Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for April 18
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $100 worth of picks and plays for Monday, April 18 at Turf Paradise and Mountaineer, including a pair of cold exactas.
Picks and Plays
Turf Paradise: Race 5: $50,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (six furlongs, 6:25 p.m. ET)
#1 Missczech (5-2) couldn’t quite handle stakes competition in the one-mile Arizona Oaks two starts back, finishing fourth. But the daughter of Cairo Prince bounced back sharply in a $75,000 allowance optional claimer sprinting six furlongs at Turf Paradise last month, leading almost all the way to dominate by three lengths.
Can a horse's sire indicate which race conditions he or she will relish?@J_Keelerman certainly thinks so!— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) September 29, 2021
He explains 👇 https://t.co/6F0AeqAzs6
The 83 Brisnet Speed rating Missczech posted is the highest figure in Monday’s field by a clear margin, so sticking to the same track and distance should make Missczech tough to beat under hot jockey Harry Hernandez. #3 Roses for Suzzett (9-2) and #5 Addydidit (6-1) can battle to complete the exacta and trifecta.
- $25 to win on #1 Missczech
- $5 Exacta: 1 with 3,5 ($10)
- $2.50 Trifecta: 1 with 3,5 with 3,5 ($5)
Mountaineer: Race 2: $4,000 Claiming (4 1/2 furlongs, 7:25 p.m. ET)
#1 Kiki Do U Love Me (15-1) might be 0-for-9, but she’s never sprinted as short as 4 1/2 furlongs, and this abbreviated trip might make all the difference. Kiki Do U Love Me boasts tactical speed and has twice led past the eighth pole in five-furlong $4,000 maiden claimers at Mountaineer, only to falter late.
There isn’t a crazy amount of speed in Monday’s field, and the class-dropping favorite #7 After the Wire (7-5) is a deep closer whose lone trifecta finish came in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint on synthetic. If Kiki Do U Love Me shakes loose up front, she can spring a gate-to-wire surprise.
- $20 to win on #1 Kiki Do U Love Me
- $10 Exacta: 1 with 7
- Total: $30
Mountaineer: Race 5: $10,000 Claiming (six furlongs, 8:40 p.m. ET)
#1 Kingston Time (3-1) was last seen finishing seventh in a $15,000 claimer on Jan. 31 at Mahoning Valley. It wasn’t his best effort, but dropping in class and returning to Mountaineer can trigger a rebound. Kingston Time hasn’t missed the trifecta in a dozen starts over this track, including a nine-length romp against $10,000 claiming company on Nov. 28.
Kingston Time consistently puts up 80+ Brisnet Speed ratings when on his game, a plateau his Monday rivals have been struggling to reach. Throw in the fact trainer Michael Baird wins at a solid 18% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Kingston Time looms as a formidable win threat.
Our man @J_Keelerman's exploring the trainer stats found in @Brisnet's Ultimate Past Performances...— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) February 2, 2022
Join him ⤵️ https://t.co/eJIeFAcPyu
#3 Arcelor (2-1), second in his last two starts against $10,000 claiming company, can complete a cold exacta.
- $20 to win on #1 Kingston Time
- $10 Exacta: 1 with 3