Keeler Johnson's picks and plays May 13

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

May 13th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Friday, May 13 at Churchill Downs and Prairie Meadows, along with a ticket for the mandatory-payout $168,852 Pick 6 carryover at Charles Town.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Exacta Insurance: Receive refunds on exacta bets (up to $10) if your two selected horses finish in the first three home (but not in the winning order) at Churchill Downs. Offer applies to straight exacta bets only.
  • Rest of the World Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any race at York (United Kingdom).
  • Churchill Downs Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in select races at Churchill Downs.

Picks and Plays

Churchill Downs: Race 3: $10,000 Starter Allowance (1 1/16 miles, 1:43 p.m. ET)

#2 Jump Into the Fire (4-5) has been in red-hot form since returning from a long layoff and transitioning to the care of trainer Ben Colebrook. The four-year-old filly is unbeaten and unchallenged in four starts under Colebrook’s care, wiring all four of her starts by a minimum of 3 1/2 lengths while earning a flashy series of Brisnet Speed ratings.

Jump Into the Fire was much the best in a race over this distance and class level at Keeneland last month, romping by 3 1/2 lengths over #4 Jazzy Lady (2-1). A repeat of this order of finish appears likely on Friday, so we’ll bet accordingly and key Jump Into the Fire over Jazzy Lady in a large exacta.

  • $30 Exacta: 2 with 4

Churchill Downs: Race 8: $80,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (1 1/16 miles, 4:22 p.m. ET)

#7 Colonelsdarktemper (10-1) might be 0-for-2 this year, but there are extenuating circumstances. He stumbled at the start and lost his rider in his 2022 debut, then finished fourth against a deep field in an $80,000 allowance optional claimer at Fair Grounds.

Shipping to Churchill Downs can help Colonelsdarktemper bounce back to peak form. He was a force to reckon with over this track last season, winning all four of his local starts by a minimum of four lengths. He was especially strong in a $62,500 allowance optional claimer, leading all the way to prevail with a 104 Brisnet Speed rating.

Thanks to the Churchill Downs Bet Back offer, we can place a $10 win bet on Colonelsdarktemper and receive a refund if he settles for second or third place. We’ll also bet him over #3 Masqueparade (3-1) in a cold $10 exacta capitalizing on the Exacta Insurance promotion.

  • $10 to win on #7 Colonelsdarktemper
  • $10 Exacta: 7 with 3
    Total: $20

Prairie Meadows: Race 7: Goldfinch S. (six furlongs, 9:42 p.m. ET)

#4 Muted (8-5) showed lots of promise sprinting six furlongs as a juvenile at Gulfstream Park. After dominating her debut by 7 1/4 lengths over a next-out winner, Muted squared off against males in a $75,000 allowance optional claimer and finished second behind future stakes winner Lightening Larry. Finally, Muted returned to the filly ranks and trounced a $75,000 allowance optional claimer by 8 1/2 lengths.

These efforts produced excellent Brisnet Speed ratings of 91, 88, and 91, stamping Muted as the fastest filly in Friday’s field. She hasn’t run since November, but the win percentage of trainer George Arnold jumps from 7% overall to 14% with horses returning from lengthy layoffs, suggesting Muted will be ready to roll off the break.

Sam Houston allowance winner #2 Speedometer (3-1) can battle with Prairie Meadows stakes winner #3 Demidanu (8-1) to complete the exacta.

  • $15 Exacta: 4 with 2,3 ($30)

Carryover Watch

Charles Town, Race 3: $168,852 Pick 6 mandatory payout (8:02 p.m. ET)

Easily the most exciting carryover on Friday is up for grabs at Charles Town, where a $168,852 prize pool in the 20-cent Pick 6 is slated for a mandatory payout.

The carryover isn’t the only enticing aspect of the Charles Town Pick 6. The wager also carries a low 12% takeout rate, making it an excellent value bet on mandatory payout days.

Let’s take a race-by-race look at the sequence, then assemble a $36 play:

Race 3: $5,000 Claiming (4 1/2 furlongs)

There are several viable contenders here. #2 Parishioner (7-2) has comfortably crossed the wire first in two straight $5,000 claimers over this track and distance. #7 Committeeman (3-1) posted a solid 71 Brisnet Speed rating when finishing second over this track, distance, and class level last month. Former New York competitor #1 Forgotten Mission (9-2) was sharp in her Charles Town debut on April 15, winning a $5,000 claimer sprinting 4 1/2 furlongs. #4 The Big K (5-1) beat Parishioner over this track and distance two starts back. #3 Perth Amboy (5-2) threw down an 81 Brisnet Speed rating when dominating a $5,000 claimer over 4 1/2 furlongs in March. We’ll use these five to start the sequence.

Race 4: Allowance (6 1/2 furlongs)

#2 Dontmesawithme (3-1) brings a bevy of competitive Brisnet Speed ratings to the fold and even won the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial S. racing one mile at Laurel Park two starts back. His 2-1-0-1 record at Charles Town is respectable, so Dontmesawithme has a chance to upset #5 No Change (2-1), a must-use local stakes winner seeking his fifth straight win at Charles Town.

Race 5: $5,000 Starter Allowance (4 1/2 furlongs)

With a 13-7-3-1 record at Charles Town, pure pacesetter #1 Primal Destiny (2-1) is a formidable win threat for high-percentage trainer Kevin Patterson. But #4 To the Front (9-5) defeated Primal Destiny over this track, distance, and class level on April 1, and #7 Ruling (9-2) got the better of To the Front in a $10,000 starter optional claimer on April 22. This race is deeper than it appears at first glance.

Race 6: Allowance (4 1/2 furlongs)

Morning line favorite #3 Froggy the Gremlin (2-1) is 2-for-2 over this track and distance and should be tough while cutting back off a pair of defeats racing seven furlongs. But don’t dismiss #2 So Courageous (7-2), who posted a flashy 77 Brisnet Speed rating when winning an allowance over this track and distance two starts back.

Race 7: Allowance (seven furlongs)

If there’s a viable single in the Pick 6 sequence, it’s probably #6 Nashvegas (3-5). Although he’s never run at Charles Town, Nashvegas has been putting up solid Brisnet Speed ratings against quality competition at Laurel Park, most recently earning a 90 when trouncing a $25,000 allowance optional claimer by 2 3/4 lengths. Nashvegas has been running faster than his Friday rivals (the majority of whom have never won at Charles Town), so we’ll count on Nashvegas to get the job done for high-percentage trainer Kieron Magee.

Race 8: Maiden Special Weight (seven furlongs)

#6 Lady Cinco de Mayo (2-1) has cracked the trifecta in five of her six starts against maiden special weight company at Charles Town, most recently finishing second by a neck in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint. But since Lady Cinco de Mayo has a tendency to settle for minor awards, we’ll back her up with #8 Dr. Calkins (5-1), who rallied after a troubled start to finish second in her April 20 debut at Charles Town. Take note, trainer Phil Schoenthal wins at a 20% rate with second-time starters. #5 Talented Corinna (7-2), who finished just 1 1/4 lengths behind Lady Cinco de Mayo in the above-mentioned 6 1/2-furlong sprint, is also worth including.

  • 20-cent Pick 6: 1,2,3,4,7 with 2,5 with 1,4,7 with 2,3 with 6 with 5,6,8 ($36)

Good luck!