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: HEY CUZ (#1) is good right now. He has won four of his last five and the lone loss was a narrow decision against his entrymate in a sprint. He figures to get a good trip right off the early leaders and can win this one with Corey Lanerie picking up the mount. FRANCOIS (#5) hasn’t won a race since August but has been running against better and will appreciate the class drop. WHATTHECATDRUGIN (#8) faded after setting fast fractions in his Keeneland debut. He was claimed from the one and leading rider Joel Rosario rides.
2nd Race: MY PERFECT TEN (#4) has been off since November but is working well for new trainer Eddie Kenneally. She has run well fresh in the past and can win this one with Gary Stevens aboard. HURRICANE GIRL (#6) has the speed to be in front and will be tough to catch. DARK NEBULA (#5) has run well over the Keeneland Polytrack and is a contender in a tough race.
3rd Race: MARY AT THE COVE (#5) and BLUESVILLE (#7) are both trained by Wesley Ward. Either one is capable of winning today’s two-year-old race. BECCAWHIT (#6) is in the capable hands of John Hancock, whose two-year-olds are always dangerous. E BUILT THIS CITY (#9) is training well.
4th Race: FRANCES GARDNER (#11) runs her best races over the Keeneland surface and jockey James Graham is overdue for a win. She drops a notch in class for this one and rates the edge. HOLIDAY BROAD (#9) figures to be the one to beat. PARASOL (#6) is a definite threat.
5th Race: SOUTHPAW SLAMMER (#3) drops in for a tag for the first time and his best would make him a winner with jockey Joel Rosario back aboard for trainer Chad Brown. HE’S SO FINE (#6) just missed last out and will be running at the end. He can’t be left out of the gimmicks. LOVERBIL (#4) rates a chance.
6th Race: INGENUE (#9) didn’t break sharply and was never in contention when she ran against a tough field of colts in the Holiday Cheer Stakes in December at Turfway Park. She has been training well for her four-year-old debut and rates the edge with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount. IT’S SATURDAY NITE (#5) will be in front and is definitely the one to catch. THERE IS NO LIMIT (#11) is a solid runner from the barn of trainer Doug O’Neill who has to be respected.
7th Race: PACIFIC THEATER (#9) is a high-priced Keeneland sales grad who ran well in his debut on the Gulfstream turf. If he takes to the Polytrack, he should be able to get his maiden win for trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Joel Rosario. PEGASUS STAR (#7) was second to Kentucky Derby hopeful Will Take Charge in his race over this track in October and he is a solid contender. MAL GUAPO (#2) was second in a tough race on Spiral day at Turfway and is a contender.
8th Race – Appalachian Stakes (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association: UNBELIEVABLE DREAM (#2) didn’t get the smoothest of trips last out but came five wide and got up to win in a game effort. She has been improving with every start and rates a slight edge. WATSDACHANCES (#4) had an excellent two-year-old campaign and will be hard to beat if she duplicates that form this year. RUSTY SLIPPER (#7) is a definite threat.
9th Race: KITTEN GOES PRO (#11) drops in for a tag and rates the edge for trainer Mike Maker and jockey Javier Castellano. KID TWIST (#4) didn’t show much in his race over this track on opening Saturday but is capable of better. STROKIN JOE (#5) is a contender.