Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Sept. 15

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September 15th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, Sept. 15 at Presque Isle Downs, Indiana Grand, and Thistledown, plus tickets for a pair of mandatory-payout carryovers up for grabs on closing day at Assiniboia Downs.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Assiniboia Downs $1,000 Pick 5 Hit It and Split It: Hit the Pick 5 at Assiniboia Downs on Sept. 15 to earn your share of a $1,000 bonus jackpot.
  • 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

Thistledown, Race 2: Allowance (six furlongs, 1:20 p.m. ET)

#6 Susie’s Kid (7-2) isn’t exactly a with machine. With his 1-5-3 record from 12 starts, it’s clear the four-year-old gelding tends to settle for the minor awards more often than not.

But Susie’s Kid enters in strong form, with four straight runner-up efforts, and he is clearly the fastest horse in Wednesday’s field. Whereas none of his rivals have ever earned a Brisnet Speed rating better than 78, Susie’s Kid has earned three straight in the 79-82 range.

Since 7-2 seems like a fair price, we’ll bet Susie’s Kid to win, then add an exacta, with recent $12,500 claiming winner #5 Hugh Are You (5-2) for second place.

$20 to win on #6 Susie’s Kid
$5 exacta: 6 with 5
Total: $25

Indiana Grand, Race 8: Empire S. (1 1/16 miles, 6:02 p.m. ET)

There isn’t a ton of speed in this two-turn dirt stakes, which sets the stage for #10 Cash Logistics (3-1) to work out a perfect trip.

Trained by Genevieve Londono, who has two wins from four starts at Indiana Grand this meet, Cash Logistics has carved out the pace in his last two starts. After he wired a 1 1/16-mile allowance over the Indiana Grand main track and earned a 93 Brisnet Speed rating, Cash Logistics faded late to finish third, by a length, in the 1 1/16-mile Bucchero S. on the Indiana Grand turf course.

Frontrunning sprinter #9 Vice Cop looms as the probable pacesetter, and Cash Logistics figures to secure a favorable journey off the early tempo. From there, he can pounce to victory.

To take advantage of the Midweek Bet Back offer, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Cash Logistics. Vice Cop and #11 Starspangledxpress (12-1) can battle for second place.

$10 to win on #10 Cash Logistics
$5 exacta: 10 with 9,11 ($10)
Total: $20

Presque Isle Downs, Race 5: Maiden special weight (six furlongs on Tapeta, 6:25 p.m. ET)

#3 Patti D (5-2) is a logical favorite. She has placed in three straight maiden special weight sprints at Presque Isle Downs and earned Brisnet Speed ratings in the 71-77 range. But might #5 Come On Let’s Ride (3-1) be the better play?

After she placed in maiden special weight events on dirt and turf at Penn National, Come On Let’s Ride took a step forward in her Tapeta debut at Presque Isle, when she dueled for the lead and weakened slightly to finish second, with a 75 Brisnet Speed rating. Come On Let’s Ride finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Patti D.

Transferred to trainer Tim Girten (a 27% winner with horses who start for the first time under his care), Come On Let’s Ride looms as a logical win threat, under leading jockey Pablo Morales. We’ll bet her to win and key her on top of Patti D in a cold exacta.

$20 to win on #5 Come On Let’s Ride
$10 exacta: 5 with 3
Total: $30

Carryover watch

Assiniboia Downs, Race 3: $$209,740.73 Pick 5 mandatory payout (9:35 p.m. ET)
Assiniboia Downs, Race 7: $24,669.79 Super High 5 mandatory payout (11:35 p.m. ET)

A couple lucrative jackpot carryovers are slated for mandatory dispersals on closing day at Assiniboia Downs.

Let’s take a quick look at the relevant races and assemble ~$40 worth of tickets for both carryovers

Race 3: $2,500 claiming (one mile)

#5 Carlos Sixes (4-5) owns the best Brisnet Speed ratings and won at the $7,500 claiming level three starts back. But he was beaten by #2 Praise Loudly (5-1) in a $2,500 claimer at Assiniboia last month, so Praise Loudly is worth including as backup.

Race 4: $2,500 claiming (six furlongs)

#1 Bacoli (6-5) finished second at this track, distance, and class level two weeks ago and should be tough to deny Wednesday. He brings sharp Brisnet Speed ratings for hot trainer Jared Brown and has leading jockey Jorge Carreno in his corner.

Race 5: $10,000 optional-claiming allowance (one mile)

#5 Gold Buyer (8-5) has won twice at this track and class level in recent months, but don’t sleep on the chances of #2 Darpa (3-1), who has put up similar speed figures in three stakes placings at Assiniboia this summer.

The stakes-winning sophomore #3 Flash of Glory (4-1), fresh off two wins against his own age group, is also worth including.

Race 6: $5,000 claiming (seven furlongs)

#6 Clairessence (9-5) has faced tougher $10,000 optional claimers and looms as a logical favorite on the drop in class.

On the other hand, #8 Funny Flowers (8-1) has posted encouraging Brisnet Speed ratings and romped by 3 1/4 lengths in a $5,000 claimer at Assiniboia two weeks ago, which suggests there is a chance for an upset.

Race 7: Allowance (six furlongs)

#3 Etu Babou (2-1) has placed a couple of times at this class level, but he is a late runner at the mercy of the pace and enters off nine straight defeats.

The frontrunning J. W. Sifton S. winner #6 Call the Cops (4-1) boasts plenty of tactical speed and may prove tough to catch in this largely paceless field.

The filly #4 Orange Theory (6-1), third in the Manitoba Oaks, also has the potential to challenge on her best day.

20-cent Pick 5: 2,5 with 1 with 2,3,5 with 6,8 with 3,4,6 ($7.20)
20-cent Super High 5: 3,6 with 3,4,6 with 1,3,4,6 with ALL with ALL ($32)

Good luck!