Keeler Johnson’s picks and plays of the day for Mar. 10

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March 10th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares his weekday picks and plays for Wednesday, Mar. 10 at Sam Houston and Turfway Park, including a trio of boxed exactas.

Sam Houston: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (One mile, 6:40 p.m. ET)

Since 2016, trainer Tom Amoss has compiled a solid 18-6-2-3 record at Sam Houston, which equates to a 33% win rate and a 61% in-the-money rate. So naturally, we’ll sit up and take notice when Amoss saddles #6 Prinecess Doir (4-1) on Wednesday.

Sold for $235,000 as a yearling, Prinecess Doir ran well in her first two starts racing one mile against maiden special weight company, finishing second on dirt at Delta Downs and third on turf at Sam Houston. In terms of Brisnet Speed ratings, she isn’t the fastest filly in Wednesday’s field, but her affinity for the distance is a big positive.

Amoss wins at a 25% rate with horses transitioning from turf to dirt, and jockey Lane Luzzi has gone 2-for-5 (40%) teaming up with Amoss over the last two months, so let’s take a shot playing Princess Doir on top.

A $10 win bet will be our first order of business; thanks to the Sam Houston Wednesday Bet Back Offer, we’ll get a refund if Princess Doir settles for second. Then we’ll box Prinecess Doir in the exacta with #2 Jubella (9-5), narrow runner-up in her debut for a $25,000 claiming tag at Sam Houston.

$10 to win on #6 Prinecess Doir
$5 Exacta box: 2,6 ($10)

Turfway Park: Race 1: $15,000 Claiming (One mile, 6:15 p.m. ET)

#2 Joy of Treasure (7-5) is the logical favorite after rallying to finish second in a $25,000 allowance optional claiming race at Turfway, earning a sharp 84 Brisnet Speed rating. But the daughter of Kitten’s Joy is a deep closer and might find herself at a tactical disadvantage compared to #7 Our Little Jewel (5-2).

A stakes-placed daughter of Hat Trick, Our Little Jewel has been facing much tougher company, most recently finishing sixth for a $35,000 tag over the Gulfstream turf course. While not a pacesetting type by any means, Our Little Jewel has enough speed to stay in touch early on, which should serve her well against Wednesday’s compact field.

Our Little Jewel has cracked the trifecta in three of her four starts on Tapeta and picks up hot jockey Gerardo Corrales for her local debut. Throw in the fact trainer Michael Trombetta has gone 2-for-4 at Turfway this winter, and Our Little Jewel looks live to spring a surprise against Joy of Treasure.

Taking advantage of the TwinSpires Winter Midweek Bet Back promotion, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Our Little Jewel and get our money back if she finishes second. Then we’ll box her in the exacta with Joy of Treasure.

$10 to win on #7 Our Little Jewel
$5 Exacta box: 2,7 ($10)
Total: $20

Turfway Park: Race 6: Allowance (One mile, 8:46 p.m. ET)

There is a staggering lack of speed entered in this allowance race for fillies and mares. Thus, you can make a case for #5 Mayapretty (4-1) to shake loose up front in her first start against winners.

A daughter of English Channel, Mayapretty enters off a couple of sharp efforts running long over the Turfway Tapeta. On Jan. 29, she tracked the pace in a one-mile, $30,000/$20,000 maiden claiming race before rallying gamely to win by a head. Third-place finisher Nostalgia flattered the effort by returning to win her next start.

Mayapretty brings competitive Brisnet Speed ratings to the mix, and if she secures an uncontested early advantage, she can prove difficult to catch. Continuing with the TwinSpires Winter Midweek Bet Back promotion, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Mayapretty, then box her in the exacta with logical stretch-running favorite #7 Richies Noble Girl (9-5).

$10 to win on #5 Mayapretty
$5 Exacta box: 5,7 ($10)
Total: $20

Good luck!