Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Aug. 22

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

August 22nd, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Monday, Aug. 22 at Colonial Downs and Presque Isle Downs, along with tickets for the $24,556 Pick 5 carryover at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Picks and Plays

Presque Isle Downs: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (one mile on Tapeta, 2:24 p.m. ET)

#1 Deceitful (6-1) is bred to thrive while debuting over one mile. His half-siblings Ben Diesel and Will’s Secret both won running one mile or farther as juveniles, and both went on to win or place in graded stakes running long.

Trainer Timothy Hamm has compiled a strong 11-4-4-1 (36%) record debuting juveniles at Presque Isle this meet, and Presque Isle’s runaway leading jockey Pablo Morales is named to ride, stamping Deceitful as an appealing play at 6-1.

Deceitful’s experienced stablemate #2 Swelter (3-1) can complete the exacta after finishing second over this track, distance, and class level on July 28.

  • $20 to win on #1 Deceitful
  • $10 Exacta: 1 with 2
    Total: $30

Colonial Downs: Race 3: $10,000 Starter Optional Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on turf, 2:41 p.m. ET)

#1 Afandi (9-5) has won five of her six starts since transferring to the care of high-percentage trainer Bernard Dunham, a 33% winner this year. Her lone defeat came when shipping to Canada for a sprint at Woodbine, and she enters off a sharp victory in a $12,500 starter optional claimer at Delaware Park.

If Afandi brings her A-game to Colonial Downs, she can pick up yet another victory. #4 Beach House (12-1), who boasts a 3-for-3 record in turf sprints, can battle with #6 Bath And Tennis (3-1) to round out the exacta and trifecta.

  • $10 Exacta: 1 with 4,6 ($20)
  • $5 Trifecta: 1 with 4,6 with 4,6 ($10)
    Total: $30

Presque Isle Downs: Race 6: Peach Street S. (one mile and 70 yards on Tapeta, 3:45 p.m. ET)

#10 Carpenters Call (5-2) finished a decent sixth in the United Nations S. (G1) running 1 3/8 miles on turf last month. The Gerald Bennett trainee has placed at the Grade 3 level and dominated his lone previous start at Presque Isle, employing pace-tracking tactics to trounce a $50,000 allowance optional claimer by 5 1/4 lengths.

Bennett has been hot at Presque Isle this year, going 2-for-5 (40%), so we’ll count on Carpenters Call to beat #4 Declared (10-1), #5 Grounded (6-1), #7 Nice Ace (9-2), and #11 Surly Furious (3-1) to the winner’s circle.

  • $18 to win on #10 Carpenters Call
  • $2 Trifecta: 10 with 5,7,11 with 4,5,7,11 ($18)
    Total: $36

Carryover Watch

Horseshoe Indianapolis, Race 4: $24,556 Pick 5 carryover (4:03 p.m. ET)

Thanks to Horseshoe Indianapolis, the racing week is kicking off with a five-figure, non-jackpot carryover on the table.

The Indiana racetrack has tossed up a $24,556 prize pool in the 50-cent Pick 5, which boasts a low 11.99% takeout rate. The races have come up deep and competitive with large fields for the most part, so even once you exclude also-eligible entrants from the mix, there are 75,600 possible outcomes to consider.

One of the trickiest races to handicap is Race 4, the opening leg of the Pick 5. The event in question is a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight for Indiana-bred fillies and mares, and at first glance #2 Eulalia (2-1) seems like a viable single. She’s finished second in three straight sprints over this track and class level, earning competitive Brisnet Speed ratings along the way.

But Eulalia is a late runner at the mercy of the early pace, and her 0-for-10 lifetime record is cause for pause. She hasn’t yet shown a willingness to fight for victory, and fellow late runner #4 Lantana Justice (5-2) finished just a head behind Eulalia on Aug. 9, suggesting the morning line favorite isn’t unbeatable.

Eulalia certainly warrants inclusion in the Pick 5, but what if we throw in #5 Cool Baby (20-1) as a live longshot? The only first-time starter in the field is an unknown commodity worth considering for hot trainer Devarus Douglass, who has gone 7-for-23 (30%) at Horseshoe Indianapolis this meet.

There isn’t a lot to recommend about Cool Baby from a pedigree perspective, and her work tab isn’t overly eye-catching. But Douglass has gone 1-for-2 (50%) saddling first-time starters at Horseshoe Indianapolis this meet, and the winner was three years old, just like Cool Baby.

The par winning Brisnet Speed rating for Monday’s race conditions is a 67, a figure none of the experienced runners have reached. So in a race that can’t be considered especially deep on paper, why not give Cool Baby a try at 20-1? If she springs the upset, we’ll be well on our way to cashing a big Pick 5 payoff.

On a related note, let’s throw in a small bonus play and place a $10 win bet on Cool Baby:

  • $10 to win on #5 Cool Baby

Good luck!