Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Aug. 16

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

August 16th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, Aug. 16 at Colonial Downs and Presque Isle Downs, along with a live longshot to use in Presque Isle’s $2,067 Pick 5 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus on trifecta winnings (excluding stake amount; up to $25 per day) on every Tuesday from Aug. 2 through Oct. 4.

Picks and Plays

Colonial Downs: Race 4: Seeking the Pearl S. (seven furlongs, 3:09 p.m. ET)

#2 Edie Meeny Miny Mo (8-1) placed in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) last season and enters the Seeking the Pearl in hot form. She dominated a $25,000 allowance optional claimer sprinting six furlongs at Monmouth two starts back, then came back to score a narrow victory in the Regret S. over the same track and distance.

These efforts produced back-to-back 95 Brisnet Speed ratings, and Edie Meeny Miny Mo’s victory in the Regret came at the expense of the three-time graded stakes-placed Club Car. Since the undefeated favorite #9 Carribean Caper (5-2) is returning from a long layoff, Edie Meeny Miny Mo appears to have a live chance at springing an 8-1 upset.

  • $20 to win: #2 Edie Meeny Miny Mo
  • $5 Exacta: 2 with 6,9
    Total: $30

Presque Isle Downs: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 3:18 p.m. ET)

Trainer Timothy Hamm has been on fire debuting two-year-olds at Presque Isle this meet, compiling a stellar 9-4-3-1 record. That’s a 44% win rate and an 89% in-the-money rate.

This bodes well for the chances of Hamm’s unraced juvenile #8 Zip Code Envy (4-1). Three of her last four workouts at Presque Isle have been bullets, and leading jockey Pablo Morales (a 37% winner teaming up with Hamm over the last two months) is named to ride.

Zip Code Envy’s stablemate #4 Aztec Princess (8-1) and the promising #3 Megan Makin Money (9-5) can battle to complete the exacta and trifecta. We’ll play the latter ticket in order to capitalize on the Trifecta Tuesday promotion.

  • $10 Exacta: 8 with 3,4 ($20)
  • $5 Trifecta: 8 with 3,4 with 3,4 ($10)
    Total: $30

Colonial Downs: Race 8: Chesapeake S. (six furlongs, 5:01 p.m. ET)

#10 Beren (6-1) is a rock-solid competitor in ungraded stakes, most recently cruising to a 2 3/4-length victory in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash S. at Laurel Park. He regularly throws down Brisnet Speed ratings in the 91-101 range and brings an abundance of tactical speed to the table, suggesting he’s a logical win threat at a nice price in the Chesapeake.

A win bet will be our first order of business, followed by an exacta using #4 Nakatomi (5-1) and #13 Just Might (4-1) for second place.

  • $20 to win on #10 Beren
  • $5 Exacta: 10 with 4,13 ($10)
    Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Presque Isle Downs, Race 4: $2,067 Pick 5 carryover (2:51 p.m. ET)

Care to chase a non-jackpot carryover on Tuesday? We recommend checking out the $2,067 prize pool in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 at Presque Isle Downs.

One of the trickiest races in the sequence is the opening leg, Race 4, and not because it lacks a standout favorite. At first glance, #1 Muy Chistosa (2-1) is an obvious choice to win this $15,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs on Tapeta. What’s not to like? She’s been competing exclusively against tougher competition, owns the five highest Brisnet Speed ratings in the field, and is exiting a fourth-place finish in a $35,000 maiden claimer over the Tapeta track at Gulfstream Park.

But there are a few reasons to hesitate in singling Muy Chistosa. Her Brisnet Speed ratings have been trending downward, going from 78 to 70 to 64 in her last three starts. That 64 isn’t a standout figure against Tuesday’s field, and trainer Teresa Connelly wins at just a 4% rate with horses dropping multiple levels down the class ladder. Throw in the fact Muy Chistosa is one of several speed horses in the entries, and she looks vulnerable at a short price.

So why don’t we include #5 Carina’s Way (5-1) as a live longshot? She never really factored in her debut for a $30,000 maiden claiming tag at Turfway Park back in January, finishing eighth, but she acted up before the start and subsequently spent a couple months on the sidelines.

Trainer Timothy Hamm has been on fire at Presque Isle this meet, winning at a 34% rate, and it’s important to note Hamm wins at a 30% rate with horses dropping down multiple class levels. Descending in class for her second start might be all Carina’s Way needs to challenge under hot jockey Pablo Morales, a 28% winner at Presque Isle who has struck at a 33% rate teaming up with Hamm over the last two months. Throw in the fact Carina’s Way is a stretch runner poised to receive a favorable setup, and she looks ready to spring an upset.

Good luck!