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., December 17

    Tom Leach

    Tom Leach is “the Voice of the Wildcats” for football and men’s basketball and a contributor to as well. He is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for radio coverage of thoroughbred racing. During race meets, check out Keeneland’s You Tube channel for his trainer and jockey interviews ahead of major stakes races and listen for the weekly “In The Money” podcast with Tom and Jim Goodman at You can follow Tom’s coverage of the Cats at

    Friday, October 20, 2017

    Friday / October 20

    Race 1

    Stronger Than Ever has a pedigree that says she'll like two turns and that finish to get the win at six furlongs was impressive.  Key this one in exactas.  Exacta boxes 5-3, 5-6

    Race 2

    Awesome Gal (8) has a start over the track and that's often a good angle here at Keeneland, plus the speed this one showed is a plus.  Key her in exactas with Blue Ridge Girl and Spearette.  Exacta boxes 8-5, 8-3

    Race 3

    Manhattan Mischief (3) ran big in the only start here and the class drop in this spot might be the ticket to get him to the winner's circle.  I also like Bourbon Country, Fourth of July and Sharp Art.  Exacta boxes 3-1, 3-7, 3-2

    Race 4

    Like a Haint (1) is coming off a new Beyer figure peak and this one has run well at Keeneland and  has been very good lately in her dirt starts.  Key this one with Wishihad, Dixie Lover and La Majestique.  Exacta boxes 1-3, 1-5, 1-7

    Race 5

    Jacktastic (8) beat about half the field in his Kentucky Downs race, against a good bunch, and that run on that course should have him plenty fit for this try.  Up the Ante (10) is the one to beat.  Key those two on top in exactas and add Beckham's Joy, Forgotten Coast and Violent Storm underneath.  Exacta part-wheel 8,10 with 8,10,9,6,1

    Race 6

    Commandeering (2) has run well here in the past and now makes the third start off a layoff.  Pletcher is strong on sprint-to-route angle, too.  Key this one with Fireball Shot, Total Cooperation and Mono.  Exacta boxes 2-5, 2-3, 2-6

    Race 7

    Fair Point (8) looks strong here.  She's run well at Keeneland and she looks to have a class edge over these.  Jeremy Plonk does a great job analyzing trends for his posts on the handicapping page and one of his favorites is the tendency for horses in these full-field turf sprints to outrun their odds when they break for posts 3,4, and 5.  So I'll keep the top pick over the horses in those gates--Clairenation, Triple Chelsea and Ring Knocker.  Exacta boxes 8-3, 8-4, 8-5

    Race 8

    Uncle Mojo (6) won at a nine furlongs at Saratoga and I think that form looks tough in this field for Pletcher and Johnny V but there's no standout in this race so I'll go for an exacta box with as many of these as you can afford (in order of preference)--Blueridge Traveler, Battle Colors, TarponBay Road, Snack Shack and Cedartown (I'm guessing one or two will scratch and reduce the cost of the bet).  Exacta box 6-4-3-1 (and 13,2 if budget allows).

    Race 9

    in the grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes, I'm taking a shot with Chastise (2), off an impressive three-year old debut at Saratoga.  Expected improvement here puts her in the mix.  Youngest Daughter (8) is one to watch at a price, as trainer Vicki Oliver thinks getting Court back in the saddle is an important angle for this filly.  Defiant Honor (6) and Journey Home (9) are next on my list, followed by Sweeping Paddy (11) and Fault (7).  Exacta boxes 2-8, 2-6, 2-9, 2-11, 2-7

    Race 10

    I like three horses somewhat equally here, unless some money shows heavily on one of them on the toteboard.  Secret Speed  (8) comes out of a two-year old sale where he fetched a big price, as does Pryor (12).  And Karen's Cove (9) had a solid effort in her debut.  Exacta box 8-12-9

    Late Pick 4 (starts in race 7):  8 with 6,3,4,1,13,2 wth 2,8,9,6,11,7 with 8,9,12




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