Keeler Johnson's picks and plays June 23

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June 23rd, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $90 worth of picks and plays for Thursday, June 23 at Presque Isle Downs and Churchill Downs, including three exactas and a trifecta.

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.
  • $1,000 Hoosier Park Pick 4 Hit It and Split It: Hit the early Pick 4 at Hoosier Park on any Thursday from June 9-30 to win your share of a $1,000 weekly jackpot.
  • $20,000 Twilight Thursday Leaderboard: Place $10+ win bets at Churchill Downs to play for your share of a $2,000 weekly jackpot.

Picks and Plays

Presque Isle Downs: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on Tapeta, 2:51 p.m. ET)

Trainer Timothy Hamm has been on fire at Presque Isle Downs this meet, going 14-for-38 (37%). He’s been especially hot debuting juveniles at Presque Isle, recording two wins and two seconds from four starters.

These stats point toward the Hamm-trained juvenile #7 Worldly Beauty (3-1) as a strong candidate to win on debut. He’s shown speed in the mornings at Presque Isle (even clocking five furlongs in :59 2/5), and leading jockey Pablo Morales is named to ride. That’s significant since Hamm and Morales have gone 10-for-20 (50%) teaming up together over the last two months.

#6 Back to Ohio (5-2) and #2 Lumi (9-2) can complete the exacta and trifecta.

  • $10 Exacta: 7 with 2,6 ($20)
  • $5 Trifecta: 7 with 2,6 with 2,6 ($10)
    Total: $30

Churchill Downs: Race 3: $50,000 Maiden Claiming (five furlongs, 5:58 p.m. ET)

#6 Dice Arm (3-1) hails from the first crop of foals sired by brilliant Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner City of Light. If she’s inherited a fraction of City of Light’s speed and talent, Dice Arm can factor in her debut against maiden claiming company.

Trainer Norm Casse has compiled a strong record debuting juveniles at Churchill Downs this spring, going 4-2-1-0. That’s a 50% win rate and a 75% exacta rate, so we’ll bet Dice Arm to win and key her over #4 Go On Girl (7-2) in the exacta.

  • $15 to win on #6 Dice Arm
  • $15 Exacta: 6 with 4
    Total: $30

Churchill Downs: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs, 6:56 p.m. ET)

#3 Fight Fiercely (5-1) looks live to win on debut in this maiden sprint for juveniles. He’s a son of Twirling Candy (who sires an excellent 18% winners from first-time starters), and his trainer Eddie Kenneally has saddled one winner and two runners-up from a trio of two-year-old first-time starters at Churchill this spring.

Fight Fiercely has shown promising speed in the mornings at Churchill, wrapping up his pre-race preparations with a bullet half-mile in :47 1/5. At 5-1, Fight Fiercely is worth betting to win and keying over #6 Tulsan (5-1) and #10 Two Phil’s (6-1) in the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #3 Fight Fiercely
  • $5 Exacta: 3 with 6,10 ($10)
    Total: $30

Good luck!