Tuesday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Presque Isle carryover

May 21st, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Tuesday, May 21 at Presque Isle Downs and Horseshoe Indianapolis, including an analysis of Presque Isle’s $2,002 Pick 5 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning trifecta wagers every Tuesday in April and May.
  • Assiniboia Downs 15% Win Bonus: Receive a 15% bonus (up to 25% per day) on winning single-horse win bets every Monday and Tuesday at Assiniboia Downs from May 20-28.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Presque Isle Downs: Race 1: $5,000 Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 3:00 p.m. ET)

#1 Wild Looker (9-2) is trained by Carol Skawinski, who won with her first two starters during the 2023 Presque Isle Downs meet. Both of those winners prepped with defeats at Tampa Bay Downs.

Wild Looker is following the same pattern. She failed to factor when finishing midfield in a $5,000 claimer sprinting six furlongs over the Tampa dirt last month. But two starts back—in an October $6,250 claimer dashing six furlongs over the Turfway Tapeta—Wild Looker launched a strong rally to finish second by a neck.

Having gotten in a prep run at Tampa, Wild Looker is a logical contender while returning to Presque Isle for a $5,000 claimer. Throw in the fact she’ll be ridden by Antonio Gallardo (a 23% winner during the 2023 Presque Isle meet), and Wild Looker is worthy of a win bet.


  • #1 Wild Looker (9-2)
  • #5 So Moxie (10-1)
  • #7 Song of Indy (5-2)


  • $20 to win on #1 Wild Looker

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 4:45 p.m. ET)

#6 Contemplation (6-1) ran reasonably well in a one-mile maiden special weight over the Turfway Park Tapeta track last time out. Making his second start (and his first running long), the Godolphin homebred rated in third place early on, rallied to lead with a quarter-mile remaining, and then faded to finish fourth.

Even in defeat, Contemplation earned a 78 Brisnet Speed rating only two points lower than the par winning number (80) for Wednesday’s conditions at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Trainer Michael Stidham has gone 3-for-4 (75%) at Horseshoe Indianapolis this meet, and apprentice jockey Joseph Bealmear (who rides with a seven-pound weight allowance) is named to ride, which is significant since Bealmear has gone 2-for-2 teaming up with Stidham over the last two months.

In short, there’s a lot to like about Contemplation. At 6-1, he’s an enticing win play.


  • #6 Contemplation (6-1)
  • #1 Season Fighter (10-1)
  • #5 Special Justice (3-1)


  • $25 to win on #6 Contemplation

Presque Isle Downs: Race 5: $25,000 Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 4:48 p.m. ET)

#3 A Thousand Plans (10-1) ran twice over the Presque Isle Downs Tapeta last year. First, she carved out the pace to finish second by a head in her debut against maiden special weight competition. Then, after wiring a four-furlong maiden special weight on dirt at Finger Lakes, A Thousand Plans returned to Presque Isle and finished seventh (beaten 5 1/2 lengths) against a large field in the Presque Isle Debutante S.

A Thousand Plans recently returned to action with a fifth-place finish in a 4 1/2-furlong allowance at Finger Lakes. With that prep run under her belt, A Thousand Plans may step forward while dropping into a claimer at Presque Isle. She’s adding Lasix for her second run of the season and breezed a bullet half-mile from the Presque Isle starting gate in :47 4/5 last month, so there’s a lot to like about her chances.

At 10-1, a win bet is the way we’ll play.


  • #3 A Thousand Plans (10-1)
  • #5 No Tappin Out (5-2)
  • #1 Devil At Midnight (3-1)


  • $20 to win on #3 A Thousand Plans

Carryover Watch

Presque Isle Downs: Race 4: $2,002 Pick 5 carryover (4:21 p.m. ET)

No one hit the 50-cent Late Pick 5 on opening day at Presque Isle Downs, so Tuesday’s card features the first carryover of the young meet: $2,002, up for grabs in the Late Pick 5.

The opening leg of the sequence is Race 4, an allowance for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs. Morning line favorite #1 Rosie’s Alibi (8-5) brings strong Brisnet Speed ratings to the table, but she’s never run over a synthetic track. #6 I’m Heading East (3-1), who has cracked the trifecta couple of times over this track and class level, has upset potential. #5 Dweller (5-2) could also factor while returning to the Pennsylvania-bred ranks for her second start off a layoff.

We’ve already discussed Race 5, in which longshot #3 A Thousand Plans (10-1) is our top choice, but we’ll back her up with #5 No Tappin Out (5-2) and #1 Devil At Midnight (3-1).

Race 6 is a one-mile maiden special weight. It’s a tough race with an overflow field of entries. #6 Secret Treasure (5-2) is a logical favorite after cracking the trifecta in maiden special weights on dirt, turf, and synthetic, but his 0-for-10 lifetime record is a cause for pause. Among others, we have to include #2 Streamsong (7-2), who is exiting a couple of maiden special weights on turf at Tampa Bay Downs. The son of hot young sire Omaha Beach is making his first start for trainer Michael Pappada, who wins at a powerful 48% rate with horses running for the first time under his care.

Race 7 is a $15,000 starter optional claimer taking place over one mile. #6 Pemaquid Pete (7-2) won five of his eight starts over this track last year, including a $15,000 claimer when last seen. But that was in October, and trainer John Fennessy wins only 4% of the time with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, so the long break is at least a small question mark. Others worth considering include #2 Van (8-1), winner of a $25,000 claimer at Presque Isle last fall, and #3 English Challenge (5-2), who competed steadily over the Turfway Park Tapeta throughout the winter and early spring.

The Pick 5 wraps up in Race 8, a $5,000 claimer for horses who haven’t won a race since Nov. 21. There are plenty of viable win contenders, and one in particular is #9 Digital Footprint (5-2). He placed second in a quartet of $8,500 and $5,000 claimers at Presque Isle last year while earning sharp Brisnet Speed ratings, and trainer S. Matthew Kintz wins at a 20% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more. Digital Footprint figures to fire a strong shot in his 2024 debut.

Good luck!