Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Sept. 24

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

September 24th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $75 worth of picks and plays for Friday, Sept. 24 at Churchill Downs, Los Alamitos, and Remington Park, along with suggested singles for a trio of non-jackpot carryovers at Arlington Park.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Churchill Downs Bet Back: Get the value of your win bet back in bonus credit (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in eligible races from Sept. 17 through Oct. 3 at Churchill Downs.
  • 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).

Picks and plays

Churchill Downs, Race 8: Maiden special weight (1 1/16 miles, 4:22 p.m. ET)

#8 Bunduki (10-1) ran well in her first two starts at Ellis Park, where she finished third in a seven-furlong sprint and third again in a one-mile heat. The latter was a fast event, in which Bunduki earned a 79 Brisnet Speed rating.

A daughter of hot young sire Gun Runner, out of Burg Burg, Bunduki is a half-sister to stakes-winning route runners Lombo and Gray Magician. She has the pedigree to improve with maturity and appreciate 1 1/16 miles, so we’ll give Bunduki a try in this two-turn test for juvenile fillies.

To take advantage of the Churchill Downs Bet Back promotion, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Bunduki. Then we’ll play her in the exacta, with #4 Penny Saver (2-1) and #5 Golden Sights (5-2).

$10 to win on #8 Bunduki
$1 exacta: 8 with 4,5 ($2)
$4 exacta: 4,5 with 8 ($8)
Total: $20

Los Alamitos, Race 7: Lucky Spell S. (six furlongs, 6:58 p.m. ET)

#2 Pizzazz (4-1) has never run on dirt, and her two sprint efforts to date have been unremarkable. But the daughter of War Front has faced tougher competition than she’ll encounter in the Lucky Spell, and she finished behind Grade 1 winner Going Global on multiple occasions this year.

Pizazz enters off a deceptively strong effort in the one-mile San Clemente S. (G2) on turf at Del Mar, where she led past the eighth pole and weakened late to finish eighth. Pizzazz also displayed some surface versatility when she posted a narrow victory in the California Oaks on Tapeta during the spring, so there’s a chance she’ll appreciate switching to dirt (and the drop in class and distance) at Los Alamitos.

Throw in the presence of hot jockey Kyle Frey, and Pizzazz is worth playing at 4-1.

#3 Ginja (2-1) and #4 Forest Caraway (9-5) are the other logical contenders in this small but competitive field. We’ll use them underneath Pizzazz in an exacta.

$20 to win on #2 Pizzazz
$5 exacta: 2 with 3,4 ($10)
Total: $30

Remington Park, Race 7: Maiden special weight (five furlongs, 10:55 p.m. ET)

Since 2017, trainer C.R. Trout has compiled nine wins from 29 starts (31%) with debut juveniles at Remington Park. This impressive résumé points to #7 Revolt and Riot (6-1) as a key contender in this sprint for two-year-olds.

A son of hot young stallion Constitution (who sires 17% winners from first-time starters), Revolt and Riot was produced by a daughter of graded stakes-winning sprinter Put It Back. Revolt and Riot has the pedigree to show speed and talent from an early age, so we’ll bet the bay gelding to win and play him over the unraced Steve Asmussen trainee #3 Regal Prize (7-2) in an exacta.

$20 to win on #7 Revolt and Riot
$5 exacta: 7 with 3
Total: $25

Carryover watch

Arlington Park, Race 1: $7,588 Pick 8 carryover (3:25 p.m. ET)
Arlington Park, Race 2: $439 Pick 7 carryover (3:55 p.m. ET)
Arlington Park, Race 3: $8,198 Pick 6 carryover (4:26 p.m. ET)

The penultimate day of racing at Arlington’s 2021 meet features a trio of non-jackpot carryovers in the 20-cent Pick 6, 20-cent Pick 7, and 20-cent Pick 8.

If you’re keen to play any of these 15% takeout wagers, we’re here to help with a pair of proposed singles featured in all three sequences.

Race 3: #2 Colorofacloud (9-5)

You might not normally think of a 0-for-22 maiden as being a worthy single, but Colorofacloud is a great fit for this six-furlong Polytrack sprint.

The daughter of Macho Uno has a 0-3-2 record from nine starts over the main track at Arlington and has competed against much tougher competition. She most recently came home third in a $25,000 maiden claimer sprinting six furlongs.

That effort produced a 70 Brisnet Speed rating, Colorofacloud’s third 70+ rating from her last 10 starts. None of her rivals have cracked the 70 plateau across a similar span, so Colorofacloud should be tough to beat on the drop in class.

Race 7: #1 Temper Tantrum (3-1)

Arlington’s leading trainer, Larry Rivelli, has enjoyed a sensational meet, with a 36% win rate, and he can keep his momentum rolling Friday, with Temper Tantrum. The son of Flashback looms as a logical choice in this one-mile turf test for three-year-olds.

Temper Tantrum enters off three consecutive victories, including a sharp score in the Aug. 7 Richard P. Hazelton Memorial S. over this course and distance. Temper Tantrum also overcame a stumbled start to comfortably win a one-mile turf allowance Aug. 27.

Temper Tantrum is versatile in terms of running style and will retain the services of jockey Christopher Emigh, a 21% winner on grass. Throw in the fact post 1 wins at a 16% rate in one-mile turf races at Arlington, and we should have a recipe for victory.

Good luck!