Keeler Johnson's picks and plays June 15

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June 15th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $90 worth of picks and plays for Wednesday, June 15 at Delaware Park and Presque Isle Downs, including three exactas.

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 Parx Racing.
  • Royal Ascot $10 Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races at Royal Ascot (England).

Picks and Plays

Delaware Park: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs, 2:00 p.m. ET)

Trainer Cathal Lynch has been absolutely on fire at Delaware Park, going 7-for-13 (54%) to start the meet. Clearly, we need to respect #2 Istria (4-1) in this maiden sprint for juveniles.

Lynch wins at a solid 19% rate with first-time starters and has gone 3-for-11 (27%) debuting two-year-olds at Delaware Park since 2021. Five others finished in the top three, giving Lynch a 73% in-the-money rate.

Istria has put together a solid work tab at Delaware Park and is slated to be ridden by hot jockey Angel Suarez, a 20% winner this meet. At 4-1, Istria is worth betting to win and keying over #5 All About Me (5-1) and #7 Tappin Josie (3-1) in the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #2 Istria
  • $5 Exacta: 2 with 5,7 ($10)
    Total: $30

Presque Isle Downs: Race 3: $25,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (six furlongs on Tapeta, 2:24 p.m. ET)

#7 Like a Saltshaker (8-5) enters in hot form for high-percentage trainer Larry Rivelli, who has gone 3-for-4 (75%) to start the Presque Isle meet.  On May 7, Like a Saltshaker rallied from midpack to trounce a $40,000 allowance optional claimer at Hawthorne by three lengths. Then on May 25, he employed pressing tactics to smash a $25,000 allowance optional claimer for Pennsylvania-breds at Presque Isle by the same margin.

Like a Saltshaker has posted four straight Brisnet Speed ratings in the 85-89 range, a noteworthy achievement since his rivals have been largely struggling to crack the 80 plateau. We’ll try betting Like a Saltshaker over stablemate #4 Savage (10-1) and recent $25,000 allowance optional claiming winner #6 Valentine Bug (5-1) in the exacta.

  • $15 Exacta: 7 with 4,6 ($30)

Delaware Park: Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles on turf, 3:30 p.m. ET)

#10 Etheric (5-2) hasn’t missed the trifecta in three starts against maiden special weight company for trainer Michael Dickinson. The daughter of Ghostzapper placed third and second over the turf courses at Laurel Park and Aqueduct last fall before heading to the Tapeta track at Turfway, where she rallied to finish third.

Dickinson wins at a lofty 31% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Etheric is bred top and bottom to shine on turf, so switching to the lawn at Delaware should be right up her alley.

#4 Culdee (3-1) and #8 Seduce (6-1) can battle for exacta honors.

  • $20 to win on #10 Etheric
  • $5 Exacta: 10 with 4,8 ($10)
    Total: $30