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., Saturday, April 18, 2015

    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.


    Friday, April 17, 2015

    1st Race: GAMBLERS GHOST (#5) stopped badly in his 4-year-old debut but has been training sharply since returning to Kentucky. Give him the slight edge in a well-matched $50,000 claimer. CANDIP (#4) has been a consistent performer if you throw out his two turf races. He just missed last out in a game effort and will be tough to beat. BASMATI (#2) runs well on any surface and will be running at the end in a race loaded with early speed.

    2nd Race: JROCK (#2) comes off two good efforts at Gulfstream and has caught an extremely weak field. He should win at very short odds. CALHOUN (#3) showed nothing at Oaklawn but worked well over this track. TAX DEDUCTION (#1) is a contender.

    3rd Race: JAZIL DAZIL (#4) was overmatched last out but drops back into a much easier spot today. JAZZ APPLE (#1) comes off a maiden score and is the one to beat. MISS HUNNY (#3) rates a chance.

    4th Race: CONTESTANT (#7) woke up last out and drew off to an easy win on the Turfway Polytrack. She has some decent races on the dirt and figures to be tough with Javier Castellano picking up the mount for trainer Mike Maker. HADARRA (#5) beat two repeat winners in January and if the track comes up muddy she would be the top pick. LITTLE ARIEL (#1) fits in here.

    5th Race: STORMY ROCIT (#1) ran well over this turf course in October and is training well for his return. His best would make him a winner with Javier Castellano picking up the mount for trainer George Weaver. FOREST ELF (#5) has solid turf form and comes in off two good efforts at Fair Grounds. Trainer Angel Montano Sr. and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. teamed up to win a race here on Sunday and this one looks dangerous. GREAT MINDS (#7) is a perfect 2 for 2 this year and can't be dismissed.

    6th Race: SIR ALFRED (#6) was second to Coolmore Lexington (G3) runner-up Donworth last out at Gulfstream. Trainer Todd Pletcher adds blinkers for this one and he looks like a solid bet to score a front-running win with John Velazquez in the irons. BROKEN CLOUD (#3) is training well for his comeback and is the one to beat. SCAMP (#2) fits with these.

    7th Race: CLOVERDALE NINE (#2) was overmatched last out against Khozan and didn't have the smoothest of trips in that one. He has had a couple of decent works over the Keeneland strip and could spring the upset for trainer Wesley Ward and jockey Rafael Hernandez. HARVEY (#10) drew off to an impressive maiden score and figures to be dangerous. FIRST SPARK (#9) won at first asking and can't be left out of the gimmicks.

    8th Race: SISTAS STROLL (#4) had a solid 3-year-old campaign ending with a third-place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Lane’s End. She is training well for her return and gets the nod in a very tough allowance race. BOCAIUVA (#6) makes her U.S. debut for trainer Arnaud Delacour off a series of good works. She ran against good ones in France and fits in here. DANZA CAVALLO (#5) is a definite threat.

    9th Race – Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3): MY MISS SOPHIA (#8) was sharp in her first four races including a runner-up finish to Untapable in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). She went off form after that but has been freshened since September and moves to the barn of Bill Mott. She has been firing bullets in the morning at Payson Park and should be ready to get back to her winning ways. DECEPTIVE VISION (#3) is a graded stakes winner in Canada and has never run a bad race. She prefers turf but is a perfect 2 for 2 on the dirt. TIZ WINDY (#9) is a contender.

    10th Race: ALDRIN (#7) was second behind recent Wood Memorial (G1) winner Frosted in October and is working well for his 3-year-old debut. He looks best with Javier Castellano picking up the mount for trainer Chad Brown. GREAT STUFF (#2) was no match for Toyota Blue Grass (G1) winner Carpe Diem last out but is the one to beat in here. STAR’S RIDE (#8) woke up last out.

     

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