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: ICHIBAN WARRIOR (#1A) is a Todd Pletcher runner who drops in for a tag in his second career start. He gets blinkers for this one and his entrymate Salute the L T J G (#1) also looks like a solid contender. The Ramsey entry figures to be tough to beat. MORE THAN CLASSIC (#9) has the speed to be in front and is definitely the one to catch. B AND B’S PULPIT (#6) is training steadily for his first start.
2nd Race: RELIGIOUS ED (#6) threw in a clunker last out but is a perfect 2 for 2 on the Keeneland Polytrack. He is capable of rebounding with a win on the class drop. ROCKEFELLER (#11) is riding a three-race win streak. He should be able to handle the move to the Polytrack and is the one to catch. FIVE AFLEET (#5) likes this track and owns a win at the 1 1/8-mile distance.
3rd Race: UNION PRAYER (#9) ran evenly in her debut at Indiana Downs and should move forward off that start. Give her a slight edge in what looks like a well-matched maiden race. TEPIN (#10) faded after pressing a fast pace at Churchill Downs and should also benefit from that start. BRAD’S RUBY (#6) has been idle since June but faced a tough field in that one.
4th Race: HERE’S JOHNNY (#1) has run well in all three of his races, including a runner-up finish to Boji Moon, who is undefeated going into today’s seventh race, the Bourbon (G3). He appears to be in a good spot to get the win today. SWEET DADDY (#4) exits that same race at Kentucky Downs and drops seven pounds today. BELLY OF THE WHALE (#3) comes off a solid maiden score at Saratoga and is a definite threat.
5th Race: SUPER SKY (#7) just missed last out and gets blinkers for this one. Give her the nod with John Velazquez back up for trainer Todd Pletcher. PLEASE EXPLAIN (#6) closed strongly in her debut and is the one to beat. LIGHT STRIKER (#9) figures to be running late.
6th Race: CURLS FOR GIRLS (#11) just missed last out at Indiana Downs and the third-place finisher in that one came back to win two in a row at Churchill Downs. She should be able to get the added distance and will be tough despite the outside post. FIORETTI (#7) flashed good early speed in her last race and figures to be the one to beat. DEFOE STREET (#2) should get a good trip and has to be considered in a wide-open maiden test.
7th Race – Bourbon (G3): BASHART (#5) has shown improvement in each of his three races for trainer Todd Pletcher and he looks like a solid bet to continue to move forward and win the Bourbon (G3) with John Velazquez in the irons. MEDAL COUNT (#12) didn’t get a big number in his maiden win at Ellis Park but is bred to love the turf and the added distance. BOJI MOON (#7) is undefeated in three races. He stretches out around two turns today and has the speed to be dangerous.
8th Race – Juddmonte Spinster (G1): EMOLLIENT (#5) ran the best race of her career when she won the Central Bank Ashland (G1) here in April in her only start over the all-weather track. She didn’t fire in the Garden City (G1) but appears capable of rebounding with a big effort in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1). BYRAMA (#6) is back in against the distaffers after a seventh-place finish behind Game On Dude. She also ran very well on the Keeneland Polytrack to finish second in the Madison (G1) in April and will be tough to beat. ON FIRE BABY (#11) is a top runner on the dirt and if she handles the move to the Polytrack she is a definite threat to win in this deep field.
9th Race: KEENING (#7) just missed last out on the Saratoga turf and posted a recent bullet work over the Keeneland Polytrack. Give her the edge in the finale. SENSE TO COMPETE (#10) has been a beaten favorite in her last two and figures to be the main competition. KITTEN’S QUEEN (#9) fits with these.