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Homeracing

Keeler Johnson's picks and plays July 6

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

July 6th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, July 6 at Delaware Park and Horseshoe Indianapolis, along with a horse to single in the $5,936 Pick 5 carryover at Penn National.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Midweek Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select races at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Picks and Plays

Delaware Park: Race 1: $25,000 Maiden Claiming (five furlongs, 12:30 p.m. ET)

#4 Dreams Delivered (2-1) showed promise in his debut over this distance and class level at Laurel Park last month. After breaking slowly and settling off the early pace, Dreams Delivered launched a big rally to seize the lead, only to weaken in the final furlong and finish third by 1 1/4 lengths.

Trainer Anthony Pecoraro wins at a lofty 31% rate with second-time starters, and hot jockey Jeremy Rose (a 27% winner at Delaware this meet) is taking over the mount. Pecoraro and Rose have teamed up to win at a 38% rate over the last two months, so let’s bet Dreams Delivered on top of first-time starters #3 Gettin’downonit (3-1) and #5 The Grayt Pumpkin (4-1) in the exacta and trifecta.

  • $10 Exacta: 4 with 3,5 ($20)
  • $5 Trifecta: 4 with 3,5 with 3,5 ($10)
    Total: $30

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 1: $15,000 Starter Optional Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs, 2:30 p.m. ET)

The consistent veteran #1 One for Richie (9-5) is 3-for-5 this year and had no difficulty wiring a five-furlong sprint over this track and class level on April 27. Most recently runner-up in a $20,000 starter optional claimer at Hawthorne, One for Richie brings a bevy of competitive Brisnet Speed ratings to the fold and should be tough to catch while dropping back down the class ladder.

#3 Crime Spree (4-1), exiting a couple of placed efforts against $10,000 starter allowance company at Churchill Downs, can complete the exacta.

  • $20 Exacta: 1 with 3

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (4 1/2 furlongs, 5:05 p.m. ET)

#10 Philip Snow (2-1) looks ready to produce a competitive effort on debut. Trainer Randy Klopp has been hot at Horseshoe Indianapolis this year (winning at a 21% rate), and since 2020, 44% of Klopp’s juvenile first-time starters over this track have finished in the top three.

Philip Snow will be ridden by apprentice jockey Andrea Rodriguez, who has gone 2-for-7 (29%) teaming up with Klopp over the last two months. The presence of Rodriguez means Philip Snow will benefit from a seven-pound weight break, so we’ll take advantage of the Midweek Bet Back promotion and place a $10 win bet on Philip Snow.

We’ll also play Philip Snow in the exacta with #3 Nortons (20-1) and #7 Outstandingjustice (4-1).

  • $10 to win on #10 Philip Snow
  • $5 Exacta: 10 with 3,7 ($10)
  • $3 Exacta: 3,7 with 10 ($6)
    Total: $26

Carryover Watch

Penn National, Race 4: $5,936 Pick 5 carryover (7:22 p.m. ET)

At first glance, it seems like winning a share of Thursday’s $5,936 Pick 5 carryover at Penn National should be easy. The five-race sequence for the non-jackpot wager attracted only 29 entries, averaging 5.8 per race. All told, there are only 6,300 possible outcomes to consider—hardly an unmanageable number.

But dig a little deeper, and it’s clear winning this Pick 5 won’t be easy. The minimum bet amount is $1 rather than 50 cents, making the wager twice as expensive to play as most Pick 5s. Furthermore, the races are competitive despite their small field sizes, and it’s hard to narrow down the contenders.

The good news is, Race 5 offers up a possible single, and singling in this five-horse field would reduce the number of possible outcomes down to 1,260. From there, even if we have to use two or three horses in each of the remaining legs, we should be able to construct a competitive ticket on a modest budget.

Race 5 is a $25,000 allowance optional claimer for Pennsylvania-breds taking place over six furlongs on dirt. To enter for the allowance conditions, horses must not have won two Pennsylvania-restricted races other than maiden, claiming, or starter; otherwise, they can enter for the $25,000 claiming tag.

The conditions are complicated, but they should suit #4 Venomous State (8-5) just fine. The eight-year-old gelding enters in strong form for hot trainer Kimberly Graci (a 25% winner at Penn National this meet), having nabbed three of his last four starts over this track. Notably, all three of those victories came in claimers open to horses bred outside of Pennsylvania.

Venomous State tackled this precise track, distance, and class level on June 9 and ran a game race in defeat, carving out solid fractions of :22.52 and :45.10 before staying on to finish second by less than one length. Hot jockey Ricardo Chiappe (a 20% winner this meet and a 29% winner teaming up with Graci over the last two months) retains the mount, so Venomous State—with his tactical speed, competitive Brisnet Speed ratings, and consistently strong form—looms as a logical single to build tickets around.

Good luck!

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