Keeler Johnson's picks and plays July 25

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

July 25th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Monday, July 25 at Finger Lakes, along with a ticket for the $904 Pick 5 carryover at Presque Isle Downs.

Picks and Plays

Finger Lakes: Race 8: New York Oaks (1 1/16 miles, 4:19 p.m. ET)

#5 Sister Linda (8-1) has been in sharp form at Belmont Park. After trouncing a one-mile maiden special weight by a dozen lengths, Sister Linda tackled a 1 1/16-mile allowance and parlayed a daylight lead down the homestretch into a 1 1/2-length victory over next-out allowance winner Caragate.

The latter victory produced a 93 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest figure in the New York Oaks field. If Sister Linda’s 8-1 morning line odds hold up, she’s worth betting to win and keying over #1 Galaxina (3-1) in the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #5 Sister Linda
  • $5 Exacta: 5 with 1
    Total: $25

Carryover Watch

Presque Isle Downs, Race 4: $904 Pick 5 carryover (2:51 p.m. ET)

Fans of Presque Isle Downs will be happy to hear there’s a $904 carryover up for grabs in Monday’s 50-cent Late Pick 5.

The best chance at finding a single to build tickets around might come in Race 8, the finale of the Pick 5. The race in question is a $7,500 maiden claimer taking place over one mile on Tapeta, which should suit morning line favorite #1 North Carolina (8-5) just fine.

North Carolina posted her career-best 88 Brisnet Speed rating when finishing fourth in a maiden special weight over the Gulfstream Park Tapeta track during the spring. She hasn’t been quite as sharp in a couple of recent starts over the Belmont Park turf course, but those were $75,000 and $40,000 maiden claimers.

Plunging down to the $7,500 level should make North Carolina formidable for trainer Linda Rice, who has gone 2-for-3 (67%) at Presque Isle this meet. Rice wins at a lofty 31% rate with horses dropping two or more levels down the class ladder, and jockey Willie Martinez (2-for-3 teaming up with Rice over the last two months) is named to ride. What’s not to like?

Another potential single can be found in Race 7, the Princess of Sylmar S. taking place over one mile and 70 yards on Tapeta. Eight Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares have been entered, with #2 Maldives Model (3-1) looming as a dangerous win contender.

Maldives Model ran strongly in her lone previous start at Presque Isle, finishing second in the 2021 Malvern Rose S. over a 6 1/2-furlong distance likely shorter than her best. She’s been even better in a pair of recent turf tests racing 1 1/16 miles at Penn National, wiring a field of Pennsylvania-bred rivals in the Lyphard S. before finishing second with rallying tactics in an unrestricted $25,000 allowance optional claimer.

Running long on Tapeta might be a perfect fit for Maldives Model, giving her the edge she needs to upset capable sprinter #4 Tactical Pajamas (5-2) in the race to the finish line. Deeper tickets might include both Maldives Model and Tactical Pajamas, but budget-conscious players should have a strong chance to survive using only Maldives Model.

Good luck!