Wednesday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Form favors Janey Creed

January 24th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Wednesday, Jan. 24 at Tampa Bay Downs and Turfway Park, including horses to play in Pick 5 and Super High 5 carryovers.

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 January.

Picks and Plays

Tampa Bay Downs: Race 3: $32,000 Maiden Claiming (1 1/16 miles on turf, 1:22 p.m. ET)

First-time starter #4 Schiehallion (3-1) is bred to shine on turf; he’s a son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Mendelssohn out of a mare by champion and Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) hero English Channel.

Schiehallion hasn’t put together the flashiest work tab, but trainer Christophe Clement has gone 10-for-42 (24%) debuting three-year-olds in turf routes at Tampa Bay Downs since 2019, so Schielhallion ought to be ready for a competitive showing under hot jockey Samy Camacho. A win bet is in order.


  • #4 Schiehallion (3-1)
  • #9 Midnight Cheer (6-1)
  • #5 Eastern Extension (5-2)


  • $25 to win on #4 Schiehallion

Turfway Park: Race 1: $15,000 Maiden Claiming (one mile on Tapeta, 5:55 p.m. ET)

#3 Frosty Tale (10-1) hasn’t shown much in three starts on dirt at Churchill Downs and Horseshoe Indianapolis, but those were maiden special weights. Switching to Tapeta and descending into a $15,000 maiden claimer can yield improvement from Frosty Tale, especially when you consider how trainer Genaro Garcia wins at a 22% rate with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming company.

Throw in the fact Frosty Tale is racing on Lasix for the first time, and she’s worthy of a win bet.


  • #3 Frosty Tale (10-1)
  • #8 Old Fashioned Girl (5-2)
  • #2 Rose Darling (3-1)


  • $20 to win on #3 Frosty Tale (10-1)

Turfway Park: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles on Tapeta, 7:55 p.m. ET)

After cracking the trifecta in her first two starts on turf at Horseshoe Indianapolis, #4 Janey Creed (5-1) ran well when switching to Tapeta for a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Turfway last month, rallying from last place after a troubled start to lead in midstretch. While she flattened out late and finished second behind fellow deep closer Dazzlin’ Dictator, Janey Creed ran well overall and pulled three lengths clear of the third-place finisher.

The form of that race was flattered when Dazzlin’ Dictator returned to win a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Turfway. The 80 Brisnet Speed rating Janey Creed received is one of the highest numbers in Wednesday’s field, so let’s take a shot betting her to win and keying her over #6 Befriended (2-1) in a small exacta.


  • #4 Janey Creed (5-1)
  • #6 Befriended (2-1)
  • #8 Argan (8-1)


  • $25 to win on #4 Janey Creed
  • $5 Exacta: 4 with 6
    Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Tampa Bay Downs: Race 5: $61,756 Pick 5 carryover (2:30 p.m. ET)

The Wednesday card at Tampa Bay Downs is highlighted by a non-jackpot $61,756 carryover in the 50-cent Late Pick 5.

A competitive sequence is on tap, and finding a trustworthy single isn’t easy. But #1 Cali Cruiser (7-2) in Race 8 is a possibility. The race in question is a $16,000 maiden claimer for three-year-old fillies dashing 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt.

Cali Cruiser has run reasonably well in two starts sprinting against $25,000 maiden claiming competition at Tampa, finishing fifth and fourth against large fields. The latter performance yielded a 67 Brisnet Speed rating, one of the highest numbers in Wednesday’s field.

Dropping into a $16,000 maiden claimer might be all Cali Cruiser needs to prevail for the hot jockey/trainer duo of Kevin Gomez and Jamie Ness, who have gone 3-for-10 (30%) teaming up together over the last two months. The addition of blinkers also offers potential for improvement, so we’re willing to take a stand singling Cali Cruiser to conclude the Pick 5.

Turfway Park: Race 9: $2,009 Super High 5 carryover (9:55 p.m. ET)

If you want to win a share of Wednesday’s $2,009 Super High 5 carryover at Turfway Park, you’ll have to decipher Race 9, a $7,500 maiden claimer for three-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs on Tapeta.

With a full field of 12 horses in the entries, there are 95,040 possible Super High 5 outcomes, and assembling a winning ticket won’t be easy. But that means a big payoff could be in the offing, especially if #9 Royal Itch (12-1) wins or cracks the top five at double-digit odds.

Royal Itch has only run once, flashing speed in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Horseshoe Indianapolis last August before fading to finish last out of 12. But the quality of that field was decent; runner-up Gin Gin won her next start at Churchill Downs and recently nabbed the Busanda S. at Aqueduct.

Royal Itch is adding Lasix for her three-year-old debut, which could trigger improvement. Plunging in class from a maiden special weight to a $7,500 maiden claimer should help as well, so don’t leave this second-time starter off your tickets.

Good luck!