Expert Picks

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Let our experts help you handicap the day's races at Keeneland. To see the analysis provided by each handicapper, choose a handicapper name on the left, then choose a date.

Please note that selections typically are available about 48 hours in advance of the race.

E.g., 2014-04-23

    Mike Battaglia

    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.


    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    1st Race: LATE NITE LU (#7) had some trouble in his last race here and may have been best in that one. He looks like a solid bet to win the opener. IAMDONEWITHMYLAWYER (#1) exits the same race as the top pick and is the one to beat. CASA CREEK (#4) will be dangerous if he handles the footing.

    2nd Race: PRINCESS MARIAH (#2) didn't break sharply last out and had some trouble in the stretch. Give her a slight edge in a well-matched maiden race. MAGNOLIA LANE (#10) ran a decent race over the Keeneland Polytrack last year and should be tough in her third start back after a long layoff. SECRET JEWEL (#5) sold for $1.2 million as a yearling and has to be respected.

    3rd Race: ZANE (#3) looked good winning his last race at Gulfstream and won a race on the Keeneland surface in October. He rates the edge with Joe Rocco Jr. back aboard for trainer Michelle Nihei. BELLARMINE (#7) also likes the Polytrack and figures to be tough to beat. TARPY’S SURPRISE (#1) has never run a bad race on the dirt and has to be considered.

    4th Race: SHUN (#10) moves up in class after being claimed from a winning effort over this surface. He cuts back in distance but appears capable of the repeat score with jockey Stewart Elliott back aboard for the new connections. BARZINI (#2) will be running at the end and is the one to beat for trainer Mike Maker and jockey Joel Rosario. EXPECTING CASH (#9) is a solid contender in another wide-open race.

    5th Race: CONCISE (#7) was winless in seven starts as a 3-year-old but ran very well to finish third in the Garden City (G1) before a dull effort here in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). She has been off since October but is in the capable hands of trainer Graham Motion and looks best in her comeback race. ENCHANTING LISA (#1) also comes back off the layoff. She is a half-sister to Wise Dan and Successful Dan and is the one to beat. CANNY NANNY (#4) rates a chance.

    6th Race: BUCK MAGIC (#12) has had two solid works over the Keeneland surface since coming back to Kentucky. He gets leading rider Julien Leparoux today and rates the slight edge in this maiden test. SEAL SIX (#11) is also training well and looks dangerous despite the layoff. COMMANDMENT (#10) is in good form but is untested on the Polytrack.

    7th Race – Giant’s Causeway Stakes: BELIEVE IN CHARLIE (#4) is riding a two-race win streak since being pulled up when rank in a race in December. She looks like a good bet to make it three in a row with Javier Castellano back aboard for trainer Tom Bush. POINT TO THE WILD (#3) is a former claimer who has shown big improvement since being claimed by Brad Cox. Look for another solid performance today. ALLWEWANTFORXMAS (#2) was right behind the top pick last out and has to be considered.

    8th Race – Ben Ali (G3): NEWSDAD (#10) is a bit inconsistent but has a solid record here at Keeneland. He has to overcome the outsider post but is capable of winning with Joel Rosario riding for trainer Bill Mott. NORUMBEGA (#1) should get a good trip from the inside post and figures to be tough to beat. NIKKI’S SANDCASTLE (#3) was impressive winning this race last year and should be ready for another solid effort.

    9th Race – Coolmore Lexington (G3): SUPERMONIC (#10) is one of three in here trained by Todd Pletcher. He showed huge improvement and finished strongly in his win over the Keeneland Polytrack six days ago and is capable of springing the upset. MR SPEAKER (#1) broke slowly last out and ran a big race to finish second. He posted a solid work earlier this month and will be tough to beat if he handles the Polytrack. DIVINE OATH (#6) is also trained by Pletcher. He is undefeated in two career starts and is a definite threat.

    10th Race: WONDERFUL MISS BEA (#9) has solid form on the Polytrack and ran well to finish fourth over the Keeneland surface last out. She looks best in this one. GIANT DIAMOND (#2) showed nothing in his previous races but gets blinkers and drops in class. A GIANT LURE (#1) is a contender.

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