Expert Picks

You are here

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., October 20

    Ellis Starr

    Ellis Starr, a.k.a. “Ubercapper,” is the National Racing Analyst for Equibase. He publishes detailed analysis and selections for Keeneland and other tracks regularly which can be found at Equibase, Keeneland Select and other web sites. Ellis writes a widely distributed “Race of the Week” article which appears on the Equibase web site as well as America’s Best Racing. Ellis will be posting his analysis daily for one race taken right from his complete selection and analysis report. Additionally, you can follow Ellis’ insights on twitter @ubercapper.

    Saturday, October 7, 2017

    Race #5

    #3 Commend - Minimum odds 5/2
    #6 Mongolian Saturday - Minimum odds 5/2
    #8 Hogy - Minimum odds 7/2
    #1 Conquest Panthera - Minimum odds 7/2

    Exacta Box 1,3,6,8 (The cost of a 4-horse exacta box is $12 at the $1 level. We win if any 2 of them finish 1st & 2nd, in any order)

    Trifecta Box 1,3,6,8 (At the $0.50 min level, the cost of this box is $12. We win if any 3 of them finish 1st, 2nd & 3rd in any order)

    We start the first of five stakes races with the Woodford Stakes, a sprint on turf at the distance of 5 1/2 furlongs (5/8 of a mile plus 110 yards). There are four contenders here and the other five appear to be overmatched in my opinion. Leading the group slightly is Commend, a four year old who may not have run his best race yet compared to the consummate professionals. Commend's last two races were the best of his career, both turf sprints just like this one. He missed by a half-length to Hogy in the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes last month, the same race Hogy used last year when he finished 2nd as a prep to miss by a half-length in the Woodford Stakes. These races are as much about getting the right trip as ability, and with good tactical speed to be up close in the early stages compared to the other three, who also tend to come from the middle of the pack to last, Commend could get first run on the field and be tough to catch in the final yards.

    Mongolian Saturday really likes the grass course at Keeneland, having won this race in 2016 and having won the Breeders' Cup Sprint here at Keeneland in the fall of 2015. He lost seven in a row since his win in this race last October but turned a corner last out with a fast closing 2nd place finish when Javier Castellano rode him for the 1st time and with Castellano aboard again the horse might not need run any better to win.

    Hogy is one of those consummate professionals I referred to earlier, with 17 wins in 45 races and earnings of over $1.1 million. He enters the race off a strong win in the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes, the same race he finished 2nd in last year before a runner-up effort in this race. If he has one knock, it's that he is winless in 4 races on the Keeneland turf, but he continues to fire with an "A" effort every time and his chances can't be discounted for even one second.

    Conquest Panthera spent most of his 11 race career running in much longer races, and as a matter of fact he's never even run at this 5 1/2 furlong trip. However, he won the similar Play the King Stakes in Canada in August at 7 furlongs and considering he missed winning by inches in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile over the course he rounds out a quartet that figure to comprise the top finishers in this race.

    Follow Me on Twitter @Ubercapper

    Other racing content

    Analysis of major stakes races every Friday at

    Weekend Key Races Blog at Click on 123Blog

    Free Selection for one free race daily at:

    Santa Anita -

    Woodbine -

    You can get my selections and analysis for the entire Keeneland card at Equibase, TrackMaster, Keeneland Select, TVG, Twinspires, Xpressbet as well as many and other wagering sites, usually in the handicapping store.




Keeneland Association, Inc. 4201 Versailles Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40510
Telephone: (859) 254-3412 Toll Free: (800) 456-3412 Fax: (859) 255-2484

©1999-2015 Keeneland Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved