Let our experts help you handicap the day's races at Keeneland.
Please note that selections typically are available about 48 hours in advance of the race.
Mike is Keeneland’s longtime odds maker and is recognized as being one of the best handicappers in America. In addition to his duties at Keeneland, he is a racing analyst for NBC’s Thoroughbred racing coverage.
1st Race: RICH DADDY (#1) was claimed for $12,500 and came right back to win a starter allowance race at today's distance of a mile and an eighth. Look for him to make it two in a row with Lopez back aboard for Eddie Kenneally. ROYAL BLESSING (#2) has done almost all of his racing on the turf but won over the Keeneland main track back in October and is the one to beat. O T B BOB (#6) is capable of a good effort.
2nd Race: SISTER KAN (#4) has been a consistent runner with five in-the-money finishes in seven starts. Give her the edge in this $50,000 claimer. MORE THAN KISSES (#6) has never raced on dirt but drops in class and if she handles the surface she will be tough to beat. PINCH HIT (#5) is a contender.
3rd Race: GRATEFUL (#1) was third in a key race in January and has been training steadily for Todd Pletcher. She figures to get a good trip from the inside post with Javier Castellano picking up the mount and looks best in a solid allowance race. GENTLE KITTEN (#9) figures to be running at the end in a race that has plenty of early speed. Her best makes her dangerous. SHE’S TRICKEY (#6) has run well in both of her turf races and has to be respected.
4th Race: LADY LT. (#3) has never run on the dirt but exits much tougher races and has had trouble in her last two. She should be able to handle the surface switch and looks best with Corey Lanerie back aboard for trainer Rusty Arnold. OPEN INVITATION (#2) drops back in for a tag for trainer Buff Bradley and could run well at decent odds. TIZ MADNESS (#6) fits with these.
5th Race: IRST (#4) closed well to finish second in his debut in September. His works haven't been flashy but he has been training steadily for Todd Pletcher and he figures to be ready to go today. EXTRICATE (#2) is a high-priced Keeneland sales grad who ran well in his debut for trainer Steve Asmussen. He is definitely the one to beat. HEARTWOOD (#5) also ran second last out for Asmussen and is a contender.
6th Race: DANCING WAVES (#4) moves to the barn of Brad Cox for her third start in the U.S. She hooked tough fields in both of her starts and has been training well since coming to Kentucky. Give her the edge with Javier Castellano aboard. VICTORY TO VICTORY (#1) broke her maiden in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine in September. She has been firing bullets in the morning for Mark Casse and will be tough to beat despite the layoff. DANCELAND (#7) lost her best chance last out when she was bumped around leaving the gate. She is capable of better today.
7th Race: MO D'AMOUR (#7) was graded stakes placed in a tough 3-year-old campaign and makes her 4-year-old debut for trainer Todd Pletcher off a series of bullet works in Florida. She won at first asking as a 2-year-old and should like the cutback to 7 furlongs today. Give her the edge. GAME TIME DECISION (#8) doesn't have the class of the top pick but is good right now and will be tough to beat. BLIP N’ TH BYE (#4) is a contender.
8th Race: CANADIAN FLYER (#11) faded after chasing extremely fast fractions in a stakes race at Gulfstream. He figures to be on or near the lead today and his best makes her a winner for trainer Bill Mott with Jose Lezcano aboard. LOOSE ON THE TOWN (#5) has been idle since a close up third-place finish in his turf debut in September. Trainer Brian Lynch add lasix for this one and Javier Castellano picks up the mount. FORGIVE (#2) comes off a game win and is a contender in a wide-open race.
9th Race: CHESTER MON (#11) drops in class for his third career start and appears to be in a good spot to break his maiden this afternoon. THE HANS SUM ONE (#6) also takes the class drop and figures to improve. KID PERFECT (#10) is a contender.