Louisiana Downs Pick 5 for Sept. 17: Leaning on longshots in the last leg

Profile Picture: Kevin Kilroy

September 15th, 2022

The Pick 5 and Pick 4 takeout at Louisiana Downs is 15%, which gives us reason to play.

Still, the smaller fields and the inconsistent form do not set up for many opportunities for separation, which is what we need in order to get a worthwhile return on our Pick 5 wagers.

Here’s what I want to suggest: lean on your longshots in later legs at smaller tracks like Louisiana Downs. They offer more value later in the sequence, as bettors have less signal into what the real market value will be and are more likely to make tentative selections that ensure they do not miss the hit if their early picks win.

To quote Scott Shapiro (from my mid-June Betting Strategy interview): “The further the race is from the beginning of the sequence where you are going to see the money, the better chance that people get a little lazy and they overspread because they want to be live to the finale, or they’ll get lazy and be more inclined to use the morning line favorites as opposed to doing a little more work.”

3, 4, 5
2, 6, 9
1, 2, 3
3, 6
5, 6, 8
  • 50-cent Pick 5 ticket: $27, if #10 Prince Cosmo (5-2) draws in; $81 without

Race 3: Dirt, 6 Furlongs, Clm 5000N3L, 3-year-old and up statebreds

#3 Oscar Choice (2-1) has form, winning his maiden, the next out, and finishing second in his last three races. #4 Real Brave (7-2) has early speed and the highest Brisnet Speed figure at a sprint distance, earning a 73 at this level in July. #5 Zong Tough (6-1) has competitive speed figures, early pace figures that make sense given the track profile, but what I am attracted to most here is Joey Foster’s 26% success rate with runners making the second start after he has claimed them.

Race 4: Turf, about 7 1/2 Furlongs, Md Sp Wt 19k, 2-year-olds

If #10 Prince Cosmo (5-2) draws in, my guess is he’ll deservedly take all the money. Just one step forward and he looks to be the clear winner. Single if he runs.

If not, then I think we can find some separation here by being against the Steve Asmussen starter #4 Let’s Go Romeo (7-2). First time on turf is not a high-percentage race for his barn, especially on this circuit, and I don’t see other factors that persuade me to use this one. #2 G’s Law (3-1) is a full sibling to Colors of the Wind, who just won an allowance race on turf last week, and $160k earner Ancient Warrior. Constitution two-year-olds win at a 17% rate, and Vicente Del Cid is up. Very interested in this one. #6 Henny’s Turn (7-2) has nice turf pedigree top and bottom, as well as two-year-old success from his sire. #9 Rail Town (9-2) has every reason to improve off a decent first-out try at this distance and on this surface. Three works since then, including the Aug. 16 near-bullet. A live one.

Race 5: Dirt, 6 1/2 Furlongs, Clm 5000N2L, 3-year-old and up fillies

I am against two of the top three morning line favorites, #7 Sheza Hunk (9-5) as well as #4 Staceys Racey (7-2). Neither inspire confidence or show any form worth putting money behind. #1 True Red Slew (8-1) has only raced twice, won on debut, and now returns as a four-year old for Tim Dixon, who has had success with long layoffs. #2 Royal Bonus (3-1) hit the Brisnet Speed figure par two back at this level and distance. #3 Thursday Morning (15-1) needs the lead, and jockey Tracy Hebert excels with these types. Might be too much to ask after a long layoff, but the price is right to include now.

Race 6: Turf, about 1 1/16 miles, Alw 23000N2L, 3-year-old and up statebreds

In a field of nine, only two have that lone win on the turf. Five prefer to run on or near the early lead, and two who don’t are going from sprints to a route so they could get mixed up in the chase. All of them take some projecting forward in order to envision winning this race where their best speed figures are all shy of the par — except for #3 Its Wild Again (2-1). Ron Faucheux’s Crescent City Derby runner took a break this spring and summer, and now is making his second start off the layoff after switching over to the turf. He’s one of the two closing types this pace scenario sets up for and will have pace to run into. The other is #6 Amavi (20-1), who has the back speed figure proving he could win, if only he regains his form. Now's the time to find out.

Race 7: Dirt, 5 1/2 furlongs, Md 20k, 2-year-old statebred fillies

In the last leg, most of the tickets will likely play through the three maiden special weight, maiden claiming class droppers. With smaller fields and in leaning on a couple other favorites in the sequence, this is the leg where we set ourselves up for the score that makes playing multi-race wagers worthwhile. Let’s lean on the longshot first-time starters. Justin Jeansonne does excellent work with debut runners and two-year-olds. #5 War Tourist (10-1) and #6 Paramour (12-1) look live in here. Between the two, I like War Tourist more because of his sire’s strong stats in these categories. #8 Tazzher (15-1) attracts Joel Dominguez, and even though Zong’s progeny are winless first time out (0-for-42), only four of those are two-year-olds, and more than that, his dam, Electric Kiss, won on debut, and this is her first foal.