Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Sept. 10

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September 10th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $50 worth of picks and plays for Friday, Sept. 10 at Arlington Park and Remington Park, including two suggested singles for Arlington’s $39,124 Pick 8 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Rest of the World Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any race at Rosehill (Australia).
  • 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. Offer applies only to straight exacta bets at Remington Park.

Picks and plays

Arlington Park, Race 6: Maiden special weight (one mile on turf, 6 p.m. ET)

#9 Niff (9-2) ran evenly in her debut, a five-furlong sprint over the Arlington Polytrack course last month, when she finished third in a $30,000 maiden claimer. There are reasons to believe she can produce an improved performance Friday.

Niff was claimed out of her debut by trainer Brittany Vanden Berg, a 39% winner with new claiming acquisitions. Niff is also a daughter of Temple City, whose accomplished turf performers include Miss Temple City, Bolo, and Annals of Time — all Grade 1 winners at one mile or farther.

The switch to grass and stretch out in distance can help Niff vie for victory at a fair price. We’ll bet her to win and call it a day.

$30 to win on #9 Niff

Remington Park, Race 7: Oklahoma Stallion Fillies S. (seven furlongs, 10:55 p.m. ET)

#5 Gotta See Red (7-5) has won four of her five starts against Oklahoma-bred company, with her lone defeat a troubled trip in the Slide Show S. last fall.

She has won both of her starts in 2021. She dominated a one-mile allowance at Will Rogers Downs, then battled to a tenacious victory in the Cinema S. at the same track and distance.

The cut back to seven furlongs should suit Gotta See Red. In October, she won the six-furlong Oklahoma Classics Lassie S. at Remington, where she demonstrated the ability to sprint successfully against stakes competition. Throw in the fact trainer Kari Craddock has been hot at Remington this meet (four wins from nine starts), and we have a recipe for victory.

To take advantage of the Exacta Insurance promotion from TwinSpires, we’ll bet Gotta See Red on top of a cold exacta, with longshot #9 Courtly (20-1) for second place. Runner-up in the Slide Show S., Courtly kicked off her 2021 campaign in a six-furlong allowance at Remington three weeks ago, when she rallied gamely to finish third, just a neck behind the winner.

$10 exacta: 5 with 9

Remington Park, Race 8: Oklahoma Stallion S. (seven furlongs, 11:23 p.m. ET)

#4 Number One Dude (3-5) is undefeated in four starts against Oklahoma-breds, including victories in the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile S. and Don C. McNeill S. at Remington last fall. Number One Dude also boasts three wins from four starts at Remington, with his lone defeat in the 2020 Remington Springboard Mile S. on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Fresh off a runner-up effort in the Iowa Stallion S. at Prairie Meadows, Number One Dude looks tough to beat on his return to the Oklahoma-bred ranks at his favorite track.

To follow along with the Exacta Insurance offer, we’ll place a $10 exacta bet, with Number One Dude on top of #7 You’reobadboy (8-1). The latter finished second, behind Number One Dude, in the Will Rogers S. during the spring and recently returned from a layoff to finish a deceptively good fifth in a six-furlong allowance at Remington.

$10 exacta: 4 with 7

Carryover watch

Arlington Park, Race 1: $39,124 Pick 8 carryover (3:25 p.m. ET)

The Pick 8 carryover at Arlington Park is growing at a faster pace with every passing day.

The 20-cent wager was last hit Aug. 21, which means seven straight race days have gone by without a winning ticket. For Friday’s card, the carryover has built to $39,124, a nearly 50% increase from Thursday.

Hitting a Pick 8 isn’t easy, but we’ve identified a pair of possible singles to help you get started.

Race 2: #3 Galahad Kid (7-5)

Galahad Kid has never run one mile over a synthetic track, but he has run one mile on turf. He finished second in a pair of $6,250 claimers over the Arlington grass course this summer, and he has run even better in sprints over the Arlington Polytrack, where he won at the $6,250 level four starts back.

If Galahad Kid can combine his routing ability with his affinity for Polytrack, he can win Friday’s $6,250 claimer. He hasn’t missed the exacta in his last five starts and owns the best Brisnet Speed ratings in the field.

Race 4: #3 Jolina (7-5)

This six-furlong sprint over the Arlington Polytrack should suit Jolina.

The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid has been in sharp form since she tackled the local surface earlier this summer, when she dominated an optional-claiming allowance sprint by four lengths and finished second against Illinois-breds in the six-furlong Isaac Murphy S.

With Brisnet Speed ratings of 80 and 76, Jolina owns the best synthetic-track figures posted by any filly or mare in Friday’s field. She also has enough tactical speed to set or stalk the pace, which is a benefit, since 51% of Arlington’s six-furlong Polytrack sprints are won by gate-to-wire leaders.

Jolina looks like a standout favorite and a logical single on the drop into a state-restricted allowance for the first time.

Good luck!