Keeler Johnson's mega picks and plays of the day for Nov. 6

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November 6th, 2021

The Breeders’ Cup is always a great betting opportunity, but if you’re looking for a change of scenery from the action at Del Mar, Keeler Johnson has you covered with stakes picks and carryover insights for the Saturday cards at Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Exacta Insurance: Receive refunds on exacta bets (up to $10) if your two selected horses finish in the first three home (but not in the winning order) at Belmont Park. Offer applies to straight exacta bets only.
  • Breeders’ Cup Money Back 2nd and 3rd: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in any race at Del Mar.
  • Churchill Downs Bet Back 2nd and 3rd: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races at Churchill Downs.
  • $10,000 Place Jackpot at Del Mar: Make a winning $5+ place bet in at least six races at Del Mar to win your share of a daily $500 jackpot.

Picks and Plays

Belmont Park, Race 3: Turnback the Alarm H. (G3, 1 1/8 miles, 1:03 p.m. ET)

#2 Miss Marissa (1-1) won the Delaware H. (G2) during the summer and enters off a respectable effort in the Beldame S. (G2) racing 1 1/8 miles at Belmont, where she finished third behind Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) contenders Royal Flag and Horologist.

Miss Marissa brings pacesetting speed and strong Brisnet Speed ratings to the table, stamping the four-year-old filly as a formidable favorite while dropping in class and facing just four rivals on Saturday. She can lead home Delaware H. runner-up and fellow speed horse #5 Gibberish (2-1) in the race to the Belmont finish line.

Taking advantage of the Exacta Insurance offer, we’ll bet Miss Marissa over Gibberish in a cold $10 exacta.

$10 to win on #2 Miss Marissa
$10 Exacta: 2 with 5
Total: $20

Belmont Park, Race 4: Mohawk S. (1 1/16 miles, 1:33 p.m. ET)

#4 Somelikeithotbrown (8-5) won this race in gate-to-wire fashion last year and has since competed in half a dozen graded stakes, cracking the trifecta in the last four. In fact, the son of Big Brown enters off a gutsy effort in the Keeneland Turf Mile (G1), where he led in midstretch before weakening slightly to finish third by two lengths.

Speed is Somelikeithotbrown’s primary weapon, but he’s also tractable enough to rate off the lead. As a result, he figures to enjoy a perfect trip stalking pure frontrunner #5 Rinaldi (4-1) through the early stages of the Mohawk before pouncing down the homestretch.

Capitalizing again on the Exacta Insurance promotion, we’ll bet Somelikeithotbrown over the Grade 1-placed #3 Cross Border (3-1) in a $10 exacta.

$10 to win on #4 Somelikeithotbrown
$10 Exacta: 4 with 3
Total: $20

Churchill Downs, Race 10: Bet on Sunshine S. (six furlongs, 7:20 p.m. ET)

#3 Vertical Threat (8-1) has shown flashes of serious talent sprinting, with blowout victories in the Steel Valley Sprint S. and Russell Road S. among his career highlights. A formidable frontrunner on his best day, Vertical Threat is exiting the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2), where he weakened from a pressing position to finish sixth against a deep field led by Grade 1 winners Dr. Schivel and Flagstaff.

If Vertical Threat brings his A-game while dropping in class, he can outrun expectations at an enticing price. We’ll bet Vertical Threat to win, then play him in a small exacta over stretch-running Churchill Downs allowance winner #1 Necker Island (3-1).

$15 to win on #3 Vertical Threat
$5 Exacta: 3 with 1
Total: $20

Carryover Watch

Belmont Park, Race 5: $36,136 Pick 6 carryover (2:02 p.m. ET)

Not content with playing simple win bets and exactas at Belmont this Saturday? Then you’ll be happy to know there’s a $36,136 carryover up for grabs in the $1 Pick 6.

The Pick 6 spans Races 5-10, a sequence featuring 62 horses before scratches. In order to keep costs reasonable, it will be helpful to find a trustworthy single somewhere. The best option might be #7 Gal in a Rush (3-1) in Race 9, the Stewart Manor S. for two-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs on turf.

There’s plenty to like about Gal in a Rush. After rallying belatedly to finish sixth in her debut on dirt at Saratoga, the daughter of Ghostzapper transitioned to turf for a one-mile maiden special weight, where she ran second across the finish line before getting upgraded to victory via disqualification of the winner.

Gal in a Rush then cut back in distance and stepped up in class for Belmont’s six-furlong Matron S. (G3), where she rallied boldly from dead last to finish second. Gal in a Rush gained 3 1/4 lengths through the final furlong to miss victory by just half a length, and she finished an identical margin ahead of #3 Mystic Eyes (9-5), the morning-line favorite in the Stewart Manor.

If Gal in a Rush repeats or improves upon her Matron effort, she can prevail on Saturday as a nice-priced single.

Churchill Downs, Race 11: $3,057 Super High 5 carryover (7:58 p.m. ET)

Churchill Downs has also tossed up a carryover for Saturday, with a $3,057 prize pool awaiting bettors keen to play the $1 Super High 5 in the evening’s final race.

The event in question is a one-mile allowance featuring an overflow field of 15 entries, including three also-eligibles. That’s a lot of horses to analyze, but the good news, is, #6 Cody’s Wish (8-5) looks like a standout to key on top.

Cody’s Wish cracked the trifecta in his first three starts on the New York circuit before delivering a career-best effort at Churchill Downs last month. Heavily favored in a one-mile maiden special weight, Cody’s Wish settled off the early pace before rallying steadily to draw off and win by two lengths. The son of Curlin was cruising at the finish, but still managed to stop the clock in a rapid 1:33.88.

Cody’s Wish will stick to the same track and distance for Saturday’s allowance, and since he’s bred top and bottom to improve with maturity, it’s unlikely we’ve seen the best this improving sophomore can produce. He’ll be tough to deny at a short price.

Unfortunately, we can’t recommend precise Super High 5 plays until race-day changes are announced, since key contenders #13 Malibu Star (5-1) and #14 Defeater (6-1) are trapped on the also-eligible list and will need scratches in order to compete. But we do believe Cody’s Wish is worth keying on top of all tickets.

Good luck!