Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Oct. 13

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

October 13th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, Oct. 13 at Keeneland and Indiana Grand, including tickets for Keeneland’s $8,158 Super High 5 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Keeneland Fall Meet Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races at Keeneland.
  • Midweek Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any race at Indiana Grand.
  • Rest of the World Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any race at Happy Valley (Hong Kong).

Picks and plays

Keeneland, Race 7: $100,000 optional-claiming allowance(6 1/2 furlongs, 4:12 p.m. ET)

#5 Swiftsure (3-1) showed plenty of promise in sprints last fall and winter. After he wired his debut at Fair Grounds by 3 1/4 lengths, the Steve Asmussen trainee came back to dominate an Oaklawn Park allowance by 3 1/2 lengths, over future two-time stakes winner Sir Wellington.

Swiftsure faltered when he stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the April 10 Lexington S. (G3) at Keeneland, where he chased a fast pace over a sloppy track and faded to finish seventh.

But the son of Uncle Mo is eligible to bounce back in a sprint Wednesday. The Brisnet Speed ratings he posted in his first two starts (98 and 96) rank as the two highest figures in Wednesday’s field.

Let’s bet Swiftsure to win, then add an exacta, with coupled entrymates #1 Upstriker (3-1) and #1A Kinetic Sky (3-1) for second place.

$20 to win on #3 Swiftsure
$5 exacta: 3 with 1
Total: $25

Indiana Grand, Race 7: ITOBA Stallion Season Fillies S. (one mile, 5:31 p.m. ET)

In a field absolutely packed with speed, #5 Quick and Easy (7-2) is appealing.

The three-year-old filly tracked a slow pace to dominate a one-mile Indiana Grand allowance by eight lengths last month, but she is also capable of rallying from mid-pack or even farther behind, if necessary.

If Quick and Easy gets a hot pace to work with, she can come rolling down the homestretch to spring a mild upset for hot jockey/trainer combo Rodney Prescott and Joseph Davis.

To take advantage of the Midweek Bet Back promotion, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Quick and Easy, then play her over #9 Tuckyourtaleandrun (8-5) in the exacta.

$10 to win on #5 Quick and Easy
$5 exacta: 5 with 9
Total: $25

Indiana Grand, Race 8: ITOBA Stallion Season S. (one mile, 6:02 p.m. ET)

It’s going to be difficult for anyone to beat #3 Hard Luck Justice (1-5) in this two-turn dirt route.

None of his rivals have ever posted a Brisnet Speed rating better than 77, yet Hard Luck Justice enters off improving figures of 80, 87, 90, and 93.

Hard Luck Justice was beaten, in second place, when he faced older rivals in the To Much Coffee S. at Indiana Grand last week, but this race against fellow three-year-olds should be an easier task.

Two starts back, Hard Luck Justice trounced a strong field of sophomores in the Governor’s S. at Indiana Grand, where he defeated a couple next-out winners by 8 1/2 lengths.

Bettors who wish to capitalize on the Midweek Bet Back offer can place a $10 win bet on Hard Luck Justice, though the payoff may not be worth it. A more lucrative option might be to key Hard Luck Justice on top of consistent allowance competitor #6  Rockin All Night (8-1) in a cold exacta.

$25 exacta: 3 with 6

Carryover watch

Keeneland, Race 8: $8,158 Super High 5 carryover (4:44 p.m. ET)

If you like to pursue non-jackpot carryovers, you’ll be happy to know the Wednesday finale at Keeneland will feature an $8,158 carryover in the Super High 5. But hitting the $1 wager can be massively difficult.

Race 8 is the Jessamine S. (G2), a 1 1/16-mile turf test for two-year-old fillies. The race serves as a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and has drawn an overstuffed field of 16 entries, which includes two also-eligibles. Even if you factor in a couple scratches, there are still 240,240 possible outcomes to consider.

Playing the Super High 5 on a reasonable budget will require taking a stand somewhere, and our stand will come with morning-line favorite #3 Turnerloose (5-2).

The daughter of Nyquist is undefeated in two starts for trainer Brad Cox, including a five-length romp in the Juvenile Fillies S. at Kentucky Downs last month. Jockey Florent Geroux is named to ride, and Turnerloose has the tactical speed to secure a clean, unencumbered journey from post 3. If she brings her "A" game to Keeneland, Turnerloose may be impossible to catch.

But beyond Turnerloose, the key contenders are hard to separate.

#12 Dressed (9-2), a flashy allowance winner in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint at Kentucky Downs, is a logical contender. Impressive maiden winners #8 Queen Judith (15-1), #9 Decree of Love (12-1), #10 Misthaven (6-1), #11 Opalina (6-1), and #13 Boxing Day (20-1) all warrant varying degrees of support, as well. Even #6 Bhoma (20-1) is worth considering for hot trainer Kenny McPeek. The daughter of Bernardini is bred to run long on grass and might take a big step forward on the stretch out in distance and switch from dirt to turf.

That’s a lot of fillies to consider, and we haven’t even mentioned the trickiest contender to analyze, #16 Haughty (8-1). The New York shipper is trapped on the also-eligible list, but she delivered a sharp performance in her debut over one mile at Belmont last month, when she finished fast to cross the wire in front by 3 1/4 lengths. If scratches allow Haughty to start, she figures to factor under jockey Joel Rosario.

We’ll propose two Super High 5 wagering strategies, one based on Haughty starting, and the other based on Haughty withdrawing. Both will key Turnerloose on top.

$1 Super High 5: 3 with 16 with 6,8,9 with 6,8,9 with 6,8,9,10,11,12,13 ($36)
$1 Super High 5: 3 with 6,8,9 with 16 with 6,8,9 with 6,8,9,10,11,12,13 ($36)
Total: $72


$1 Super High 5: 3 with 6,8,9 with 6,8,9 with 6,8,9,11,12 with 6,8,9,10,11,12,13 ($72)

Good luck!