Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Oct. 22

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October 22nd, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $50 worth of picks and plays for Friday, Oct. 22 at Keeneland, Belmont Park, and Penn National, including a ticket for Penn National’s $3,627 Pick 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.
  • The Everest Carnival $15,000 Leaderboard: Place $10 win bets to play for your share of the $15,000 The Everest Carnival Leaderboard competition every Friday, from Oct. 1-29, at selected Australian tracks.
  • Exacta Insurance: Receive refunds on exacta bets (up to $10) if your two selected horses finish in the first three home (but not in the winning order) at Penn National. Offer applies to straight exacta bets only.
  • Rest of the World Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any race at Dundalk (Ireland).

Picks and plays

Keeneland, Race 8: Sycamore S. (G3, 1 1/2 miles, 4:44 p.m. ET)

#11 Kentucky Ghost (8-1) has been in fine form this year.

Two starts back, the improving four-year-old came home second in a listed stakes at Kentucky Downs, where he was beaten only by next-out Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) winner In Love. Then, Kentucky Ghost tackled a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Keeneland, where he rallied boldly into quick closing fractions to finish second by a neck.

I’m interested to see how Kentucky Ghost fares on the stretch out to 1 1/2 miles. If the distance is suitable, Kentucky Ghost can battle with the Grade 1-placed #1 Glynn County (7-2) for top honors.

To take advantage of the Keeneland Fall Meet Bet Back offer, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Kentucky Ghost, then play him in the exacta, with Glynn County.

$10 to win on #11 Kentucky Ghost
$3 exacta: 11 with 1
$7 exacta: 1 with 11
Total: $20

Belmont Park, Race 9: Carle Place S. (seven furlongs on turf, 4:52 p.m. ET)

#8 Wolfie’s Dynaghost (10-1) has shown flashes of talent on both dirt and turf, and he most notably finished third in the one-mile Better Talk Now S. on grass at Saratoga.

A speed horse who typically sets or stalks the pace, Wolfie’s Dynaghost exits a quick renewal of the seven-furlong Harrods Creek S, over the Churchill Downs main track, where he was outsprinted early and finished sixth in a large field.

A return to turf may trigger a rebound from Wolfie’s Dynaghost, who counts late-maturing Grade 1 turf star Sadler’s Joy among his siblings.

Let’s bet Wolfie’s Dynaghost to win and call it a day.

$20 to win on #8 Wolfie’s Dynaghost

Penn National, Race 5: Danzig S. (six furlongs, 7:49 p.m. ET)

#4 Beren (6-5) may have finished last in his most recent run, but that was a tough renewal of the Gallant Bob S. (G2), won by anticipated Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) favorite Jackie’s Warrior.

Prior to the Gallant Bob, Beren had won six of his last eight starts, including a trio of sprint stakes.

Beren should be tough to catch on the drop in class for jockey/trainer duo Frankie Pennington and Robert Reid, who have teamed up to win at a 35% rate over the last two months.

#5 Marvalous Mike (6-1), runner-up behind Beren in the Parx Summer Sprint S., can complete the exacta.

We’ll make our exacta a cold $10 wager, to participate in the Exacta Insurance promotion.

$10 to win on #4 Beren
$10 exacta: 4 with 5
Total: $20

Carryover watch

Penn National, Race 4: $3,627 Pick 5 carryover (7:22 p.m. ET)

As if the Exacta Insurance promotion isn’t reason enough to play Penn National on Friday, the eight-race card (which features two stakes) also includes a carryover in the Pick 5.

Unlike the many 50-cent Pick 5 wagers found around the country, the Penn National Pick 5 features a $1 minimum bet amount. It’s pricier to play, but at least it’s not a jackpot-style wager. The carryover pool will be dispersed evenly among all winning bettors. No unique winning ticket is required.

Let’s take a race-by-race look at Friday’s Pick 5 sequence, then assemble an $18 play.

Race 4: $12,500 maiden claiming (one mile)

#3 Bohemia Babe (5-2) has posted five straight Brisnet Speed ratings in the 61-62 range, against tougher company.

The drop in class can trigger a winning effort, though #1 Meemoo (7-2) and #6 A Bit Bad N Boujee (2-1) also have the Brisnet Speed ratings and form lines to challenge.

Race 5: Danzig S. (six furlongs)

As we discussed above, #4 Beren (6-5) looks like a standout and a logical single.

Race 6: Allowance (six furlongs)

#1 Golden Candy (7-5) has placed in three straight stakes and earned strong Brisnet Speed ratings.

The drop in class might be all the son of Goldencents needs to reach the winner’s circle, under hot jockey Jaime Rodriguez, considering Golden Candy hasn’t tasted defeat in his last five starts against allowance company.

Race 7: $4,000 claiming (1 1/16 miles)

#2 Jumpin Jett (7-5) has placed in two straight $4,000 claimers at Penn National and has ample experience over this 1 1/16-mile trip.

But #5 Ladyofdragonstone (8-5) boasts similar form lines and Brisnet Speed ratings, so the outcome could go either way.

Race 8: $6,250 starter allowance (one mile)

#6 Great Bend (2-1) is the morning-line favorite and would have been a solid choice during the summer, but his form has slipped during his last two starts.

We’ll try to beat him, with #1 Boys of Queens (4-1), #2 Vishnu (5-2), and #5 Main Cool Cat (7-2).

$1 Pick 5: 1,3,6 with 4 with 1 with 2,5 with 1,2,5 ($18)

Good luck!