Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Aug. 25

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

August 25th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $75 worth of picks and plays for Thursday, Aug. 25 at Delaware Park, Horseshoe Indianapolis, and Saratoga, including a trio of exactas.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Saratoga Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select races at Saratoga.
  • $1,000 Hoosier Park Pick 4 Hit It and Split It: Hit the early Pick 4 at Hoosier Park on any Thursday from July 14 through Sept. 15 to win your share of a $1,000 weekly jackpot.

Picks and Plays

Delaware Park: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (about five furlongs on turf, 1:30 p.m. ET)

#4 Prove My Love (7-2) showed promise in her debut sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs over the Delaware Park main track. After carving out a quick pace, she weakened in the final furlong to finish fifth.

Prove My Love is eligible to fire a stronger shot while switching to turf and cutting back slightly in distance for ultra-hot trainer Cathal Lynch, a 37% winner at Delaware Park this meet. Prove My Love is a half-sibling to Bench Points and Points Offthebench (both graded stakes winners on synthetic), so there’s some surface versatility in Prove My Love’s pedigree.

We’ll use #8 Battleoflexington (10-1) for second place in an exacta.

  • $20 to win on #4 Prove My Love
  • $5 Exacta: 4 with 8
    Total: $25

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 2: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 2:40 p.m. ET)

#7 Golden Rapper (3-1) is a logical favorite after cracking the trifecta three times over this track, distance, and class level, including when second by two lengths on Aug. 4. But perhaps the lightly raced #4 Barn Stormer (7-2) can spring a mild surprise.

Barn Stormer debuted in that Aug. 4 maiden heat and ran well with an outside trip to finish third, a neck behind Golden Rapper. Barn Stormer has drawn inside his key rival today, and even a small step forward can send him to the winner’s circle for the hot jockey/trainer duo of Samuel Bermudez and Randy Klopp.

  • $20 to win on #4 Barn Stormer
  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 7
    Total: $30

Saratoga: Race 9: Riskaverse S. (one mile on turf, 5:39 p.m. ET)

#9 Faith in Humanity (10-1) fired off a sharp performance in her debut racing 1 1/16 miles over the Monmouth Park turf course last month. After tracking and pressing a modest pace, the French-bred filly displayed a nice burst of acceleration to take command and score by 1 1/4 lengths.

Faith in Humanity’s performance was flattered when the third-place runner returned to nab her next start against similar competition. Trainer Chad Brown is winning at a 23% rate at Saratoga, and Faith in Humanity’s double-digit odds are appealing, so we’ll bet the bay filly to win (taking advantage of the Saratoga Bet Back promotion) and key her on top in the exacta for good measure.

  • $10 to win on #9 Faith in Humanity
  • $5 Exacta: 9 with 3,5 ($10)
    Total: $20

Good luck!