Tuesday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: 8-1 first-time starter

February 6th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Turf Paradise and Mahoning Valley, including an 8-1 longshot.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: Earn 10x reward points on all harness racing wagers (excluding show bets) every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the month of February.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Mahoning Valley: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 12:45 p.m. ET)

Since 2019, trainer Mike Maker has compiled a strong 3-2-0-1 (67%) record saddling first-time starters at Mahoning Valley. This bodes well for #1 Envelope Please (8-1), an unraced son of Oscar Performance, who sires a solid 15% winners from first-time starters.

Envelope Please has put together a lengthy work tab highlighted by a half-mile from the Churchill Downs training track starting gate in :47 3/5. Mahoning’s leading jockey Luis Rivera is named to ride, and Maker has gone 5-for-14 (36%) at Mahoning since October, so there are plenty of reasons to believe Envelope Please can outrun his 8-1 morning line odds.

Assuming those 8-1 odds hold up, a win bet on Envelope Please is an enticing prospect.


  • #1 Envelope Please (8-1)
  • #6 Spanish Wells (2-1)
  • #3 Conniving (5-2)


  • $25 to win on #1 Envelope Please

Turf Paradise: Race 3: $8,500 Claiming (six furlongs, 3:36 p.m. ET)

#5 Curly Esa (5-2) has been earning sharp Brisnet Speed ratings against $12,500, $16,000, $20,000, and even $25,000 claiming competition on the Southern California circuit. Dropping into an $8,500 claimer should make Curly Esa tough to beat in her first start for high-percentage trainer Lymon Perren, especially since apprentice jockey Matias Bravo (who rides with a five-pound weight allowance) is picking up the mount.

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


  • #5 Curly Esa (5-2)
  • #1 You Enjoy Myself (7-2)
  • #4 Westward Look (2-1)


  • $25 to win on #5 Curly Esa

Turf Paradise: Race 6: $8,500 Claiming (six furlongs, 5:01 p.m. ET)

Former Southern California competitor #4 Big Beauty (5-2) obliterated her Turf Paradise debut on Jan. 29, winning an $8,500 claimer for non-winners of two races by seven lengths. She was claimed out of that contest by trainer Juan P. Silva (a 28% winner with new claiming acquisitions) and shouldn’t have any trouble stepping up into an $8,500 claimer for non-winners of three races, especially with the five-pound weight break of jockey Matias Bravo in her corner.

#2 Gypsy Rosie (3-1), runner-up in her last three starts against $12,500 and $7,500 claiming competition, can complete the exacta.


  • #4 Big Beauty (5-2)
  • #2 Gypsy Rosie (3-1)
  • #1 Truly a Mess (10-1)


  • $20 to win on #4 Big Beauty
  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 2
    Total: $30

Good luck!