Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Nov. 24
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Thursday, Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs and Del Mar, including tickets for Churchill’s $9,415 Super High 5 carryover.
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Picks and Plays
Churchill Downs: Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 1:24 p.m. ET)
Hot trainer Robertino Diodoro has compiled a 3-for-8 (38%) record to start the current Churchill Downs meet. Along the way, he’s gone 1-for-1 debuting juveniles, so we’ll favor Diodoro’s unraced youngster #2 D’oro Street (8-1) in this maiden sprint for two-year-old fillies.
Sold for $400,000 as a yearling D’oro Street brings a classy pedigree to the table and wrapped up her pre-debut preparations by breezing a swift five furlongs in 1:00.00 at Churchill last week. At 8-1, D’oro Street is worth betting to win and keying over #5 Sure Can (5-2) and #7 Ruthless Rua (3-1) in the exacta.
- $16 to win on #2 D’Oro Street
- $7 Exacta: 2 with 5,7 ($14)
Churchill Downs: Race 9: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 3:24 p.m. ET)
#3 Speakinofthedevil (7-2) was slow to get going when debuting in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland last month, dropping as many as 11 lengths off the early pace before rallying to finish third with an encouraging 81 Brisnet Speed rating.
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen wins at a 21% rate with second-time starters, and Churchill’s leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione is named to ride, so we’ll bet Speakinofthedevil to win and key him over #9 Onasa (8-1) and #12 Brazen Boy (6-1) in the exacta.
- $20 to win on #3 Speakinofthedevil
- $5 Exacta: 3 with 9,12 ($10)
Del Mar: Race 6: Red Carpet (G3, 1 3/8 miles on turf, 4:29 p.m. ET)
This long-distance grass test for fillies and mares contains very little pace on paper, so we’ll favor the chances of European shipper #5 Bellstreet Bridie (4-1). The three-year-old filly regularly showed tactical speed when competing in Europe and rattled off three consecutive victories during the summer, all racing 1 1/4 miles or farther.
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Trainer Mark Glatt wins at a 28% rate with horses running for the first time under his care, and acclaimed turf jockey Flavien Prat is named to ride, so Bellstreet Bridie looks ready to spring a mild surprise against the three-time graded stakes-placed mare #7 Sister Otoole (5-2).
- $15 to win on #5 Bellstreet Bridie
- $15 Exacta: 5 with 7
Churchill Downs, Race 12: $9,415 Super High 5 carryover (4:15 p.m. ET)
The Thanksgiving card at Churchill Downs features a dozen races for bettors to enjoy, including the Cardinal (G3) and Falls City (G3). The two stakes are the highlights from a sporting perspective, but a definite bright spot on the betting front is Race 12, in which a $9,415 Super High 5 carryover is up for grabs.
Race 12 is a seven-furlong maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies. With 10 names in the entries, the $1 Super High 5 features 30,240 possible outcomes.
The morning line favorites appear formidable. #5 Secret Statement (3-1) earned a field-best 81 Brisnet Speed rating when rallying to finish second in her debut sprinting six furlongs over this track and class level, beaten 1 3/4 lengths. The daughter of champion sprinter Runhappy is wheeling back on two weeks of rest and should be sharp for another competitive run.
#7 Eyes of Gold (7-2) also boasts solid credentials after hitting the trifecta four times against maiden special weight company, including three tries at Churchill Downs. Three starts back, Eyes of Gold ran third behind next-out Pocahontas (G3) winner Fun and Feisty, and four starts ago she finished fifth in the Debutante S. against future Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) heroine Wonder Wheel. It’s safe to say Eyes of Gold has knocked heads with some tough rivals.
It can be tricky for inexperienced horseplayers to bet on maiden races filled with unraced horses. How is it possible to predict the performances of horses who have never run?@J_Keelerman is here to help ⤵️ https://t.co/9wjSr6vjBK— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) October 6, 2022
If we count on either Secret Statement or Eyes of Gold to win, with the other finishing in the top three, we can afford to spread a bit deeper in the rest of the Super High 5. Horses we’ll emphasize include #1 Mischievous Gal (5-1), runner-up in a $150,000 maiden claimer sprinting seven furlongs at Keeneland last month; #3 Ring Twice (8-1), fifth and fourth in her first two starts over this track and class level; and #9 Gray Vixen (10-1), a distant second in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Churchill two weeks ago.
One short-priced runner we’ll generally lean against is the first-time starter #2 Tituba (4-1). Trainer Todd Pletcher wins at a 19% rate overall with first-time starters, but has gone 5-0-0-1 debuting juveniles at Churchill Downs this year.
Here’s how we’ll bet the Super High 5:
- $1 Super High 5: 5,7 with 5,7 with 1,3,9 with 1,3,9 with 1,2,3,4,6,9,10 ($60)
- $1 Super High 5: 5,7 with 1,2,3,4,6,9,10 with 5,7 with 1,3,9 with 1,3,9 ($60)