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: PLEASED AS PUNCH (#2) ran well in her debut at Tampa Bay Downs to finish second. She figures to move forward off that one and looks best in the opener. LONESOME TOWN (#4) has been off since November but has been training well and is the one to beat. PERFECT FOREVER (#5) fits with these.
2nd Race: AMAZING KITTEN (#11) drops in for a tag and has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout. She looks best with Joel Rosario picking up the mount for trainer Mike Maker. MAJESTIC BAY (#9) also takes the class drop. Gary Stevens is named and she definitely fits at this level. HARD KNOCKING (#9) gets blinkers and could improve.
3rd Race: JUDY THE BEAUTY (#1A) was second in the Prioress Stakes (G1) at Saratoga last year and is a standout in her 4-year-old debut. QUEEN’S AWARD (#4) ran evenly in the Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last out and looks like the one to beat. SLY WARRIOR (#5) comes off a solid win at Gulfstream and is a contender.
4th Race: BEAUTIFUL DANCER (#4) posted a bullet work here on Saturday and rates the edge in a well-matched baby race. DEL MAR HOLIDAY (#9) debuts for Steve Asmussen and has to be respected. HADARRA (#2) is also training well.
5th Race: EXCESSIVENESS (#9) makes her first start since being claimed by trainer Mike Maker last month. She has trained very well over the Keeneland Polytrack and looks best with Joel Rosario aboard. EXOTIC MISCHIEF (#11) comes off a solid effort at Fair Grounds and is definitely the one to beat. SENSE OF A WOMAN (#10) ships in from California for trainer Doug O’Neill and has to be considered.
6th Race: PRISSY (#6) ran fourth in an extremely tough maiden race last spring. She broke her maiden at Belmont Park and has been off since that score in June. She has been training steadily at Turfway Park and looks like another strong contender for the meet’s leading connections. FLOWER MART (#3) comes off a game maiden win at Gulfstream Park and trainer Christophe Clement is overdue for a win. NORTH BY NORTHLITE (#8) has the speed to be dangerous.
7th Race: WIND OF BOSPHORUS (#9) has been in the money in five of his six races including a runner-up finish on the Keeneland turf course. He should handle the move to the Polytrack and looks best for trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Robby Albarado. ONE BRAVE WARRIOR (#6) is training sharply for his debut and trainer Tom Proctor figures to have him ready for this one. COACHES FAVORITE (#11) was second in his debut and moves up a notch for his return.
8th Race – Bewitch Stakes (G3): REGALO MIA (#9) has shown big improvement in her last two wins at Gulfstream. She is proven at the 1 ½-mile distance and rates the edge with Luis Contreras back aboard for trainer Michelle Nihei. GATHERING (#5) ran an unbelievable race here on opening Saturday. She overcame a bad start and trouble in the stretch to win going away. The 1 ½-mile distance is the main question mark for her. SCAMPERING (#8) is a consistent runner who can’t be left out of the gimmicks.
9th Race: HORVAT CLAN (#1A) and BASHFUL BANDIT (#1) form a powerful Ken Ramsey entry in the finale. RESPONSIVE EYE (#5) looks like the main competition. APOLLO SKY (#3) can handle the move back to Polytrack.