Wednesday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Horseshoe Indianapolis stakes plays

May 15th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Wednesday, May 15 at Horseshoe Indianapolis, along with tickets for the $1,758 Super High 5 carryover at Louisiana Downs.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Horseshoe Indianapolis 15% Win Bonus: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning single-horse win wagers at Horseshoe Indianapolis each Wednesday in May, starting May 8.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 4:14 p.m. ET)

#9 Contemplation (8-1) 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-3 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 8-1, he’s an enticing win play.


  • #9 Contemplation (8-1)
  • #3 Season Fighter (20-1)
  • #6 Special Justice (7-2)


  • $25 to win on #9 Contemplation

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 7: Horseshoe Indianapolis H. (one mile on turf, 5:16 p.m. ET)

#11 Pounce (5-2) faltered in the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland last month, fading from a pace-tracking position to finish 11th. But two starts back, the Mark Casse trainee rallied from last place to win the one-mile Herecomesthebride (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

That stakes win followed a gate-to-wire victory in a $75,000 allowance optional claimer racing 7 1/2 furlongs over the Gulfstream turf. If Pounce can recapture the form of those victories while dropping in class at Horseshoe Indianapolis, she’ll be a formidable win threat.


  • #11 Pounce (5-2)
  • #10 Crown Imperial (8-1)
  • #3 Pursuit of Liberty (8-1)


  • $25 to win on #11 Pounce

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 8: Caesars H. (one mile on turf, 5:47 p.m. ET)

#3 Molly’s Town (10-1) has yet to race on turf, but as a son of Mo Town—who won the Hollywood Derby (G1) on grass—he has the potential to shine while switching surfaces.

On dirt, Molly’s Town has gone 5-for-7, with all five of his victories coming by daylight margins at Horseshoe Indianapolis. He’s primarily sprinted, but last fall he won the one-mile and 70-yard Indiana Futurity by 7 1/2 lengths. His pedigree is geared top and bottom toward success running long, so Molly’s Town may actually prove best as a route racer.

For all these reasons, Molly’s Town’s 10-1 morning line odds are appealing. We’ll bet him to win and play him over #2 First World War (5-1) in a small exacta.


  • #3 Molly’s Town (10-1)
  • #2 First World War (5-1)
  • #9 Aspenite (9-2)


  • $20 to win on #3 Molly’s Town
  • $5 Exacta: 3 with 2
    Total: $25

Carryover Watch

Louisiana Downs: Race 7: $1,758 Super High 5 carryover (7:35 p.m. ET)

The 50-cent Super High 5 at Louisiana Downs went unsolved on Tuesday, triggering a $1,758 carryover into Wednesday’s card.

Assembling a winning ticket shouldn’t be too complicated. The carryover is up for grabs in Race 7, a $20,000 maiden claimer for Louisiana-breds sprinting six furlongs on dirt. Seven horses have entered, so there are only 2,520 possible Super High 5 outcomes to analyze. And since the minimum bet amount is 50 cents (half the $1 minimum typical at many tracks), a bettor could theoretically play every single combination for “only” $1,260.

Of course, we don’t recommend taking such a scattershot approach. The point is, assembling a competitive ticket should be readily affordable.

The morning line favorite is #6 Our Determination (5-2), who debuted with a runner-up finish over this distance and class level at Fair Grounds. The three-year-old gelding earned a 69 Brisnet Speed rating that stacks up well against Wednesday’s field, and it’s worth noting trainer Joseph Foster has been hot at Louisiana Downs this meet, winning at a 23% rate. A top-three finish should be well within reach for Our Determination.

Meanwhile, #7 Cajun Mischief (10-1) is a longshot worth backing. He’s finished sixth, third, and fifth in $20,000 maiden claimers for Louisiana-breds at Fair Grounds, and he should find the competition more manageable at Louisiana Downs. Cajun Mischief’s career-best 71 Brisnet Speed rating is the highest number in Wednesday’s field, and red-hot jockey Emanuel Nieves (a 26% winner at Louisiana Downs this meet) retains the mount. All these positives are further bolstered by the fact Cajun Mischief is adding blinkers, opening the door for improvement.

#1 Allonanita’sluck (6-1) and #4 Fran’s Star (3-1) haven’t been earning as strong of Brisnet Speed ratings while missing the trifecta in eight starts between them, but they’ve both been competing in maiden special weights for Louisiana-breds, and dropping down to the $20,000 maiden claiming level may help them improve.

Rounding out the field are the first-time starters #2 Heavenly Deal (7-2), #3 Due We Dare (8-1), and #5 A Star On the Rise (12-1). None look certain to fire on debut, though Due We Dare breezed a bullet three furlongs from the Louisiana Downs starting gate in :35 1/5 last week, and the three-year-old gelding could potentially outrun his odds under hot apprentice jockey Erik Asmussen, who rides with a five-pound weight allowance.

Here’s how we’ll bet the Super High 5:

  • 50-cent Super High 5: 6,7 with 6,7 with 1,4 with 1,3,4 with 1,2,3,4,5 ($24)
  • 50-cent Super High 5: 6,7 with 1,4 with 6,7 with 1,3,4 with 1,2,3,4,5 ($24)
  • 50-cent Super High 5: 6,7 with 1,4 with 1,3,4 with 6,7 with 1,2,3,4,5 ($24)
    Total: $72

Good luck!