Keeler Johnson's picks and plays March 29
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Wednesday, March 29 at Tampa Bay Downs and Turf Paradise, including tickets for Tampa’s $2,123 Super High 5 carryover.
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Picks and Plays
Tampa Bay Downs: Race 5: $75,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (five furlongs on turf, 2:19 p.m. ET)
#6 Redifined (1-5) is the heavy favorite after placing in the Bolton Landing S., Matron (G3), and Stewart Manor S. as a juvenile. But the daughter of More Than Ready hasn’t run since Nov. 5, and trainer Anthony Dutrow wins only 13% of the time with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more.
Let’s take advantage of the Winning Wednesdays promotion and place a $20 win bet on #5 Kerry (8-1) instead. She earned sharp Brisnet Speed ratings of 81, 80, and 81 sprinting on turf as a juvenile, not all that far behind the numbers of 76, 89, 81, and 83 posted by Redifined.
Trainer Christophe Clement wins at a 19% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Kerry has turned in several bullet workouts at Payson Park this year, suggesting she’s ready to fire a strong shot under Tampa’s leading jockey Samy Camacho.
We’ll also bet Kerry over Redifined in a cold exacta.
- #5 Kerry (8-1)
- #6 Redifined (1-5)
- #4 Grand Oak (6-1)
- $20 to win on #5 Kerry
- $10 Exacta: 5 with 6
Turf Paradise: Race 7: $30,000 Maiden Optional Claiming (one mile, 5:50 p.m. ET)
#2 Napoleonic Code (2-1) ran well in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint over this track and class level on March 18, closing ground down the homestretch to finish third by 1 3/4 lengths. Stretching out over one mile on Wednesday can send him to the winner’s circle, considering he’s a stoutly bred son of champion Honor Code out of a mare by Unbridled’s Song.
We’ll keep things simple, betting Napoleonic Code to win and singling him to start a double wager.
- #2 Napoleonic Code (2-1)
- #1 Glendale (9-5)
- #4 Charlie’s Man (5-1)
- $20 to win on #2 Napoleonic Code
- $10 Double: 2 with 3
Turf Paradise: Race 8: $8,000 Starter Optional Claiming (about 7 1/2 furlongs on turf, 6:20 p.m. ET)
#3 Cashanova (5-1) hasn’t missed the trifecta in his last seven starts. He’s been particularly sharp in a recent quartet of turf tries against $20,000 and $15,000 starter optional claiming competition at Turf Paradise, posting Brisnet Speed ratings in the 81-88 range.
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Dropping down to the $8,000 starter optional claiming level should put Cashanova in the hunt for victory at a nice price. We’ll bet him to win and single him to conclude our double wager.
- #3 Cashanova (5-1)
- #1 Political Riot (9-2)
- #3 Moonlite Graham (3-1)
- $30 to win on #3 Cashanova
Tampa Bay Downs: Race 3: $2,123 Super High 5 carryover (1:20 p.m. ET)
It’s exciting to chase giant Pick 6 carryovers involving hundreds of thousands of possible outcomes. But sometimes we’re in the mood for a simpler handicapping challenge, and Wednesday’s $2,123 Super High 5 carryover at Tampa Bay Downs fits the bill.
The prize pool for the $1 wager is up for grabs in Race 3, a $16,000 maiden claimer for three-year-old fillies sprinting seven furlongs on dirt. Seven horses have been entered, which means there are only 2,520 possible Super High 5 outcomes to consider. Constructing a winning ticket shouldn’t be too difficult, at least from a mathematical perspective.
We’ll start by favoring #4 Reasonably Lovely (5-2), a Kathleen O’Connell trainee who has been competing against tougher company. Reasonably Lovely has run four times so far, and while she’s disappointed on turf and synthetic, her two dirt runs have been solid. She finished third in a $50,000 maiden optional claimer sprinting seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park and fourth in a $25,000 maiden claimer over the same distance at Tampa Bay Downs.
Those dirt tries produced identical 66 Brisnet Speed ratings, tied for the highest numbers in Wednesday’s field. The only filly who has posted a matching number is #3 Lunita (7-2), third and second in her last two starts sprinting six furlongs against $16,000 maiden claiming company at Tampa. But while Lunita is an obvious contender under apprentice jockey Jeremy Alicea (who rides with a seven-pound weight allowance), Reasonably Lovely has Tampa’s leading jockey Samy Camacho named to ride, and dropping down in class should help Reasonably Lovely run her best race to date.
So if we key Reasonably Lovely on top and rely on Lunita to finish second or third, we can spread a bit deeper for the remaining slots. We’ll emphasize #1 Jazhara (6-1), #2 Uncaptured Dreams (20-1), and #6 Chief Again (3-1), all of whom have placed at the $16,000 maiden claiming level.
- $1 Super High 5: 4 with 3 with 1,2,6 with 1,2,5,6,7 with 1,2,5,6,7 ($36)
- $1 Super High 5: 4 with 1,2,6 with 3 with 1,2,5,6,7 with 1,2,5,6,7 ($36)