Keeler Johnson's picks and plays June 27

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

June 27th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Monday, June 20 at Presque Isle Downs and Horseshoe Indianapolis, including a trio of exactas.

Picks and Plays

Presque Isle Downs: Race 5: $10,000 Claiming (five furlongs on Tapeta, 3:25 p.m. ET)

In a race absolutely packed with speed horses, #4 Detangler (8-5) looms as the one to beat. The seven-year-old gelding has enough tactical speed to keep up early, but isn’t a need-the-lead type, as he demonstrated when rallying from two lengths back to post a comfortable victory over this track, distance, and class level on June 9.

#1 Grande Tortugon (5-1), runner-up after setting the pace on June 9, can battle with veteran speedster #2 Dom the Bomb (7-2) for second place in the exacta.

  • $15 Exacta: 4 with 1,2 ($30)

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on turf, 4:03 p.m. ET)

Since 2020, trainer Brendan Walsh has compiled an excellent 2-for-4 (50%) record debuting juveniles over the Horseshoe Indianapolis turf course. This flashy record suggests Walsh’s first-time starter #3 Mendelssohn Joy (8-1) is worth supporting on Monday.

A son of early-maturing Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn Joy has put together a long and encouraging work tab at Keeneland, highlighted by half a mile from the starting gate in :47 4/5. We’ll bet Mendelssohn Joy to win and key him over #1 Uncle Headley (2-1) and #2 Hezmorethanready (4-1) in the exacta.

  • $16 to win on #3 Mendelssohn Joy
  • $7 Exacta: 3 with 1,2 ($14)
    Total: $30

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (5 1/2 furlongs, 5:36 p.m. ET)

#8 Faire Express (9-5) is a logical favorite after finishing second in her first two starts over this track and class level, earning Brisnet Speed ratings of 56 and 57. But #2 Ajic Jay (5-1) may have an upset chance.

Ajic Jay threw down a 56 rating when rallying to finish third in her debut sprinting five furlongs over this track and class level. She finished off the board in two subsequent starts, but one came against tougher company and the other was on turf. Even in defeat, Ajic Jay earned respectable Brisnet Speed ratings of 53 and 57.

Jockey Joseph Ramos and trainer Marvin Johnson have been ultra-hot teaming up over the last two months, winning at a 37% rate, so we’ll count on Ajic Jay to spring a surprise.

  • $20 to win on #2 Ajic Jay
  • $10 Exacta: 2 with 8
    Total: $30

Good luck!