Keeler Johnson's picks and plays of the day for Nov. 9
Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $75 worth of picks and plays for Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Indiana Grand and Parx Racing, along with suggested singles for the $12,381 Pick 5 carryover at Mahoning Valley.
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 Parx Racing.
Picks and Plays
Indiana Grand: Race 1: $40,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (one mile, 2:25 p.m. ET)
#5 Royal’s Girl (10-1) hasn’t missed the trifecta in four starts, including a trio of allowance sprints at Indiana Grand. The four-year-old filly is stepping out of the Indiana-bred ranks to face non-state-restricted company, but she did break her maiden against unrestricted fillies and mares, and her Brisnet Speed ratings are encouraging.
It’s possible Royal’s Girl will take a step forward while stretching out around two turns for the first time. She’s shown tactical speed sprinting and may secure an easy lead against Tuesday’s largely paceless field. Throw in the fact jockey Victor Santiago and trainer Scott Becker have teamed up to win at a 22% rate over the last two months, and Royal’s Girl looks like a live longshot worth betting.
Fellow longshot #4 Miss Bette Lute (8-1) has a chance to complete the exacta.
$15 to win on #5 Royal’s Girl
$5 Exacta: 5 with 4
Indiana Grand: Race 2: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 2:56 p.m. ET)
#1 Rookwood (1-1) and #2 Bold Bizness (6-5) were separated by a nose when finishing second and third over this track and class level on Oct. 19. On paper, they look like standouts in Tuesday’s field, but which one is more likely to visit the winner’s circle?
We’ll side with Rookwood. Conditioned by hot trainer John Langemeier (a 26% winner this meet), Rookwood has only run once and might have more upside for improvement than Bold Bizness, who already has three starts under his belt.
A cold exacta will be our play.
$30 Exacta: 1 with 2
Parx Racing: Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (6 1/2 furlongs, 2:40 p.m. ET)
Trainer Robert Reid has enjoyed strong success debuting juveniles at Parx this meet, going 3-for-6 (50%), with another finishing third. This strong record of success indicates #1 Don’t Tell Frankie (5-1) is well worth betting in this maiden sprint for two-year-old fillies.
A daughter of Grade 1-winning sprinter Poseidon’s Warrior, Don’t Tell Frankie has put together a respectable work tab at Parx, capped off by five furlongs from the starting gate in 1:01 3/5. Her morning line odds are enticing, so we’ll definitely take advantage of the Midweek Bet Back promotion and place a $10 win bet on Don’t Tell Frankie.
Logical favorites #4 Alrashaka (2-1) and #8 Johnnyslittlegirl (7-2) can complete the exacta and trifecta.
$10 to win on #1 Don’t Tell Frankie
$5 Exacta: 1 with 4,8 ($10)
$2.50 Trifecta: 1 with 4,8 with 4,8 ($5)
Mahoning Valley, Race 1: $12,381 Pick 5 carryover (12:45 p.m. ET)
On Monday, for the second straight racing day, the 50-cent Pick 5 went unsolved at Mahoning Valley. As a result, the carryover for Tuesday has climbed to an enticing $12,381.
Mahoning’s Pick 5 offers excellent betting value in a couple of ways. The takeout rate is just 15%, and in the event no one constructs a winning ticket, 50% of the daily pool is paid out as consolation to bettors who select the highest number of winners.
If you’re planning to chase Tuesday’s carryover, we’re here to help with a pair of suggested singles for the competitive sequence:
Race 2: $4,000 Claiming: #1 Extra Salsa (8-5)
#1 Extra Salsa (8-5) ran too good to lose over this track, distance, and class level on Oct. 27. After pressing the pace, Extra Salsa gamely closed ground to finish second by a nose, earning a competitive 70 Brisnet Speed rating.
If you draw a line through Extra Salsa’s poor showing running long in a $5,000 claimer on Tapeta two starts back, her form looks solid. Three runs ago, Extra Salsa finished third in a $5,000 claiming sprint at Thistledown, earning a 71 Brisnet Speed rating.
Extra Salsa has the tactical speed to be prominent from the outset and might just work out a pacesetting trip while breaking from the rail. With a bit of luck, she can wire Tuesday’s small field and deliver as a single in the Pick 5.
Race 5: Allowance: #6 Nambiti (8-5)
There isn’t a crazy amount of speed on paper in this one-mile allowance heat, which should suit morning line favorite #6 Nambiti (8-5) just fine. The four-year-old gelding isn’t a pure frontrunner, but he’s set the pace in his last two starts and should enjoy a forwardly placed trip on Tuesday.
Back in July, Nambiti ran second in a one-mile allowance at Belterra Park, beaten only one length while posting a competitive 71 Brisnet Speed rating. The son of Kettle Corn then took some time off before returning to action in a six-furlong allowance sprint on Oct. 25 at Mahoning, in which he set a solid pace before weakening late to finish third.
With this sprint sharpener under his belt, Nambiti should be primed for a strong showing second off the layoff. Throw in the presence of hot jockey Sonny Leon, and Nambiti looms as a logical single to conclude the Pick 5.