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, October 25, 2014

    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.


    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    1st Race: DA DON (#4) didn't show much in his last race at Churchill but drop a notch in class and his best makes him a winner in the opener. QUALITY COUNCIL (#7) has been off since April but is in the capable hands of trainer Chris Richard and is the one to beat. LAKE CREEK (#6) fits in here.

    2nd Race: ROPE A DOPE (#7) has done most of his racing on the grass but ran will in his only dirt race at Churchill. He had a terrible trip last out at Arlington and gets the nod with John Velazquez picking up the mount. THE THIRD ACE (#6) has won two in a row and is the main competition. CRY FROM THE HEART (#4) is definite threat.

    3rd Race: TONY B (#3) should be in good position behind what figures to be a solid pace. Trainer Nick Zito's horses are running well on the Keeneland dirt and this one appears to be in a good spot to get the win. SKYLANDER (#6) comes off a win at Kentucky Downs but has run well on the dirt in the past and has to be respected. SHAKE UP (#7) is also a solid threat.

    4th Race: EIGHTY THREE (#9) didn't break sharply and was bumped and forced wide in his debut on the Saratoga grass. Look for big improvement today and give him the slight edge in a tough maiden race. THATCHER STREET (#7) and COMMANDMENT (#2) finished together last out at Churchill and both should run well again today.

    5th Race: DR TURKMEN (#4) ran well to finish second in his debut at Churchill and has trained sharply over the Keeneland strip. He can win this one with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Murat Sancal. ZIP N RUN (#5) has run well in all three of his races and is the one to beat. ATTAIN (#7) gets lasix for the first time and has to be considered.

    6th Race: ILIKECANDY (#15) is entered for main track only and would be the top pick if the rain forces this one off the turf. KEENING (#11) is running very well right now and rates the edge on the grass. She is capable also capable of a good effort if the race is moved to the main track. HITECHNOWEENIE (#10) is also capable on either surface.

    7th Race: KNOW IT ALL ANNA (#6) broke her maiden in the slop at Saratoga and ran a decent race in the Happy Ticket at Louisiana Downs. Give her the slight edge in another well-matched sprint. NAGZILLA (#8) looked good breaking her maiden at Churchill and figures to be tough to beat. LOVELY MARIA (#5) had a solid work here on Monday.

    8th Race: STREET GIRL (#5) cuts back to seven furlongs after an even effort going a mile and an eighth. She posted a bullet work over the Keeneland strip and trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez have been hot this meet. DIVINE BEAUTY (#7) is coming off a long layoff but has been training very well for her return and is the one to beat. BROWN EYED MARY (#6) rates a chance.

    9th Race – Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1): PERSONAL DIARY (#5) comes off a tremendous performance in the Grade1 Del Mar Oaks and was unlucky to lose her two prior races. She is in top form right now and if she handles the soft turf she looks like a solid bet to make it two in a row for trainer Vicki Oliver with Corey Nakatani coming in for the mount. CROWN QUEEN (#8) is a $1.6 million Keeneland sales grad who is riding a three-race win streak. She figures to get a good trip under John Velazquez and is the one to beat. BALL DANCING (#6) is one of two in here from the barn of Chad Brown. She was a game winner in her U.S. debut and can't be overlooked.

    10th Race: HOLIDAY TWIST (#4) was second in her lone start at Churchill and appears to be in a good spot to get her maiden score today. LIVE FOREVER (#1) debuts for trainer Mark Casse and has been training well. TIZ SEXY NOW (#12) is a contender.

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