Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Nov. 11
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for a trio of stakes at Remington Park on Friday, Nov. 11, along with thoughts on non-jackpot carryovers at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs.
Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:
- Rest of the World Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in eligible races at Newcastle (Australia).
- 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) in select races at Aqueduct. Offer applies to straight exacta bets only.
- Churchill Downs $2,000 Late Pick 4 Hit It & Split It: Hit the Late Pick 4 at Churchill Downs to split a $2,000 daily jackpot.
Picks and Plays
Remington Park: Race 6: Slide Show S. (one mile, 10:27 p.m. ET)
#5 Doudoudouwanadance (4-5) is unbeaten and unchallenged in two starts at Remington Park. After trouncing a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight by eight lengths. Doudoudouwanadance posted an equally impressive romp in the Oklahoma Classics Lassie, drawing off to dominate by seven lengths.
- $35 Double: 5 with 1
- $10 Pick 3: 5 with 1 with 11
Remington Park: Race 7: Don C. McNeill S. (one mile, 10:55 p.m. ET)
#1 Ghost Hero (5-2) turned in an impressive performance to win the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile at Remington last month. After dueling for the lead through fast fractions, Ghost Hero put away his pace rivals and drew off to beat stretch-running #3 Send the Boss (3-1) by 1 3/4 lengths, earning an 87 Brisnet Speed rating that tops the Don C. McNeill field.
We’ll single Ghost Hero in our double and Pick 3 wagers (starting another double in this race), then toss in a small exacta using #7 Soul Sacrifice (8-1) for second place.
- $15 Double: 1 with 11
- $5 Exacta: 1 with 7
Remington Park: Race 8: Silver Goblin S. (6 1/2 furlongs, 11:23 p.m. ET)
#11 Fly to the Bank (7-2) has been on fire for trainer James Helzer. After wiring a 5 1/2-furlong allowance for Oklahoma-breds on Oct. 5, Fly to the Bank returned 16 days later to lead all the way in the Oklahoma Classics Sprint, dominating by 3 3/4 lengths with a career-best 93 Brisnet Speed rating.
Fly to the Bank has already defeated many of his Silver Goblin rivals, so the race is his to lose. We’ll single Fly to the Bank to conclude our double and Pick 3 wagers, then key him over consistent stakes-caliber dirt sprinter #2 Dicey (20-1) in the exacta.
- $10 Exacta: 11 with 2
Aqueduct, Race 4: $33,434 Pick 6 carryover (1:46 p.m. ET)
The Friday card at Aqueduct features an enticing $33,434 carryover in the $1 Pick 6.
The best chance for a single might come in Race 8, an $80,000 allowance optional claimer for fillies and mares sprinting seven furlongs on dirt. #6 Self Isolation (3-1) has won her last three dirt starts in impressive fashion, most recently employing pace-tracking tactics to nab a $62,500 allowance optional claimer over one mile at Aqueduct.
Two starts back, Self Isolation wired a $40,000 allowance optional claimer over one mile at Los Alamitos, earning a career-best 96 Brisnet Speed rating. With her red-hot form and proven affinity for Aqueduct, Self Isolation looms as a viable Pick 6 single.
Churchill Downs, Race 9: $6,419 Super High 5 carryover (5:05 p.m. ET)
There’s a $6,419 carryover up for grabs in the $1 Super High 5 at Churchill Downs, but planning a ticket before race-day changes are posted won’t be easy.
The carryover is on the table in Race 9, a maiden special weight for three-year-olds and older horses racing 1 1/8 miles on turf. Having four also-eligible entrants and one main-track-only runner among the 15 entries makes advance handicapping difficult. But here’s the bigger problem: the Churchill Downs turf course has been used sparingly since the spring meet, and with rain in the forecast for Friday, there’s a chance this race will get transferred to the main track.
If Race 9 stays on grass, #3 Push Button (3-1) and #4 Nashoba’s Joy (4-1) might be the two most formidable contenders. Push Button ran third over this distance and class level at Keeneland last month, beaten one length in a race featuring quick finishing fractions. As for Nashoba’s Joy, he rallied boldly to finish second by a head in his debut sprinting at Kentucky Downs, then misfired when trying dirt at Keeneland. Returning to turf and stretching out in distance can trigger a rebound from the son of elite grass sire Kitten’s Joy.
But if Race 9 is transferred to dirt, one could do worse than support the main-track-only entrant #15 Ten Gauge (5-2). The son of Gun Runner has finished second in three of his four starts over the Churchill Downs main track, including a 1 1/4-mile maiden special weight on Sept. 23. Stamina isn’t an issue for this stoutly bred colt, who missed by a nose over this distance and class level last November at Churchill. Perhaps Friday is the day Ten Gauge finally breaks his maiden.