Keeler Johnson’s picks and plays of the day for March 8
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson kicks off the second week of March with picks and plays for Monday, March 8 at Mahoning Valley, Parx Racing, and Turf Paradise. From win wagers to trifectas and superfectas, there’s something for everyone.
Mahoning Valley: Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (Six furlongs, 1:40 p.m. ET)
#6 Making Me Crazy (6-1) has shown fine form sprinting against maiden special weight company at Mahoning Valley. In his first two starts of 2021, the son of Winslow Homer posted back-to-back runner-up efforts, earning Brisnet Speed ratings of 73 and 74.
Making Me Crazy weakened when stretching out over one mile on Feb. 22, but cutting back in distance can trigger a rebound. None of his rivals have surpassed the 70 Brisnet Speed rating plateau, so Making Me Crazy just needs to run his typical race in order to spring a 6-1 surprise.
In a race containing very little pace on paper, #2 Only One Way Back (8-1) can battle for a spot in the exacta. The son of champion Shanghai Bobby flashed front-running speed when finishing second in a $7,500 maiden claimer over this track and distance on Feb. 20, earning a solid 69 Brisnet Speed rating.
- $20 to win on #6 Making Me Crazy
- $5 Exacta: 6 with 1,2
- Total: $30
Parx Racing: Race 10: Allowance (One mile and 70 yards, 4:58 p.m. ET)
#4 Dreams Untold (5-2) has shown flashes of significant talent for hot trainer John Servis, a 27% winner at Parx Racing. Dreams Untold himself has shown a clear affinity for Parx, compiling a 6-4-1-1 resume over the local oval, and the son of Smarty Jones hasn’t missed the trifecta in eight non-stakes starts.
Dreams Untold enters off a runner-up effort in an $80,000 allowance optional claiming race at Aqueduct, but two starts back he romped against Pennsylvania-bred allowance rivals at Parx, scoring by 6 3/4 lengths with a career-best 100 Brisnet Speed rating. Dreams Untold finished fast, sprinting the final quarter mile in :24.65, and his effort was flattered when runner-up Irish Cork came back to beat open allowance company.
For Monday’s race, Dreams Untold will reunite with jockey Frankie Pennington, a 33% winner when teaming up with Servis. Another strong effort should be in the offing, with #6 Bird King (3-1) the most likely to round out the exotics.
- $15 to win on #4 Dreams Untold
- $2.50 Trifecta: 4 with 6 with 1,3,7 ($7.50)
- $2.50 Trifecta: 4 with 1,3,7 with 6 ($7.50)
- Total: $30
Turf Paradise: Race 1: $7,500 Maiden Claiming (One mile, 2:55 p.m. ET)
#3 Lebron Jane (5-2) has been facing much tougher company, most recently finishing eighth in a stakes at Turf Paradise. As a result, she enters the Monday opener with a significant advantage in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings. Whereas none of her rivals has exceeded the 60 Brisnet Speed rating plateau, Lebron Jane has posted four figures in the 62-65 range, with three of those coming in 2021.
Dropping down to the $7,500 maiden claiming level might be all Lebron Jane needs to reach the winner’s circle for trainer Bart Hone, a 21% winner this meet. Hot jockey Isaias Enriquez picks up the mount, a notable development since Hone and Enriquez have won at a 40% rate together over the last two months.
Let’s bet Lebron Jane on top in the trifecta and superfecta while emphasizing #1 Lemon Ice (7-2) underneath.
- $3 Trifecta: 3 with 1 with 2,4,6 ($9)
- $3 Trifecta: 3 with 2,4,6 with 1 ($9)
- $1 Superfecta: 3 with 1 with 2,4,6 with 2,4,6 ($6)
- $1 Superfecta: 3 with 2,4,6 with 1 with 2,4,6 ($6)
- Total: $30