Homeracing

Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Oct. 6

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

October 6th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares his picks and plays for Wednesday, Oct. 6 at Indiana Grand and Presque Isle Downs, including tickets for Indiana Grand’s $2,417 Super High 5 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Indiana Grand Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $20) if your horse finishes second in any race at Indiana Grand.
  • Indiana Grand Pick 4 $2,000 Hit It and Split It: Hit the all-stakes Pick 4 (Races 6-9) at Indiana Grand to earn your share of a $2,000 bonus jackpot.
  • Midweek Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any race at Presque Isle Downs.
  • 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

Indiana Grand, Race 6: Miss Indiana S. (one mile and 70 yards, 5 p.m. ET)

#2 Holy Justice (3-1) and #3 Louder Than Words (5-2) are the favorites, after they finished first and second in the Back Home Again S. at Indiana Grand last month. Both fillies earned 70 Brisnet Speed ratings, but neither has run farther than six furlongs, so the stretch out significantly in distance for the Miss Indiana S. is a question mark.

No such obstacle faces #12 Splash of Tonic (8-1). The stoutly bred daughter of Protonico finished fourth in her debut, a sprint at Indiana Grand, then returned to dominate a one-mile maiden special weight over the same track by 6 3/4 lengths. Splash of Tonic raced greenly, as she drifted out at the top of the stretch, but she was also tons the best and may have lost focus without any competition to battle against.

To take advantage of the Indiana Grand Bet Back offer, we’ll place a $20 win bet on Splash of Tonic. Then we’ll play her over the favorites in the exacta.

$20 to win on #12 Splash of Tonic
$5 exacta: 12 with 2,3 ($10)
Total: $30

Indiana Grand, Race 7: Indiana Futurity (one mile and 70 yards, 5:31 p.m. ET)

#6 Scotty’s On Edge (7-2) couldn’t have been much more dominant in his debut, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at Indiana Grand last month. After he settled a few lengths off the early pace, the son of Competitive Edge pounced to the front and pulled away to win by 7 1/4 lengths.

That effort produced a 74 Brisnet Speed rating, and since trainer John Ortiz wins at a 21% rate with horses who run long for the first time, there are reasons to believe Scotty’s On Edge can replicate the performance, even with the stretch out in distance. Throw in the presence of leading jockey Marcelino Pedroza, and we should have a recipe for victory.

To follow along with the Indiana Grand Bet Back promotion, we’ll place a $20 win bet on Scotty’s On Edge. Then we’ll play him over Circle City S. winner #5 Mowins (9-5) in a cold exacta.

$20 to win on #6 Scotty’s On Edge
$5 exacta: 6 with 5
Total: $25

Presque Isle Downs, Race 3: $13,500 optional-claiming starter allowance (six furlongs on Tapeta, 5:35 p.m. ET)

#1 Riverside Walk (9-5) ran deceptively well in a $6,250 starter allowance at Presque Isle last month. After she dueled for the lead, wide and through fast fractions, the six-year-old mare held on to finish second, less than a length behind the ground-saving, stretch-running winner, #2 Suzie’ssteppinout (3-1).

Riverside Walk previously dominated pair of $8,500 claimers at Presque Isle, in gate-to-wire fashion, and won both by a minimum of 5 1/2 lengths, with Brisnet Speed ratings of 84 and 83.

If Riverside Walk can secure an uncontested lead from the rail Wednesday, she’ll be tough to catch under leading jockey Pablo Morales. The fact Riverside Walk worked a bullet five furlongs in :58 3/5 at Presque Isle last week adds to the appeal.

To capitalize on the Midweek Bet Back offer, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Riverside Walk. Suzie’ssteppinout can complete the exacta.

$10 to win on #1 Riverside Walk
$10 exacta: 1 with 2
Total: $20

Carryover watch

Indiana Grand, Race 4: $2,417 Super High 5 carryover (3:58 p.m. ET)

Looking for a non-jackpot carryover to play Wednesday? Then you’ll want to turn your attention to Indiana Grand, where a Super High 5 carryover is on the agenda.

The prize pool for the 10-cent “Grand High 5” is up for grabs in Race 4, a maiden special weight for juveniles at a mile on turf. Fourteen horses (including two also-eligibles) have been entered, which means a winning ticket won’t be easy. Even if you factor in a couple scratches, there are 95,040 possible outcomes.

On the bright side, the 10-cent minimum means we can play a lot of combinations on a reasonable budget. We can also cut costs if we’re willing to single #2 Garmento (7-2) on top of our tickets.

Garmento might not be the fastest entrant in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings, but he was far from disgraced when he debuted in a one-mile maiden special weight at Kentucky Downs last month. Favored at 2-1, the Brad Cox trainee fell too far off a modest early pace and rallied into quick closing fractions to finish fifth.

Since Cox strikes at a 26% rate with second-time starters, Garmento is eligible to improve against easier company at Indiana Grand. The son of Empire Maker will add blinkers and Lasix as well, both high-percentage moves for Cox. Throw in the presence of hot jockey Florent Geroux (who has four wins from 12 starts at Indiana Grand this meet), and Garmento looks like the runner to beat.

Underneath, we have to respect the chances of #6 Never Say Know (3-1), a runner-up over this course and class level June 24. The son of No Nay Never has since finished fourth and fifth against tough company at Saratoga and Kentucky Downs, which suggests he can challenge in his return to Indiana Grand for trainer Brendan Walsh.

One longshot worth considering is #12 Actuator (8-1), who came in third in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Indiana Grand last month. The son of Bodemeister didn’t get the best trip. After a slow break, he rallied wide to seize the lead. Actuator understandably flattened out down the lane, but he was only beaten 3 1/2 lengths and should improve with more straightforward trip Wednesday. Trainer Rodolphe Brisset wins at a 23% rate with second-time starters.

Here’s how we’ll play the Grand High 5:

10-cent Super High 5: 2 with 6,12 with 6,12 with 1,4,8,9,10,11 with 1,4,8,9,10,11 ($6)
10-cent Super High 5: 2 with 6,12 with 1,4,8,9,10,11 with 6,12 with 1,4,8,9,10,11 ($6)
10-cent Super High 5: 2 with 6,12 with 1,4,8,9,10,11 with 1,4,8,9,10,11 with 6,12 ($6)
Total: $18

Good luck!

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