Keeler Johnson's picks and plays for Sept. 8
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- Kentucky Downs $12,000 Place Jackpot: Make a winning $10 place bet in at least five races at Kentucky Downs to win a share of a $500 daily jackpot. Make a winning $10 place bet in at least seven races at Kentucky Downs to win a share of a $1,500 daily jackpot. Players may earn a share of each daily bonus pool.
- Midweek Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select races at Kentucky Downs and Remington Park.
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Picks and plays
Which filly owns the two fastest Brisnet Speed ratings in this maiden route for juveniles? That would be #9 Cailin Diana (9-2), who looks like a live win candidate at a fair price for trainer Brendan Walsh.
Cailin Diana endured a troubled start in her debut, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint over the Churchill Downs turf course, but nevertheless rallied gamely to finish sixth, with a 72 Brisnet Speed rating. She then improved to a 78 when she finished second in a one-mile maiden special weight over the Ellis Park turf, where she was beaten only a length by next-out Kentucky Downs stakes winner Turnerloose.
To take advantage of the Midweek Bet Back offer, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Cailin Diana. Then we’ll play her over coupled entrymates #1 Already Charming (3-2) and #1A Soft Touch (3-2) in a cold exacta.
$10 to win on #9 Cailin Diana
$10 exacta: 9 with 1
Canterbury Park, Race 10: Bella Notte Minnesota Distaff Sprint Championship S. (six furlongs, 9:40 p.m. ET)
Although #4 Star of the North (9-5) was beaten as an odds-on favorite in the Minnesota Oaks at Canterbury last month, it’s possible the one-mile and 70-yard distance was a bit too far for this speedy three-year-old.
Star of the North had previously dominated seven straight races (six of them sprints) by a minimum of 2 1/4 lengths, including a trio of stakes at Canterbury Park.
On Wednesday, Star of the North will cut back to six furlongs, a more suitable distance for her frontrunning speed. We’ll count on a rebound, bet her to win, and play her over #1 Clickbait (6-5) in a straight exacta.
$20 to win on #4 Star of the North
$5 exacta: 4 with 1
#1 Diamond Digger (1-5) figures to start as an overwhelming favorite, after he won his first three starts at Assiniboia (including two stakes) by a minimum of 3 3/4 lengths.
A speed horse capable of setting or stalking the pace, Diamond Digger hails from the barn of high-percentage trainer Michael Nault and has already beaten three of his four Winnipeg Futurity rivals.
What’s not to like?
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Well, nothing… except for the fact the one rival Diamond Digger hasn’t beaten, the filly #4 Cordillera (8-1), looks like a pretty promising runner. After she debuted with a fourth-place finish in the Debutante S. at Assiniboia, Cordillera squared off against males in a five-furlong maiden special weight and rallied to win by 2 3/4 lengths.
Cordillera finished fast, off a slow pace, and sprinted the final furlong in :12 3/5 to earn a 66 Brisnet Speed rating. That’s higher than the figures Diamond Digger has posted in two of his three starts, so I can envision a scenario where Cordillera thrives at Wednesday’s six-furlong distance and rallies to upset Diamond Digger at a big price.
We’ll bet Cordillera to win and play her over Diamond Digger in the exacta.
$20 to win on #4 Cordillera
$10 exacta: 4 with 1