Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Aug. 29

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August 29th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Monday, Aug. 29 at Colonial Downs, Horseshoe Indianapolis, and Assiniboia Downs, along with horses to use in a pair of Pick 5 carryovers at Presque Isle Downs.

Picks and Plays

Colonial Downs: Race 1: $25,000 Maiden Claiming (6 1/2 furlongs, 1:45 p.m. ET)

#4 Back Beat (12-1) didn’t show much in his debut sprinting five furlongs against maiden special weight company at Lone Star Park, finishing sixth by a wide margin. But the son of Practical Joke is dropping in class and adding blinkers for his second start, and it’s worth noting Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen strikes at a 21% rate with second-time starters.

Let’s play Back Beat in the exacta with logical morning line favorite #1 Richiesonaroll (1-1), who ran second in a $25,000 maiden claimer sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs over the Colonial Downs turf course four weeks ago. We’ll favor the lower-paying combination with Richiesonaroll on top.

  • $14 Exacta: 1 with 4
  • $6 Exacta: 4 with 1
    Total: $20

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 2:30 p.m. ET)

#6 Hermana (5-1) put up a good fight in her debut over this track, distance, and class level, finishing second by a neck after leading in midstretch. This effort produced a respectable 70 Brisnet Speed rating.

Morning line favorite #2 Dreamalot (9-5) has been running marginally faster ratings on the Kentucky circuit, but she hasn’t finished closer than sixth in two runs this season and could face a stiff challenge if Hermana improves at all in her second career start.

We’ll play the race accordingly, betting Hermana to win and keying her over Dreamalot in the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #6 Hermana
  • $10 Exacta: 6 with 2
    Total: $30

Assiniboia Downs: Race 1: Osiris S. (5 1/2 furlongs, 8:35 p.m. ET)

#3 Adjournment (8-5) debuted in the five-furlong Graduation S. at Assiniboia Downs last month and had no trouble parlaying pace-tracking tactics into a two-length victory.

Trainer Lise Pruitt wins at a 38% rate in non-graded stakes, and at a 27% rate with last-out winners, so Adjournment looks ready to spring the mildest of upsets over Debutante S. winner #1 Lady Cop (7-5).

  • $20 Exacta: 3 with 1

Carryover Watch

Presque Isle Downs, Race 1: $1,950 Pick 5 carryover (1:30 p.m. ET)
Presque Isle Downs, Race 4: $2,050 Pick 5 carryover (2:51 p.m. ET)

Here’s something you don’t see every day—the Monday card at Presque Isle Downs features not one, but two Pick 5 carryovers.

The first sequence, spanning Races 1-5, features a $1,950 prize pool. The second Pick 5, covering Races 4-8, boasts a $2,050 carryover.

After analyzing all eight races, we’ve identified a trio of horses worth building tickets around:

Live longshot: Race 2: $15,000 Maiden Claiming (one mile on Tapeta): #5 Ole G Man (6-1)

In a race containing very little pace on paper, Ole G Man—stretching out off a trio of sprints—offers appeal. He’s cracked the trifecta a couple of times against $15,000 maiden claiming competition at Presque Isle and posted a solid 72 Brisnet Speed rating when finishing fourth over Monday’s track, distance, and class level earlier this summer.

None of Ole G Man’s rivals have earned a Brisnet Speed rating higher than 68, so if Ole G Man shakes loose on an uncontested lead while stretching out in distance, he can spring a 6-1 surprise.

Suggested single: Race 4: $8,500 Claiming (six furlongs on Tapeta): #1 Stevis Man (5-2)

Stevis Man misfired when finishing last in a $25,000 claimer sprinting six furlongs on Aug. 16, but dueling for the lead through quick fractions may have compromised his chances. Two starts back, Stevis Man escaped with an uncontested lead in a $20,000 claimer over the same configuration and won by 1 3/4 lengths.

When Stevis Man is on his game, he consistently throws down Brisnet Speed ratings in the 80-88 range, giving him an edge against Monday’s field. He may be 12 years old, but if Stevis Man bounces back while dropping down the class ladder, he’s good enough to beat this group as a nice-priced single.

Suggested single: Race 6: Allowance (six furlongs on Tapeta): #5 Linguistic (5-2)

A trifecta finisher in her last three starts sprinting six furlongs at Presque Isle, Linguistic broke her maiden by 7 1/4 lengths over this track and distance before returning to finish second in a $32,000 allowance optional claimer. In the latter race, Linguistic was beaten only 3 1/2 lengths by next-out stakes winner Boo Boo Kitty.

With back-to-back 85 Brisnet Speed ratings under her belt, Linguistic looks ready to give Woodbine raider #4 Pretty Rachel (9-5) a tussle for supremacy. Pretty Rachel has posted similar Brisnet speed ratings over the Tapeta track at Woodbine, but she’s been facing easier competition and has yet to race at Presque Isle, giving Linguistic an advantage.

Good luck!