Keeler Johnson's picks and plays Sept. 8

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September 8th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares $100 worth of picks and plays for Thursday, Sept. 8 at Delaware Park, Kentucky Downs, and Thistledown, including a trifecta.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Rest of the World Bet Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in eligible races at Doncaster (UK).
  • $1,000 Hoosier Park Pick 4 Hit It and Split It: Hit the early Pick 4 at Hoosier Park on any Thursday from July 14 through Sept. 15 to win your share of a $1,000 weekly jackpot.

Picks and Plays

Kentucky Downs: Race 2: Maiden Special Weight (6 1/2 furlongs on turf, 1:58 p.m. ET)

#4 Sundance (9-2) flashed tactical speed in his debut sprinting six furlongs on dirt at Ellis Park before weakening to finish fifth in a large field.

Sold for $800,000 as a yearling, Sundance figures to move forward on Thursday for trainer Rodolphe Brisset, a 20% winner this year who strikes at a 23% rate with second-time starters. Sundance’s dam placed against stakes company on turf, so the surface switch might wind up being a positive.

At 9-2, Sundance is worth betting to win and playing over #5 Murky (12-1) and #7 True Prodigy (10-1) in the exacta.

  • $20 to win on #4 Sundance
  • $5 Exacta: 4 with 5,7 ($10)
    Total: $30

Thistledown: Race 5: Angenora S. (six furlongs, 2:50 p.m. ET)

#3 Amadevil (9-5) bled and was eased when racing without Lasix against much tougher competition in the Honorable Miss H. (G2) at Saratoga last month. But Amadevil has bounced back to post a couple of workouts at Thistledown (including a bullet half-mile in :46 1/5), so she’s eligible to run much better with Lasix in the Angenora.

Amadevil is 6-for-6 at Thistledown and dominated this race by 6 3/4 lengths last year, so victory over #5 Tivis (7-2) and #1 Wine Me Up Baby (5-1) appears likely.

  • $15 Exacta: 3 with 1,5 ($30)

Delaware Park: Race 7: Cape Henlopen S. (about 1 1/2 miles on turf, 3:30 p.m. ET)

#6 Two Emmys (5-2) has more than held his own against tough competition over the last two years. He led all the way to upset the 2021 Mr. D. S. (G1) over 1 1/4 miles, and his victories this season include a front-running score in the 1 1/8-mile Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) and the 1 1/16-mile Outbound Ike S.

Two Emmys was beaten a neck in the 2021 Sycamore S. (G3) racing 1 1/2 miles, so stretching back out in distance for the Cape Henlopen shouldn’t be an issue. His class and pacesetting speed can win the day at Delaware Park.

Defending Cape Henlopen winner #2 Oceans Map (5-1) can battle with #4 Mr. d’Angelo (12-1), #8 Royne (6-1), and #11 Alex Joon (12-1) to round out the trifecta.

  • $22 to win on #6 Two Emmys
  • $1.50 Trifecta: 6 with 2,4,8,11 with 2,4,8,11 ($18)
    Total: $40

Good luck!