Keeler Johnson's picks and plays June 28
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, June 28 at Louisiana Downs, Presque Isle Downs, and Horseshoe Indianapolis, including a trifecta capitalizing on the Trifecta Tuesday promotion.
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 Louisiana Downs.
- Trifecta Tuesday: Receive a 15% bonus (up to $25 per day) on winning trifecta tickets.
Picks and Plays
Presque Isle Downs: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on Tapeta, 2:24 p.m. ET)
#5 Dawgmentality (7-2) has been working up a storm at Presque Isle for trainer Ron Potts, a 23% winner this meet and a 14% winner with first-time starters. The son of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Smarty Jones clocked half a mile in :47 3/5 on June 10, then returned to blaze five furlongs from the starting gate in :58 1/5 on June 19.
The experienced runners in Tuesday’s field don’t appear overly formidable at first glance, so we’ll bet Dawgmentality to win and key him over fellow first-time starters #2 Colonel Poppy (4-1) and #4 Luna T (9-2) in the exacta and trifecta.
- $16 to win on #5 Dawgmentality
- $4 Exacta: 5 with 2,4 ($8)
- $1.50 Trifecta: 5 with 2,4 with 1,2,4 ($6)
Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on turf, 4:03 p.m. ET)
Since 2017, trainer Wesley Ward has compiled a stellar 15-6-3-2 record debuting juveniles on turf at Horseshoe Indianapolis. That’s a 40% win rate and a 73% in-the-money rate, and his record since 2020 (5-3-1-0, 60% wins, 80% in the money) is even more impressive.
These powerful stats point toward Ward’s first-time starter #8 Happy Gal (2-1) as the filly to beat on Tuesday. The daughter of champion sprinter Runhappy is bred for speed and brings a lengthy work tab to her debut, suggesting she’ll be ready to fire a competitive shot and beat #4 Mornin’ Boss (7-2) to the finish line.
- $20 to win on #8 Happy Gal
- $10 Exacta: 8 with 4
Louisiana Downs: Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 6:22 p.m. ET)
#7 Malformed (2-1) ran a strong race in her debut dashing 5 1/2 furlongs over this track and class level last month, tracking the early pace before battling gamely to finish second by a neck. The 75 Brisnet Speed rating she received equals the par winning rating for Tuesday’s conditions.
Malformed should be tough to deny in her second start, so we’ll take advantage of the Midweek Bet Back promotion and place a $10 win bet on Malformed. We’ll also play her in the exacta over first-time starters #10 Daddy Hey Daddy (10-1) and #11 Mo Bling (10-1), since both of those double-digit longshots are conditioned by trainers who win at lofty rates with debuting runners.
- $10 to win on #7 Malformed
- $5 Exacta: 7 with 10,11