Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Aug. 1

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

August 1st, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $90 worth of picks and plays for Monday, Aug. 1 at Colonial Downs, including a win bet capitalizing on the Colonial Downs All-Stakes Bet Back offer.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Colonial Downs All-Stakes Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in any eligible stakes on Mondays from July 18 through Aug. 1 at Colonial Downs.

Picks and Plays

Colonial Downs: Race 3: $25,000 Maiden Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on turf, 2:41 p.m. ET)

#9 Steele Money (15-1) is dropping in class, switching surfaces, and adding Lasix after finishing fifth in his debut for a $50,000 maiden claiming tag at Churchill Downs. That’s a lot of changes at once, and one (or a combination of multiple) might be enough to make Steele Money competitive at double-digit odds.

Steele Money’s dam has already foaled two grass winners from three starters, so switching to turf in particular could trigger improvement from Steele Money. Let’s bet him to win and key him over the first-time starters #3 Right On Richie (7-2) and #7 Richiesonaroll (5-2) in the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #9 Steele Money
  • $5 Exacta: 9 with 3,7 ($10)
    Total: $30

Colonial Downs: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (one mile on turf, 2:13 p.m. ET)

First-time starter #7 Luck in the Dusk (5-2) seems like a solid choice to win this one-mile grass heat for juveniles. Trainer Kelsey Danner is off to a solid start at Colonial Downs, going 3-for-16 (19%), and Danner won with her lone juvenile debuting in a turf route at Colonial last year.

Luck in the Dusk has put together a lengthy work tab in preparation for his debut, including a recent half-mile at Colonial in :48 4/5. It’s encouraging to note Luck in the Dusk will be ridden by hot jockey Joe Rocco Jr., who has gone 5-for-25 (20%) so far this meet and 3-for-10 (30%) teaming up with Danner over the last two months.

#2 Prince Simba (7-2) and #8 Theolovesawinner (12-1) have shots at completing the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #7 Luck in the Dusk
  • $5 Exacta: 7 with 2,8 ($10)
    Total: $30

Colonial Downs: Race 7: Housebuster S. (seven furlongs, 4:33 p.m. ET)

It will come as something of a surprise if #2 Conagher (5-2) loses the Housebuster. The chestnut sophomore has been sensational in two starts sprinting on dirt this year, winning allowance events at Keeneland and Churchill Downs by daylight margins. Along the way, he posted flashy Brisnet Speed ratings of 102 and 106.

Conagher was beaten to second place in the Iowa Derby earlier this month, but he chased an ambitious pace over 1 1/16 miles and was only beaten 1 1/2 lengths by next-out stakes winner Ain’t Life Grand. Cutting back in trip can send Conagher straight to the winner’s circle under Joe Rocco.

Recent Concern S. winner #8 Old Homestead (4-1), who boasts a near-perfect 4-for-5 resume, can complete the exacta. But our first play will be a $10 win bet on Conagher, in order to capitalize on the final day of the Colonial Downs All-Stakes Bet Back promotion.

  • $10 to win on #2 Conagher
  • $20 Exacta: 2 with 8
    Total: $30

Good luck!