Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of the day for Nov. 15
Picks and Plays
Mahoning Valley: Race 6: $5,000 Claiming (six furlongs, 3:04 p.m. ET)
#6 Rushed (2-1) may have lost a pair of $5,000 starter allowances at Indiana Grand in recent weeks, but his last four starts on the Ohio circuit have produced a trio of victories at the $5,000 claiming level. The dark bay gelding was particularly sharp on Sept. 14 at Belterra Park, rallying from behind a fast pace to prevail with a career-best 84 Brisnet Speed rating.
There are a couple of serious speed horses in Monday’s field, so the race should unfold at a quick tempo suitable for Rushed, who figures to sit a perfect trip from his outside post. Throw in the presence of Mahoning’s reigning top jockey Sonny Leon, and Rushed is a logical choice to beat #2 Makes Good Sense (3-1) and #5 Lovely Heir (8-5) to the winner’s circle.
We’ll bet the race accordingly with exacta and trifecta tickets.
Turf Paradise: Race 3:
$10,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (one mile on turf, 3:43 p.m. ET)
#2 Whoa Nessie (2-1) has won her last four turf starts in fine fashion, including a pace-tracking victory in a $20,000 claimer two runs back. Surely she’s destined to record another victory while slipping into a $10,000 allowance optional claimer at Turf Paradise?
There aren’t many speed horses in this small field, so Whoa Nessie figures to enjoy a favorable trip setting or stalking the pace. Her Brisnet Speed ratings are competitive, and three of her five rivals have yet to win on turf, so we’ll happily bet Whoa Nessie to win and key her over #5 Cover Version (3-1) in the exacta.
- $20 to win on #2 Whoa Nessie
- $5 Exacta: 2 with 5
- Total: $25
Remington Park: Race 5:
Maiden Special Weight (6 1/2 furlongs, 5:22 p.m. ET)
Trainer Austin Gustafson has been almost unstoppable debuting juveniles in dirt sprints at Remington this meet, going 5-for-6 (83%). This stellar resume of success bodes well for the chances of #2 Stans Home Run (5-1), a first-time starter set to debut for Gustafson in this maiden dash for two-year-olds.
A son of Run Away and Hide (who won multiple graded stakes as a juvenile), Stans Home Run has put together a long, steady work tab in preparation for his debut. He capped off his preparations with four furlongs in a bullet :48 4/5 at Remington last Wednesday, setting the stage for a winning effort right out of the gate.
Fellow first-time starter #3 Ruggs (3-1) can complete the exacta.
- $20 to win on #2 Stans Home Run
- $5 Exacta: 2 with 3
- Total: $25
Mahoning Valley, Race 1: $4,585 Pick 5 carryover (12:45 p.m. ET)
Mahoning Valley is set to kick off the racing week on a high note. There’s a $4,585 carryover in the 50-cent Pick 5 (which features a low 15% takeout rate), and in the event a winning ticket isn’t sold, 50% of the daily pool will be dispersed as a consolation among bettors who select the highest number of winners.
Let’s take a horse-by-horse look at the sequence, then assemble a $54 ticket:
Race 1: $7,500 Claiming (six furlongs)
A deep field with many viable contenders. We’ll try to survive with #2 Cazman (4-1), #3 Bullion (5-1), #6 Thechromeweknow (3-1), and #8 Pretty Stormy (7-2), with Thechromeweknow looking especially live off a victory at the $12,500 claiming level in his first start for trainer Robert Cline.
Race 2: Allowance (six furlongs)
#3 Hite (5-2) posted a field-best 80 Brisnet Speed rating when crushing a five-furlong maiden special weight at Mahoning by six lengths. But #6 Giv’em the Biz (9-2) ran almost as fast when breaking his maiden in a six-furlong Mahoning dash, and #5 Country Club Bobby (2-1) is worth including after competing in a couple of stakes on the Ohio circuit.
Race 3: $5,000 Claiming (one mile)
#3 Intentional Walk (7-5) has been in sharp form at Presque Isle Downs, most recently wiring a $12,500 claimer by 3 1/4 lengths. But since the son of Tapit hasn’t hit the board in two starts on dirt, we’ll use #1 Bob’s Calling (3-1) and #5 San Ruler (20-1) as backup.
Race 4: $16,000 Claiming (1 1/16 miles)
#2 Make the Rules (6-1), #5 Fat Daddy (8-5), and #6 Last Drop of Wine (2-1) have all run well in recent starts against tougher company. We’ll use all three and call it a day.
Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs)
#6 Double Edged (9-5) threw down a field-best 64 Brisnet Speed rating when rallying to finish second by a nose over this track and class level last month. Stretching out from five furlongs to six furlongs should help Double Edged improve, stamping her as a logical single to conclude the Pick 5.
- 50-cent Pick 5: 2,3,6,8 with 3,5,6 with 1,3,5 with 2,5,6 with 6 ($54)