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: FREE RELEASE (#8) ran evenly in her debut at Saratoga and should be able to handle today's added distance. HOLY HARBOR (#5) was well backed in her only race at Churchill and drops in for a tag today. STICKTHELANDING (#6) closed well in a weak race her on opening day.
2nd Race: STRONG RESOLVE (#6) moves up in class after a solid win here on opening day. He faces tougher company but appears capable of the repeat score. THAW (#8) cuts back in distance for Wayne Catalano, whose horses are running very well right now. NEW BELIEVER (#9) will be running at the end.
3rd Race: THUNDER RUN (#7) chased Iroquois (G3) winner Cleburne in his debut and ran third in a stakes in Louisiana last out. Trainer Mike Maker should have him ready to get his maiden win with Javier Castellano picking up the mount. RING WEEKEND (#5) showed improvement in his second career start and posted a recent bullet work over this track. He is definitely the one to beat. EIRIGH (#2) hooked Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity winner (G1) We Miss Artie in his only race at Saratoga and has been training sharply at Churchill.
4th Race: BRAMLEY (#7) failed as the favorite at Kentucky Downs but might not have cared for that surface. A repeat of her last race at Saratoga would make her a winner for trainer Michael Matz and jockey Javier Castellano. SUMMER FLIRT (#4) has been off for a year and a half but is in the capable hands of trainer Bill Mott and has to be respected. AUNTIE MARTHA (#10) ran well in her first race back after a layoff and is a definite threat.
5th Race: DIVINE ENERGY (#1) ran well in both of his races in New York and appears to be in a good spot to get his maiden score today. HARBOR BOUND (#4) has the benefit of a solid race over the Keeneland Polytrack and figures to be the main opposition. MALIBU BLUES (#5) rates a chance.
6th Race: RAY'S AWAY (#8) should get a good trip from just off the pace with Leandro Goncalves aboard. He is capable of spring the mild upset in an extremely well-matched turf sprint. MAGICAL SEASON (#7) will be running at the end and can't be left out of the gimmicks. CHANNEL MARKER (#1) is a definite threat.
7th Race: ROPE A DOPE (#1) looked good winning his debut at Kentucky Downs and is bred to handle today's added distance. He worked very well over the Keeneland Polytrack and trainer Wayne Catalano's horses are sharp right now. WHYRUAWESOME (#3) made a big middle move in the Bourbon before fading late. He came back with a solid work and looks dangerous in here. LADDIE BOY (#5) has faded after showing speed in two straight stakes and looks like a contender at decent odds this afternoon.
8th Race – Rood & Riddle Dowager: KISSABLE (#8) is a classy runner from the barn of Roger Attfield. She comes off a decent effort in the Flower Bowl (G1) and is proven at the mile and a half. Give her the edge. PREFERENTIAL (#2) woke up last out at Kentucky Downs and a repeat of that one makes her the one to beat. JANICELLAINE (#3) has been off since April but is training well and Javier Castellano picks up the mount for trainer Mike Maker.
9th Race: CAPTAIN COOK (#10) has been off since April but trainer Wesley Ward does very well with his returning runners. Give him the edge on the big class drop. SCATMAN BLUES (#3) ran well on the Polytrack at Del Mar and fits at this level. LITTLE JIMMY (#11) will be tough if he takes to the Polytrack.