Wednesday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Keeneland’s $56,441 Pick 6

April 24th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Wednesday, April 24 at Thistledown and Horseshoe Indianapolis, along with a horse to single in the $56,441 Pick 6 carryover at Keeneland.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Hong Kong 15% Win Bonus: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on your winning single-horse win wagers at Happy Valley (HK) and Sha Tin (HK) every race day from March 24-April 28.
  • Keeneland Double Down: Hit two double wagers in a single day at Keeneland to receive a 25% bonus (up to 50% per day) on all winning double wagers for the day, every Wednesday through Friday in April.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Thistledown: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs, 1:50 p.m. ET)

#1 Buckeye Cruiser (9-5) is a first-time starter from the barn of David Wolochuk, who has compiled a phenomenal 9-for-17 (53%) record debuting horses at Thistledown since 2019. Wolochuk has named jockey Chelsey Keiser to ride Buckeye Cruiser, and Keiser has gone 2-for-6 (33%) teaming up with Wolochuk over the last two months.

The stats suggest Buckeye Cruiser is sitting on a winning debut, so we’ll key her over #5 Quetzaly (2-1) and #3 She’s a Soldier (5-2) in a large trifecta.


  • #1 Buckeye Cruiser (9-5)
  • #5 Quetzaly (2-1)
  • #3 She’s a Soldier (5-2)


Thistledown: Race 5: Allowance (six furlongs, 2:50 p.m. ET)

Two contenders stand out in this allowance sprint for fillies and mares. #1 Lady Lottie (8-5) hasn’t missed the exacta in her last seven starts while competing primarily against allowance competition at Mahoning Valley. She routinely posts Brisnet Speed ratings in the 84-91 range and should record another top-two finish for the hot jockey/trainer duo of Fernando Salazar Becerra and Jason DaCosta, who have won at a 21% rate teaming up together over the last two months.

#5 Candlelight Hours (9-5) is the other compelling contender. She’s cracked the trifecta in 22 of her 23 starts and has earned Brisnet Speed ratings in the 82-92 range in eight of her last nine starts. She hasn’t run since dominating the 1 1/8-mile Best of Ohio Distaff S. at Mahoning Valley last October, but trainer James Jackson wins at a 22% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Candlelight Hours should be sharp enough to vie for victory while returning to action in a sprint.

Let’s box Lady Lottie and Candlelight Hours in a large exacta.


  • #1 Lady Lottie (8-5)
  • #5 Candlelight Hours (9-5)
  • #6 Oaxaca (7-2)


Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs, 3:43 p.m. ET)

#3 Starsandsixstrings (2-1) sold for $450,000 as a yearling, which isn’t surprising since he’s a son of champion and hot young sire Good Magic out of Star in the Corner, previously the dam of Cincinnati Trophy S. winner Allanah.

Now three years old, Starsandsixstrings has put together a decent work tab for high-percentage trainer Brad Cox, who has gone 9-for-37 (24%) debuting three-year-olds on dirt at Horseshoe Indianapolis since 2019. This strong stat suggests Starsandsixstrings will be ready to roll on Wednesday, so we’ll bet him to win and call it a day.


  • #3 Starsandsixstrings (2-1)
  • #6 Way too Fast (6-1)
  • #8 Harold’s Joy (10-1)


  • $25 to win on #3 Starsandsixstrings

Carryover Watch

Keeneland: Race 3: $56,441 Pick 6 carryover (2:04 p.m. ET)

The final week of the Keeneland spring meet kicks off on Wednesday with a non-jackpot $56,441 Pick 6 carryover up for grabs.

The $1 wager spans Race 3 through Race 8, a sequence containing 70 horses (averaging nearly 11.7 per race) and a staggering 2,027,520 possible outcomes before scratches. On the bright side, eight of those horses are also-eligible entrants, and taking them out of the mix reduces the number of possibilities to consider down to 1,140,480.

Even better, we can reduce that number down to 95,040 by singling #7 Unit Economics (9-5) in Race 4, a maiden special weight for three-year-olds and older horses racing over one mile on turf.

Unit Economics has shown promise in two starts over the Gulfstream Park grass for trainer Chad Brown. The four-year-old gelding debuted in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on Feb. 15 and overcame a poor start to rally from far back and finish sixth, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths for first place.

Unit Economics made his second start on March 20, tackling a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight. This time, he broke slowly before unleashing a fast finish to gain runner-up honors. He was beaten only a neck by Malibu Springs, who returned to dominate a one-mile off-the-turf allowance at Keeneland by 6 3/4 lengths.

The pace didn’t do Unit Economics any favors on March 20. He raced toward the back of the pack through modest early splits of :23.92 and :46.06, then gained 3 1/4 lengths even as the pace accelerated through a third quarter-mile in :22.95, a fourth quarter-mile in :22.99, and a final sixteenth of a mile in :05.84.

Unit Economics figures to receive plenty of pace to chase while taking on a full field at Keeneland. Since 2019, Brown has compiled an excellent 41-for-172 (24%) record saddling turf horses at Keeneland, and during that timeframe, he’s been the only conditioner among those with more than five turf route wins to exceed a 20% win rate.

In other words, Brown trainees bring their A-game running long over the Keeneland grass. And there are other positive stats in favor of Unit Economics—Brown wins at a 34% rate with horses running long for the second time, and jockey Tyler Gaffalione has won at a 27% rate teaming up with Brown over the last two months.

For these reasons, we’re willing to single Unit Economics in the Pick 6, significantly simplifying a complicated sequence.

Good luck!