Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of May 23

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May 23rd, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares picks and plays for Tuesday, May 23 at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Presque Isle Downs, including a cold double wager.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

Picks and Plays

Presque Isle Downs: Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (4 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 3:00 p.m. ET)

#6 Spending Cuts (3-1) breezed a quick half-mile from the Presque Isle starting gate in :47 4/5 on May 15, suggesting she has the speed to factor on debut for hot trainer Ron Potts. Potts has gone 2-for-4 (50%) to start the meet and wins at a respectable 12% rate with first-time starters.

We’ll bet Spending Cuts to win and single her to start a double wager.


  • #6 Spending Cuts (3-1)
  • #1 Alexandra’s Song (9-5)
  • #2 Shot Girl (4-1)


  • $20 to win on #6 Spending Cuts
  • $10 Double: 6 with 2
    Total: $30

Presque Isle Downs: Race 2: $6,250 Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta, 3:27 p.m. ET)

#2 Deise Delight (5-2) faltered in her most recent start against tougher competition, finishing seventh in a $12,500 claimer over the Tapeta track at Gulfstream Park. But two starts back, Deise Delight led all the way to trounce a $7,500 claimer over the Turfway Park Tapeta by seven lengths.

Dropping down to the $6,250 level at Presque Isle should be perfect for Deise Delight. Trainer Stephen Lyster (1-for-1, 100% this meet) wins at a 50% rate with horses dropping multiple levels down the class ladder, and hot jockey Pablo Morales (5-for-15, 33% this meet) is named to ride.

There’s a lot to like about Deise Delight, so we’ll bet her to win, single her to conclude our double wager, and key her over #4 Tudox Roadster (9-2) in the exacta.


  • #2 Deise Delight (5-2)
  • #4 Tudox Roadster (9-2)
  • #6 Looking for Love (8-1)


  • $20 to win on #2 Deise Delight
  • $10 Exacta: 2 with 4
    Total: $30

Horseshoe Indianapolis: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on turf, 4:03 p.m. ET)

#2 Zartownis (1-1) ran strongly in his first turf try at Ellis Park last summer. After tracking the pace in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight, Zartownis closed ground to finish third by less than one length against a pair of next-out winners.

Zartownis hasn’t run since, but trainer Cherie DeVaux wins at a lofty 21% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Zartownis enters off a lengthy series of workouts at Keeneland. Let’s key him over #4 Mister Kitty (7-2) in a cold exacta.


  • #2 Zartownis (1-1)
  • #4 Mister Kitty (7-2)
  • #3 Brazilian Fury (6-1)


  • $20 Exacta: 2 with 4

Good luck!