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., Friday, September 4, 2015

    Katie Mikolay Gensler

    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 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.

    Saturday, April 18, 2015


    Saturday, April 18th, 2015


    Race 1:  SAMANTHA NICOLE (6) was the beaten favorite in her latest effort when she stumbled at the start and was bumped.  She has run well at the distance in the past to be a top contender.  A.P. SONATA (4) returns to the dirt second start off the break with a good 3f drill in the a.m.  MOUNT KELLETT (1) has been training well in the a.m. (CL) and the EMPIRE MAKER filly tries nine furlongs first time.

    Picks 6-4-1


    Race 2:  DEFER HEAVEN (4) has dangerous early speed and runs first off the claim for a barn that wins at 24%.  COMBATLAAN (7) returns to the dirt for a better trip.  She exits a rough trip on the grass.   ROUS (6) should like the turn back in distance and leads into the race in top form.

    Picks 4-7-6


    Race 3:  EARLYBIRDSPECIAL (3) has several fast works to ready first time for a capable trainer.  FORTUTIOUS (4) rallied late to finish second and experience gives her the edge.  BLAME IT ON ED (6) has a good series of works to be ready at first asking and barn does exceptionally well with first time starters (21%). 

    Picks 3-4-6


    Race 4:  HOOTENANNY (1A) is the class of the race plus he has good works to take him far in his 3yo debut.   SARATOGA DREAMER (2) should be tough tracking the early pace for a top turf outfit.  LATENT REVENGE (5) woke up on the grass and training sharply for his first time facing winners.

    Picks 1A-2-5


    Race 5:  MISTER MAESTRO (10) has plenty of fast works to be a threat first time out for a 25% trainer with firsters.  WHISKEY SHINER (5) runs first off the claim (25%) and positive rider switch for a winning trip.  M K’S DELIGHT (2) has been given some time off and returns with blinkers on and first time gelding.

    Picks 10-5-2


    Race 6:  DELAUNEY (5) will be one tough customer in this spot at short odds.  The 8yo leads into this still at the top of his game with the ability to rate just off the pace or go to the lead.   ROCK FALL (4) is the “new guy” to watch with three straight wins for the high percentage Pletcher stable.  HELOOKSTHEPART (6) has been consistent and a sharp closer.

    Picks 5-4-6


    Race 7:  ANIMAL KRACKER (10) has already proven he can run on the grass.  We’ll see how the deep closer likes the shorter distance, hopefully, at 4-1 odds.  SEEKING ALPHA (5) moves to the grass, which he has a turf pedigree and looking for an improved trip with top rider Castellano picking up the mount.  SECURITY RISK (8) has powerful works in the am plus first time Lasix.

    Picks 10-5-8


    Race 8: MAYLA (2) runs with blinkers off for her second career start for a capable barn (25%).  WARRIORSCMOUTOPLAY (9) has the experience to be tough stalking from the outside.  GOODLOOKINLUCKY (5), a $160k purchase, has a good series of workouts (CL), but barn only 4% with firsters so watch for early money.

    Picks 2-9-5


    Race 9:  The Grade II Dixiana Elkhorn

    HOLIDAY STAR (6), winner of the grade 3 Sycamore, runs well fresh and good form over turf footing especially a wet turf course.  DYNAMIC SKY (10) is a grade 3 winner with sharp efforts at the distance, but needs to bounce back after he was beat in the grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and SHARED BELIEF.  CARY STREET (5) is a strong marathon runner on the dirt that will be interesting how he handles the softer footing.  He will be the one to beat if race moves to the main track.

    Picks 6-10-5


    Race 10:  SILVER MORGAN (6) should win with the big drop in class for winning connections.  ARI’S PRIDE (4) makes his second start over the track and hopes for a fast track this time.  PROUD IMAGE (5) runs where he belongs. 

    Picks 6-4-5 




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