Let our experts help you handicap the day's races at Keeneland.
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Katie Mikolay Gensler's first exposure to racing came at a young age, attending Arlington Park with her family on weekends when she grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She has been the racing analyst at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana for the last three years. In addition to hosting the daily Churchill Downs Simulcast Network production of live Fair Grounds racing, Mikolay co-hosts the pre-race Fair Grounds Today show. She also contributes to FairGroundsRaceCourse.com as both a handicapper and blogger during the live Thoroughbred meeting and has made special appearances on HRTV and NBC Sports. During the summers, she performs similar duties at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania for the 100-day race meet for the last five years. As an advocate for fan education, Katie has teamed up with America's Best Racing to teach wagering and produce racing 101 videos to increase horse racing awareness. She has been married to Thoroughbred horse trainer, Hank Gensler, for three years.
Race 1: MORE THAN CLASSIC (9) gets some class relief and a break in weight with the bug rider Dylan Davis aboard to increase his chances of winning from the way outside going short. SALUTE THE L T J G (1) may enjoy the return to the softer footing with blinkers on first time. His stablemate, ICHIBAN WARRIOR, looks just as tough in this soft maiden-claiming event and also will wear blinkers. He exits a better performance than most in this field. B AND B’S PULPIT (6) is fairly well bred to handle the synthetic surface first time out even though he has been training over the CD ‘s dirt. Good enough works from a 10% first time starter stable to throw into the fire at a good price.
Race 2: NEW BELIEVER (1) loves this track and should be a prime suspect for the win with a return to the soft footing and the drop in class. FIVE AFLEET (5) can handle the distance and has decent form over the main track. RELIGIOUS ED (6) is undefeated over the Keeneland polytrack and enjoys the longer distance races as he takes on lesser competition since claimed into the new barn.
Race 3: TEPIN (10) showed early speed and weakened down the stretch on debut. She was the beaten favorite that should be more of a player at second asking for a sharp 2yo barn. ADELLUSION (2) did not break well, but still made a late run to finish runner-up going 5 1/2f first time out. She may like the stretch out to 7f for a high percentage trainer. HOMESICK ANGEL (4) gets Rosie Napravnik aboard for her debut performance. She was purchased for $260k at the Keeneland sales last year and has been training well.
Race 4: BELLY ON THE WHALE (3) won impressively from off the pace going short, but is bred for longer to handle the two-turn distance today. HERE’S JOHNNY (1) has early speed from an inside post. He ran second in a $150k stakes last time out. Should tough from the gate especially if the race stays on the grass. HEART TO HEART (7) is well bred for the turf, but has good form over the polytrack too.
Race 5: PLEASE EXPLAIN (6), a daughter of CURLIN, just missed first time out for sharp connections. She should be more of a force from off the pace with a clean getaway. SUPER SKY (7), a Pletcher trainee, will wear blinkers for her third time around. She has been consistent in her first two outings and returns fresh. PIPER JADE (4) is a high purchased filly ($190k) that has plenty of good works over the local surface to be considered a threat at a price.
Race 6: FIORETTI (7) is a daughter of top sire BERNARDINI that improved in her latest effort over a similar surface. She should be forwardly placed from the gate with a sharp rider aboard. CURLS FOR GIRLS (11) will have to overcome the outside post position with her early speed. She ran second in both career effforts to give a closer look. DISTORTED MUSIC (5) ran an even third in a key race on debut and should move forward today at 8-1 odds.
Race 7: The Grade III Bourbon Stakes
BOJI MOON (7) leads into this race undefeated. His last two starts have been very impressive. He has early speed to help his chances if the race gets scratched off the turf and there’s moisture in the track. BASHART (5) has front running speed, but can be stalking the early leaders. He draws a good post position for a sharp barn and won a grade II event at the distance last time out. MEDAL COUNT (12) overcame traffic to win at first asking for a hot barn. The well-bred colt should be a player from the off the pace.
Race 8: The Grade I Juddmonte Spinster Stakes
EMOLLIENT (5) won the Grade I Ashland here last spring in impressive fashion. She hopes for a repeat with her regular rider Mike Smith aboard and should on or near the lead. BYRAMA (6) has great synthetic form and ran second in the Grade I Madison back in April over the main track. She got beat against the boys in her latest to dismiss that performance and make a turn around in today’s feature. SISTERLY LOVE (3) has plenty of early speed, but may struggle with the longer distance, but she may be good enough to be around in the end as she leads into the race in top form.
Race 9: KEENING (7) has tactical speed and returns fresh after a hard used performance on the grass at Saratoga. She has done well against allowance company in her lightly raced career and seems to be training well for this. KIPLING’S JOY (11) has plenty of experience on the grass, but could be unpredictable on the polytrack to watch the board if there is a surface change. This lady should be threat down the stretch. SENSE TO COMPETE (10) broke her maiden over the Tapeta synthetic surface and has two solid performances on the grass. Filly should like the turn back in distance.