Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of the day for June 15
Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:
- Midweek Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select races at Belmont Park and Sam Houston.
- Royal Ascot Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in select stakes races at Royal Ascot (UK).
- Build Your Indiana Derby Day Bankroll: Wager at least $1,000 (excluding show bets) at Indiana Grand in April, May, and/or June and receive $30 to wager at Indiana Grand on Indiana Derby day, July 7. Bet $1,000 at Indiana Grand in all three months and receive $150.
Picks and Plays
Canterbury Park: Race 3: $7,500 Claiming (six furlongs, 7:10 p.m. ET)
#5 Well Pro (9-5) was good enough to place in the MTA Sales Graduate Futurity at Canterbury Park last summer, so we know he has some talent. He also ran fourth in the Northern Lights Futurity, earning a 77 Brisnet Speed rating that ranks among the highest figures in Tuesday’s field.
Well Pro failed to factor in his 2021 debut, weakening to finish fifth in a Canterbury allowance, but dropping down into the claiming ranks can help the three-year-old gelding rebound. Trainer Tony Rengstorf wins at a 26% rate with second-time starters, so we’ll bet Well Pro to win and play him over #1 Derbys Moneymaker (3-1) and #4 Gone Cruising (5-1) in the exacta.
$20 to win on #5 Well Pro
$5 Exacta: 5 with 1,4 ($10)
Thistledown: Race 5: Starter Optional Claiming (one mile, 2:50 p.m. ET)
In terms of career-best Brisnet Speed ratings, #3 Spin Doctor (8-1) is the slowest horse in this starter allowance for Ohio-breds. But in terms of recent Brisnet Speed ratings, the five-year-old gelding looks more competitive. In fact, he’s won his last two starts at Thistledown in convincing fashion, most recently cruising by 4 1/2 lengths in a $7,500 claiming race.
Spin Doctor was claimed out of the latter race by trainer Odin Londono, who wins at a respectable 16% rate (twice his overall 8% win rate) with new claiming acquisitions. At 8-1, I’m willing to place a $10 win bet on Spin Doctor and count on his hot form to win the day. Besides, if he settles for second place, we’ll receive a refund through the Midweek Bet Back offer.
#7 Even Keeled (4-1) can complete the exacta.
$10 to win on #3 Spin Doctor
$5 Exacta: 3 with 7
Thistledown: Race 8: $5,000 Maiden Claiming (5 1/2 furlongs, 5:31 p.m. ET)
#2 Secret Stash (2-1) is a logical favorite, considering she’s the only runner in the field who has never previously competed for a $5,000 claiming tag. The daughter of champion Honor Code actually finished second in a maiden special weight over this track and class level two starts back.
But Secret Stash is a one-dimensional deep closer at the mercy of the pace, and in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings, she’s not the fastest filly in the field. #7 Wicked Ways (3-1) has run several points faster in her last two starts for trainer Kathy Dubie, both runner-up efforts in $5,000 claimers at Thistledown.
Wicked Ways has more tactical speed than Secret Stash and figures to enjoy a favorable trip stalking the pace. From there, she can get the jump on the favorite and break her maiden at a fair price.
Taking advantage of the Midweek Bet Back promotion, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Wicked Ways, then play her over Secret Stash in a cold exacta.
$10 to win on #7 Wicked Ways
$10 Exacta: 7 with 2
Indiana Grand, Race 4: $2,751 Super High 5 carryover (3:58 p.m. ET)
A little bonus cash awaits bettors playing the 10-cent Grand High 5 at Indiana Grand. Its small denomination notwithstanding, the Grand High 5 is a traditional Super High 5 without a jackpot structure. If you construct a winning ticket, you’ll split the whole pool (plus carryover) with all other winning bettors.
The pot is up for grabs in Race 4, a $5,000 claimer slated for 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track. Overall, the race appears pretty straightforward. #6 Clear Steps (3-5) led all the way to win a $10,000 claimer by 2 1/2 lengths at Indiana Grand last month, earning a field-best 81 Brisnet Speed rating. Trainer Genaro Garcia wins at a 31% rate with horses dropping down two or more class levels (and at a 67% rate with horses dropping in class off a win), so Clear Steps looks tough to beat while facing easier competition.
For second place, #8 Cupp of Class is a logical choice after employing stalking tactics to win a $5,000 claimer at Indiana Grand with a 77 Brisnet Speed rating. If we bet Clear Steps over Cupp of Class for the first two slots of a Grand High 5, we can box pretty much all of the remaining runners underneath and still play a ticket for just $6.
10-cent Grand High 5: 6 with 8 with 1,2,4,5,7 with 1,2,4,5,7 with 1,2,4,5,7 ($6)
Canterbury Park, Race 2: $8,091 Pick 6 carryover (6:40 p.m. ET)
With a takeout rate of just 10%, the $1 Pick 6 at Canterbury offers a lot of wagering value. Throw in an $8,091 non-jackpot carryover, and there’s no excuse not to play along.
Singles are always helpful when constructing budget-friendly Pick 6 tickets, and Race 2—a $25,000 maiden claimer for Minnesota-breds—provides one possible option. #5 Bobby Boots (8-5) hasn’t missed the board in five starts, including a head defeat over this track and class level last summer. Tactical speed is his weapon, and Bobby Boots figures to enjoy a favorable trip while breaking from post 5 in a small field on Tuesday.
Bobby Boots hasn’t run since September, but trainer Chris Richard wins at a respectable 18% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, so Bobby Boots should be ready to fire a fine shot in his first run back. Bettors with more capital to spend might throw in the first-time starter #2 Roaring Sailor (4-1) as backup, but if you’re playing on a budget, Bobby Boots appears to be as logical a single as any.