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., February 10

    Kim Nelson

    Kim has been involved with horses all her life. She has worked with pregnant mares, prepping yearlings, managed lay-up barns, exercise rider, assistant trainer and has trained a few of her own horses. She is also very involved in the placement of retired thoroughbreds once their racing careers are over. Kim worked as a handicapper for the Daily Racing form for 5 years before starting her work with Keeneland.

    Friday, October 30, 2015

    Race 1

    #2 Officer Griffin has the early foot to take this bunch gate to wire. He is back on the dirt after a decent turf run with Grade 3 company. Sharp works and Lanerie in the saddle. #5 Pablo Del Monte finished 4th at Keeneland in his last start. He faced a tough bunch that day and he faltered late. He shortens up and adds blinkers for this one. #7 Candip is a distance specialist and in top form. His early foot and strong Beyers suggest he is a player at this level.

    Top Pick #2 with #5 and #7

    Race 2

    #5 Titanium is making her 2nd start of this form cycle. Finishing 2nd in her last here over the Keeneland main course, the Bellamy Road filly finished willingly and should be sharp off that effort. #7 Chanteline has not missed a check in 6 starts and expect her to pick up another one here. #9 Smooth Caramel has won her last 2 races, her most recent over this course.

    Top Pick #5 with #7, #9 and #1

    Race 3

    #9 The Truth Or Else is getting some class relief from recent form. The colt is making his 2nd start off the layoff and with that one under his belt he should be sharp here. #4 Commute is a solid performer and this level of company should suit him. Making his 3rd start off the layoff with top connections. #7 Allied Air Raid gets regular paychecks and expect him to keep up the hard work with these.

    Top Pick #9 with #4, #6 and #7

    Race 4

    #11 Wayward Kitten hasn’t been this distance before but he has the pedigree to suggest he will love it. The lightly race Kitten’s Joy colt ran a nice 3rd last out and he should be ready to roll off that one. #3 Fundamental is making his 3rd off the layoff and should set up perfectly for him to bring his A game. He has 2 wins and a 2nd in 3 starts at this distance. #9 Closing Bell exits a stakes win for trainer Billy Mott. The sharp Tapit colt has been working well preparing for this event and will be a player. #6 King of New York has limited turf experience but has won over the grass and look for him to boost the exotics.

    Top Pick #11 with #3, #6 and #9

    Race 5

    This looks like a Todd Pletcher race. He has 3 in this spot and all look dangerous. Trying the long shot of the 3 #3 Race Day. He has been well beaten his last 2 but the multiple Graded Stakes winning Tapit colt should love getting back to the 1 1/8-mile distance. He was so impressive winning the Oaklawn Handicap last spring and if can find that form again he’ll be tough in here. Works are sharp. #9 Commissioner another Pletcher charge. This guy was well beaten in his last start but previous form is very impressive. He is coming off a layoff but barn is 22% with that type and works suggest he is ready. #5 Hoppertunity is a distance specialist having not missed a check in 5 starts going the 1 1/8 mile. Consistent performer with Graded Stakes company and poses a real threat here.

    Top Pick #3 with #9, #5 and #6

    Race 6

    This is a great Superfecta race. Wide open field of 2 year olds on the grass. Taking #12 Camelot Kitten at 12-1 morning line as top pick. He ran well over a yielding course here at Keeneland during the fall meet. He finished 2nd that day but he came from way out of it and sustained a rough trip. He draws a tough post but with a quicker break he could get the job done. #13Cymric just missed in a Grade 1 in France. He is also a winner over a soft course and expect him to be very dangerous in this spot. #8 Airforce won the Grade 3 Bourbon here over a yielding course. He overcame a tough post that day and cleared the field. Can’t leave out.

    Top Pick #12 with #7, #8, #13 and #14

    Race 7

    Looks like #3 Liam’ Map is the one to beat in this race. His consistency and triple digit Beyer figures are hard to look past. Having said that Steve Asmussen’s charge Tapiture maybe making an important comeback effort. He was 2nd in this race last year and competed against top company earlier this year. His last race, first off the layoff, was impressive. He dug in determinedly that day and looked like the freshening was just what he needed. At 10-1 morning line have to like the value he brings. #8 Wicked Strong is a winner of almost $2 million and is always threat.

    Top Pick #9 with #3, #8 and #2

    Race 8

    Another great Superfecta opportunity here. Wide open 2-year-old filly race over the grass course. #8 Harmonize won the Grade 3 Jessamine here in her last start. She came from the clouds that day to get the win by a neck. That was such an impressive race as her first starts which she was 2nd and 1st in, she was on the lead. Showed a lot of guts to come from that far back and think this filly is something special. #3 Alice Springs won her last easily over a turf course listed good. The Aidan O’Brien charge gets Lasix for the first time. #4 Catch a Glimpse took the field gate to wire in the Grade 2 Natalma winnng by 5 and posting a 91 Beyer figure. She looks dangerous if left alone on the lead.

    Top Pick #8 with #3, #4, #7 and #14

    Race 9

    #7 Wedding Toast is 4 for 6 this year and 3 for 3 at the distance. The Street Sense mare is lethal when let loose on the lead but she is very capable of rating if need be. This is her 2nd start off the layoff, she won the Grade 1 Beldame impressively last out. Expect the connections to be toasting in the winners circle. #14 Sheer Drama caught a tough draw and will need to show some early foot to get clear in the first turn which she is quite capable of but still a lot to ask of this game mare. She has had a tremendous year and works leading up to this race are sharp. No doubt she gets a piece of it with a good trip. #8 Curalina hasn’t missed a check in 7 career starts and the last 4 races have been with Grade 1 company. The young filly is tough enough to hang with the big girls. #1 I’m a Chatterbox is a multiple Grade1 winner and she hasn’t missed a check this year either. One post could prove tough for her but she’s a true racehorse and should find her way on the board.

    Top Pick #7 with #1, #8 and #14

    Race 10

    #4 Neck “n Neck should relish this distance. He ran 2nd here at Keeneland last out going a mile and that was probably a set up for this race. The horse is sharp right now and like him for the win here. #13 Bailoutbobby is another that looks good to get the distance. He ran 2n 3 back going 1 ½ miles with Grade 3 company. Strong Beyer figures and should bring a competitive effort. #5 Chairman Garey is a long shot in the field at 30-1 morning line but like that he is coming out of 1 ¼ mile race where he finished 2nd and posted an 81 Beyer. Borel in the irons and hope he boost the exotics.

    Top Pick #4 with #5, #13 and #12

    Good Luck




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