Wednesday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Lobo maiden looks live

March 13th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Wednesday, March 13 at Turfway Park and Charles Town, along with horses to single in the $1,168 Pick 6 carryover at Fair Grounds.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Winning Wednesdays: Receive a 25% bonus (up to $25 per day) on your winning single-horse win wagers at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs every Wednesday in March.

Picks and Plays

Turfway Park: Race 3: $50,000 Maiden Claiming (six furlongs on Tapeta, 6:55 p.m. ET)

#4 Holding the Line (7-2) debuted in the Royal Palm Juvenile S. sprinting five furlongs over the Gulfstream Park turf course last spring. He didn’t fare well, finishing seventh, but that turned out to be a deep race, as the victorious No Nay Mets later won the Tyro S. and Rosie’s S. while runner-up Mattingly won his next start and eventually nabbed the Hollywood Beach S.

Holding the Line has since been gelded and is eligible to produce a sharper run while dropping in class, removing blinkers, and adding Lasix. Throw in the fact he breezed a bullet half-mile from the Turfway starting gate in :47 3/5 last week, and there are many reasons to believe Holding the Line can visit the winner’s circle for high-percentage trainer Wesley Ward.

Let’s bet Holding the Line to win and key him over the class-dropping #2 Prince Colton (3-1) in a cold exacta.


  • #4 Holding the Line (7-2)
  • #2 Prince Colton (3-1)
  • #3 Midnight Ambition (9-2)


  • $20 to win on #4 Holding the Line
  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 2
    Total: $30

Turfway Park: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (6 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 7:55 p.m. ET)

Since 2022, trainer Paulo Lobo has compiled a fantastic 7-for-13 (54%) record debuting three-year-olds in sprints at Turfway Park. That includes a victory courtesy of 10-1 shot Ultimate Authority on Feb. 28.

With this powerful angle in mind, we have to support Lobo’s first-time starter #6 On Paradise Hill (8-1) in this maiden sprint for three-year-old fillies. The daughter of Flatter has put together an encouraging work tab since December, capped off by half a mile from the Turfway starting gate in :49 1/5. With hot jockey Adam Beschizza in the saddle, On Paradise Hill is worth betting to win.


  • #6 On Paradise Hill (8-1)
  • #10 Sense of Pearl (10-1)
  • #11 Mourne Mountains (3-1)


  • $25 to win on #6 On Paradise Hill

Charles Town: Race 4: Allowance (4 1/2 furlongs, 8:25 p.m. ET)

#3 Golden Star (5-2) was much the best in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Charles Town last month, dueling for the lead before drawing off to win by 4 3/4 lengths. Her reward was a 71 Brisnet Speed rating that stacks up nicely in this allowance.

There isn’t a crazy amount of speed in Wednesday’s field, so Golden Star figures to enjoy a favorable forwardly placed trip under jockey Larry Reynolds, a 21% winner at Charles Town this meet and a 26% winner teaming up with hot trainer Timothy Grams over the last two months. Pacesetters have won 60% of 4 1/2-furlong sprints at Charles Town this meet, so a win bet on Golden Star is in order.


  • #3 Golden Star (5-2)
  • #5 Late Nite Mistress (8-5)
  • #6 Thirsty Accountant (3-1)


  • $25 to win on #3 Golden Star

Carryover Watch

Fair Grounds: Race 4: $1,168 Pick 6 carryover (3:15 p.m. ET)

The racing week at Fair Grounds kicks off with a $1,168 carryover up for grabs in the $1 Pick 6.

After analyzing the entries, we’ve identified a pair of short-priced singles to build tickets around:

Race 7: #4 Guitar Solo (8-5)

Eight fillies and mares will sprint six furlongs on dirt in this allowance for Louisiana breds who have never won three races. We’re confident morning line favorite Guitar Solo can take home top honors.

Guitar Solo has shown plenty of promise against Louisiana-bred competition. True, she faltered after setting the pace in the one-mile Louisiana Bred Premier Starlet S. at Delta Downs last month, fading to finish sixth over a muddy track. But in three starts sprinting on fast tracks, she’s compiled two wins and a third. In a six-furlong maiden special weight at Delta Downs, she crushed a couple of next-out winners by 14 1/4 lengths. And in the six-furlong Louisiana Futurity at Fair Grounds, she won a duel with Wednesday rival #1 Freeburn (2-1) to prevail by two lengths.

Guitar Solo is the fastest filly in Wednesday’s field from a Brisnet Speed rating perspective, so cutting back to six furlongs over a (presumably) dry track can send her to the winner’s circle for the hot jockey/trainer duo of Corey Lanerie and Allen Landry, who have teamed up to win at a 23% rate over the last two months.

Race 8: #7 Hero Worship (2-1)

Three-year-old colts and geldings will dash about 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in this maiden special weight. We’re keen to support Hero Worship, who was unlucky not to win a race over this course, distance, and class level on Feb. 8. After settling in midfield, Hero Worship rallied to lead inside the eighth pole, only to get caught in the final strides by a late runner.

Hero Worship pulled 4 1/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher and earned a flashy 89 Brisnet Speed rating even in defeat. That number towers over Wednesday’s field. Hero Worship should be tough to beat while sticking to the same conditions for the hot jockey/trainer duo of Florent Geroux and Brad Cox, who have teamed up to win at a 29% rate over the last two months.

Good luck!