’s a $10,000 allowance optional claimer for New York-bred fillies and mares sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt. Only five horses have entered, so it’s an ideal race in which to seek a single.

Two horses loom as the primary win threats. One is #5 Bustinroxy (9-5), who has won three straight races at Finger Lakes this spring for red-hot trainer M. Anthony Ferraro. The first two were non-state-restricted $11,000 claimers, and the third was a 5 1/2-furlong allowance for New York-breds. In all three races, Bustinroxy led from start to finish while earning improving Brisnet Speed ratings of 70, 78, and 80.

The other key contender is #2 Sandy’s Garden (8-5), who exits a third-place finish in a six-furlong $45,000 allowance optional claimer for New York-breds at Aqueduct, which yielded an 80 Brisnet Speed rating. The five-year-old mare has competed primarily on the New York Racing Association circuit as of late, but she’s also 4-for-5 at Finger Lakes. Her lone defeat over this track came in a stakes, and her last three Finger Lakes starts have seen her win non-state-restricted allowances by 7 3/4 lengths, 9 3/4 lengths, and 2 1/2 lengths, earning Brisnet Speed ratings of 86, 94, and 73.

Whether Bustinroxy or Sandy’s Garden prevails on Tuesday may come down to which one has more early speed, since 42% of 5 1/2-furlong sprints at Finger Lakes this meet have been won in gate-to-wire fashion. At first glance, Bustinroxy looms as the most likely pacesetter since she’s set the early tempo in each of her last 10 starts.

But guess what? In terms of recent Brisnet E1 and E2 Pace ratings, Sandy’s Garden is actually faster than Bustinroxy. Two of Sandy’s Garden’s last three Finger Lakes victories have been achieved in gate-to-wire fashion, so there’s a good chance she’ll outsprint Bustinroxy while returning to this oval. This possibility, when coupled with Sandy’s Garden’s superior Brisnet Speed ratings, stamps the morning line favorite as a viable single to start the Pick 6.

Good luck!