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Homeracing

Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Nov. 21

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 21st, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Monday, Nov. 21 at Mahoning Valley and Horseshoe Indianapolis, along with horses to single in the $21,009 Pick 5 carryover at Laurel Park.

Picks and Plays

Mahoning Valley: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (one mile, 1:39 p.m. ET)

#1 I’m Jac’d (6-5) has finished second in her last two starts over this track and class level, including a one-mile heat on Oct. 22. She’s a logical favorite, but it’s worth noting I’m Jac’d is a 0-for-24 maiden who consistently loses ground from the eighth pole to the finish line. On Oct. 22, she led by 6 1/2 lengths in midstretch before weakening to lose by a neck, suggesting one mile might be farther than she wants to run.

Let’s try to beat the favorite with #5 America's Jazz (15-1). Although America's Jazz showed little when finishing sixth in her debut sprinting six furlongs at Mahoning Valley, she's only run once and still has upside while stretching out in distance.

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 3: $5,000 Starter Allowance (six furlongs, 3:32 p.m. ET)

#5 Silver Moon Road (6-5) has wired five consecutive sprints at Horseshoe Indianapolis by a minimum of 2 3/4 lengths, including a trio of wins at the $5,000 starter allowance level. Along the way, Silver Moon Road has consistently put up competitive Brisnet Speed ratings in the 86-92 range, stamping the four-year-old gelding as a standout against Monday’s field.

#6 Double Advantage (9-2) rounded out the exacta behind Silver Moon Road in a $5,000 starter allowance on Nov. 1 and can do so again on Monday.

  • $20 Exacta: 5 with 6

Mahoning Valley: Race 8: Steel Valley Sprint (six furlongs, 4:03 p.m. ET)

#1 Knocker Down (4-1) has won four of his last five dirt sprint starts, including a $125,000 allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs on Nov. 12. Racing over a sloppy track, Knocker Down led all the way to trounce the promising Strobe by 6 1/4 lengths, earning a flashy 108 Brisnet Speed rating.

Knocker Down has been racing every couple of weeks since the middle of October, so wheeling back nine days after his big win at Churchill shouldn’t be a major issue. Knocker Down is progressing in the right direction and should have every chance to beat #5 Tejano Twist (9-2) and #7 Hoist the Gold (7-2) in this competitive dash.

  • $16 to win on #1 Knocker Down
  • $7 Exacta: 1 with 5,7 ($14)
    Total: $30

Carryover Watch

Laurel Park, Race 4: $21,009 Pick 5 carryover (1:40 p.m. ET)

For the second straight Monday, Laurel Park has a five-figure, non-jackpot Pick 5 carryover up for grabs. After going unsolved on Sunday, the 50-cent Late Pick 5 features a $21,009 prize pool.

A highly competitive sequence featuring 48 horses (averaging 9.6 per race) is on tap, and finding viable singles isn’t easy. Nevertheless, we’ve analyzed the entries and identified a pair of runners to build tickets around:

Race 5: Allowance (seven furlongs): #1 Treasure Tradition (3-1)

Treasure Tradition has struggled in a couple of recent starts against stakes competition at Laurel, finishing eighth in the Challedon S. and ninth in the Maryland Million Sprint S. But even in defeat, Treasure Tradition earned solid Brisnet Speed ratings of 90 and 87.

Dropping into the allowance ranks may send Treasure Tradition to the winner’s circle. Last winter and spring at Laurel, Treasure Tradition wired a $25,000 maiden claimer at Laurel, finished second in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance, and then nabbed a seven-furlong allowance with pace-pressing tactics.

Those three performances produced Brisnet Speed ratings of 94, 97, and 91. Since Treasure Tradition’s Monday rivals have been struggling to reach the 90 Brisnet Speed rating plateau as of late, Treasure Tradition looms as a possible single while breaking from the rail post, which produces 17% winners sprinting seven furlongs over the Laurel dirt.

Race 6: $12,500 Maiden Claiming (one mile): #4 At the Gate (9-2)

In a race without a ton of speed on paper, At the Gate offers a lot of appeal. Two starts back, the bay filly ran boldly in a $20,000-$16,000 maiden claimer racing one mile at Laurel, leading by three to four lengths for much of the race before weakening late to finish third by 1 1/2 lengths.

If you draw a line through At the Gate’s subsequent seventh-place finish in a $45,000-$36,000 maiden claimer over the Laurel turf course, At the Gate has the appearance of a viable single. Dropping down to the $12,000 maiden claiming level should make her difficult to catch, especially if she sets a more relaxed pace than in her last dirt try.

Good luck!

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