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: KINGSFORD DRIVE (#7) drops in class in his first start since being claimed by trainer Mike Maker. He looks best at this level. NOTORIETY (#8) owns a win over the Keeneland surface and has been training well in Florida. LONGHUNTER (#4) is a contender.
2nd Race: BRINK OF WAR (#1) and GAMEKEEPER (#1A) form another strong entry for owner Ken Ramsey. Either one is capable of winning this one. I’M IN A HURRY (#3) has three career wins and is the one to catch.
3rd Race: KID TWIST (#7) will be running at the end in a race that figures to have a legitimate pace. Trainer Ken McPeek drops this one in class and Julien Leparoux picks up the mount. STEEL GUITAR (#3) should be on or near the lead and is the one to catch. POSSE ATTACK (#11) is a contender.
4th Race: HOWE GREAT (#3) isn’t nearly as accomplished as most of his rivals today but he looks like the controlling speed. He may get loose on an easy lead and could steal this allowance race that looks more like a graded stakes. TURALLURE (#2) is a Grade 1 winner of more than $1.3 million. He hasn’t raced since July but is in the capable hands of trainer Charlie LoPresti and anything close to his best would make him hard to beat. AL KHALI (#6) is a 7-year-old runner from trainer Bill Mott’s barn who is still in top form.
5th Race: WINNING CAUSE (#8) was given some time off after a dull effort at Aqueduct but has been training steadily and broke his maiden over this track in October. Trainer Todd Pletcher figures to have him ready today. SKYLANDER (#7) also won at Keeneland and will be tough to catch. RAFALE (#1) will be running at the end.
6th Race: FANFARE (#8) stumbled badly at the start last out and then faded after rushing up to set the pace. She should like the move back to the turf and rates the edge for trainer Rusty Arnold with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount. TANZSPIEL (#1) chased the tough Tokyo Time last out and is in easier today. CHECKERED PAST (#10) is a solid threat.
7th Race: APROPOS (#10) looked like a good one in her win at Oaklawn Park. She is proven over the Keeneland strip and she looks like a solid bet to win her third in a row for trainer Al Stall with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard. COZZE UP LADY (#9) has been off since August but has been training sharply for her return. Trainer Bret Calhoun has solid numbers with returning runners and this one figures to be dangerous. LET’S GET MARRIED (#6) won over this track in April 2012.
8th Race: PAVLA (#5) was very impressive breaking her maiden in her second career start in November. She has trained well for Alex Clarkson, who does extremely well with his returning runners. Give her the slight edge in another tough allowance race. GATHERING (#7) makes her U.S. debut after running well in a Group 3 race in September. She is the one to beat. I’M YOUR LUV (#1) is a solid threat.
9th Race – Central Bank Ashland (G1): TUTTIPAESI (#1) looked very sharp winning her U.S. debut and was compromised by an extremely slow pace in the Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3). She figures to get a good trip from the inside post and rates the slight edge for trainer Graham Motion with Alan Garcia back aboard. PRIVATE ENSIGN (#3) won back-to-back races at Gulfstream before hooking Dreaming of Julia and Live Lively in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2). She has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout and will be tough with Lanerie riding for Dale Romans. SPRING VENTURE (#4) has won four of six for trainer Mark Casse and posted a recent bullet work over the Keeneland surface. She can’t be dismissed in a wide-open renewal of the Central Bank Ashland.
10th Race: GOLD MEGILLAH (#8) has been off since August but trainer Graham Motion drops her in for a tag and anything close to her best makes her a winner. GREY OAK (#4) figures to be the main competition. LOLLIPOP (#3) will improve in her second U.S. start.