Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Jan. 10
Picks and Plays
Mahoning Valley: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 2:36 p.m. ET)
#5 Daddys Little Flag (8-5) ran strongly in her debut over this track, distance, and class level on Dec. 27. After tracking the pace over a sloppy track, Daddys Little Flag fought on gamely to finish second, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths with a solid 57 Brisnet Speed rating.
Trainer Larry Smith wins at a spectacular 48% rate with second-time starters, so Daddys Little Flag is eligible to improve on Monday. The highest Brisnet Speed rating posted by any of her rivals is a 60, so even a small step forward should be sufficient to land Daddys Little Flag in the winner’s circle.
- $20 to win on #5 Daddys Little Flag
- $10 Exacta: 5 with 1
Parx Racing: Race 8: Allowance (one mile and 70 yards, 3:19 p.m. ET)
#2 Peyton Elizabeth (2-1) has been in strong form since being claimed by high-percentage trainer Jamie Ness, who has gone 5-for-12 (42%) at Parx so far this year. She’s won two of her last three starts at Parx and enters off an 8 3/4-length romp in a $25,000 starter allowance, which produced a career-best 94 Brisnet Speed rating.
Peyton Elizabeth has tactical speed but is versatile in terms of running style, setting the stage for a winning trip under hot jockey Ruben Silvera. We’ll bet Peyton Elizabeth to win and use logical favorite #7 It’s So Easy (8-5) to complete a cold exacta.
- $20 to win on #2 Peyton Elizabeth
- $10 Exacta: 2 with 7
Fair Grounds: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs on turf, 4:05 p.m. ET)
#3 Levee Proud (9-2) hasn’t finished better than seventh in her first three starts, but the daughter of Brody’s Cause has been competing against tough competition on the Kentucky circuit. In fact, she ran okay in her first two starts sprinting on turf at Kentucky Downs and Keeneland, flashing tactical speed for at least half a mile on both occasions.
Levee Proud should find the competition a bit easier at Fair Grounds, and returning to turf after a disappointing run on dirt can trigger a strong showing. Throw in the fact trainer Vickie Foley has been hot at Fair Grounds (compiling an 8-2-4-2 record), and Levee Proud is worthy of a win bet.
The first-time starter #7 Burninhunkoflove (8-5) is a logical choice for the exacta.
- $20 to win on #3 Levee Proud
- $10 Exacta: 3 with 7