Horses to single in lucrative carryovers at Laurel, Keeneland

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October 24th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares horses to single in a pair of five-figure carryovers at Laurel Park and Keeneland.

Laurel Park, Race 5: $32,726 Pick 5 carryover (4:26 p.m. ET)

Best single: Race 8, #4 Hybrid Eclipse (7-5)

This seven-furlong, $35,000 allowance optional claiming sprint for fillies and mares looks ripe for conquest by the talented three-year-old Hybrid Eclipse. Since transitioning to the care of trainer Linda Rice, Hybrid Eclipse has won three of her five starts, with her only defeats coming against stakes company.

Hybrid Eclipse wasn’t badly beaten when fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks (G3) during the summer; she actually finished just one length behind Leader of the Band, who came right back to win the Monmouth Oaks (G3). Dropping in class and distance for Sunday’s allowance should make Hybrid Eclipse tough to deny at a short price. Keep in mind, she romped by six lengths in her lone previous start at Laurel, and has the tactical speed to secure a perfect trip in this largely paceless field.

Keeneland, Race 8: $41,014 Pick 6 carryover (4:44 p.m. ET)

Best single: Race 8, #2 Thomas Shelby (3-1)

#6 Warrior’s Charge (8-5), runner-up in the Stephen Foster S. (G2) during the summer, is the morning-line favorite while descending to the $80,000 allowance optional claiming level. But can he be trusted to win this 1 1/16-mile event at a short price? Warrior’s Charge hasn’t crossed the wire first since February 2020, and was beaten to second place in his last allowance run, so dropping in class isn’t guaranteed to trigger a victory.

Instead, we’ll try to beat Warrior’s Charge with the improving #2 Thomas Shelby (3-1). Victorious in five of his last seven starts for high-percentage trainer Robertino Diodoro, Thomas Shelby enters off a gate-to-wire romp in an $80,000 allowance optional claimer at Saratoga. The son of Curlin dominated the 1 1/8-mile race by four lengths while posting a career-best 101 Brisnet Speed rating, exceeding six of the last seven Brisnet Speed ratings posted by Warrior’s Charge.

If Thomas Shelby reproduces this effort, he can give Warrior’s Charge a tussle down the homestretch. And if Thomas Shelby continues his current trajectory of improvement, he can deliver a victory as a nice-priced Pick 6 single.

Good luck!