Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Dec. 28

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December 28th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $75 worth of picks and plays for Tuesday, Dec. 28 at Mahoning Valley and Parx Racing, including a cold trifecta.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Midweek Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select races at Parx Racing.
  • Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning trifecta tickets.

Picks and Plays

Mahoning Valley: Race 2: Starter Allowance (1 1/4 miles, 1:12 p.m. ET)

#1 Itasca (4-5) has shown significant improvement since being claimed by hot trainer Johanna Urieta. After wiring a one-mile and 70-yard allowance at Mahoning with an 85 Brisnet Speed rating, Itasca trounced a 1 1/8-mile claimer at Mahoning, rallying from last place to score by three lengths with a 94 Brisnet Speed rating.

Itasca’s versatility is an asset, and the four-year-old gelding might still have upside for improvement while stretching out over 1 1/4 miles. Throw in the fact he’s coupled in the wagering with his talented stablemate #1A Gizmo Jones (4-5), and betting the coupled entry seems like an easy choice.

#4 Last Drop of Wine (4-1) has a shot to complete the exacta if he avoids getting burned up in a hot pace, as happened when finishing fifth behind Itasca last time out. Meanwhile, #3 Double the Laugh (3-1) is a trifecta candidate.

  • $30 to win on #1 Itasca/#1A Gizmo Jones
  • $7 Exacta: 1 with 4
  • $3 Trifecta: 1 with 4 with 3
    Total: $40

Mahoning Valley: Race 5: Allowance (six furlongs, 2:36 p.m. ET)

#5 Aujara (3-1) looks like the filly to beat in this allowance sprint for non-winners of two races lifetime. A gate-to-wire maiden winner dashing six furlongs at Mahoning two months ago, Aujara finished third over Tuesday’s track, distance, and class level on Nov. 26, beaten only by a pair of next-out allowance winners.

Aujara has excellent tactical speed and brings competitive Brisnet Speed ratings to the fold, so she’ll be tough to deny under leading jockey Sonny Leon. We’ll bet Aujara to win before keying her over the consistent stretch runner #3 Can I Go Too (4-1) in a small exacta.

  • $20 to win on #5 Aujara
  • $5 Exacta: 5 with 3
    Total: $25

Parx Racing: Race 9: Blitzen S. (six furlongs, 3:58 p.m. ET)

#12 Dreams Untold (4-1) hasn’t hit the board in his first four tries against stakes company, but perhaps he can change the storyline on Tuesday. The four-year-old gelding boasts a solid 9-4-2-1 record at Parx, including three sharp victories sprinting, and his strongest Brisnet Speed ratings have been earned at Parx.

Dreams Untold has been training sharply for his first run since October and picks up hot jockey Frankie Pennington. We’ll take advantage of the Midweek Bet Back promotion and place a $10 win bet on Dreams Untold.

  • $10 to win on #12 Dreams Untold

Good luck!