Keeler Johnson's picks and plays July 26

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

July 26th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, July 26 at Colonial Downs, Presque Isle Downs, and Assiniboia Downs, including a trio of exactas.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning trifecta tickets.

Picks and Plays

Colonial Downs: Race 3: $40,000 Maiden Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on turf, 2:41 p.m. ET)

#9 Tiki Bar (3-1) looks like a good fit in this maiden claimer for juvenile fillies. As a daughter of Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Karakontie out of a mare by More Than Ready, Tiki Bar is bred to handle turf. In fact, Karakontie sires a lofty 19% winners from first-time turf starters.

Trainer Kelsey Danner has been hot at Colonial Downs, going 3-for-11 (27%) to start the meet, and jockey Joe Rocco (a 31% winner this meet) is named to ride. Danner and Rocco have gone 3-for-6 (50%) teaming up together over the last two months, so we’ll count on Tiki Bar to deliver victory in her first run under colors.

#6 Gulf Bender (4-1) can complete the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #9 Tiki Bar
  • $10 Exacta: 9 with 6
    Total: $30

Presque Isle Downs: Race 7: Hard Spun S. (one mile and 70 yards on Tapeta, 4:12 p.m. ET)

#5 Nice Ace (5-2) hasn’t missed the exacta in 11 starts at Presque Isle, compiling five wins and six seconds. He’s been especially sharp in his last two starts for hot trainer Tim Girten, winning a 6 1/2-furlong allowance before stretching out over one mile and 70 yards to finish second in a $40,000 allowance optional claimer.

Nice Ace has tactical speed and won a couple of one-mile allowance optional claimers at Presque Isle last fall, so he figures to be tough to catch in the Hard Spun. #3 Nimitz Class (3-1) and #6 Good On Ya (6-1) can battle for the minor awards.

In addition to a win bet and an exacta play, we’ll throw in a small trifecta aimed at capitalizing on the Trifecta Tuesday promotion.

  • $20 to win on #5 Nice Ace
  • $5 Exacta: 5 with 3,6 ($10)
  • $2.50 Trifecta: 5 with 3,6 with 3,6 ($5)
    Total: $35

Assiniboia Downs: Race 5: Manitoba Oaks (one mile, 10:35 p.m. ET)

#7 Burrow Down (2-5) has been on fire since shipping to Assiniboia Downs under the care of trainer Murray Duncan. The daughter of Connect dominated the six-furlong Chantilly S. by seven lengths before smashing the 7 1/2-furlong Jack Hardy S. by a dozen lengths.

These efforts produced sharp Brisnet Speed ratings of 84 and 87. Since none of Burrow Down’s rivals have posted a Brisnet Speed rating higher than 82, she looms as an obvious choice to claim top honors over longshot #5 Thrill of the Nite (25-1), who has led gate-to-wire in her first two starts sprinting at Assiniboia.

  • $20 Exacta: 7 with 5

Good luck!