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., Sunday, April 26, 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.


    Thursday, April 9, 2015

    1st Race: MANIACAL(#2)  is one of two in here for trainer Wesley Ward. This one had a bullet work on March 25 and rates the edge with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard. COCKED AND LOADED (#6) posted a recent bull for trainer John Hancock and looks dangerous with Corey Lanerie up. IFYOUWINYOUGETMORE (#4) is a Steve Asmussen runner who has to be respected.

    2nd Race: POLITICALLYCORRECT (4) ran poorly at Turfway but does his best running on dirt. He has been training sharply for trainer Wesley Ward and looks best as he drops in for a tag for the first time. MOON TRAVELER (#1) is sharp right now and figures to be the main competition. SEVE (#3) has finished in the money in his last seven races and can't be dismissed.

    3rd Race: The third race is a graded stakes event masquerading as an allowance race (if it stays on the turf). OVERHEARD (#2) is a multiple graded stakes winner who has not finished worse than third in 14 career starts. She has not raced since October but shows a steady work tab and trainer Malcolm Pierce figures to have her ready with jockey John Velazquez picking up the mount. KITTEN'S QUEEN (#1) and EMOTIONAL KITTEN (#1A) form a powerful Ramsey entry and both are capable of winning with their best efforts. DARING DANCER (#4) is yet another graded stakes winner who is a solid threat for trainer Graham Motion.

    4th Race: NIGHT MANEUVER (#7) just missed in a tough optional claimer at Fair Grounds and drops back in for a tag today. He appears to be in a good spot to pick up the win for trainer Mike Maker and jockey Javier Castellano. OUIMET (#2) is a bit erratic but his best would make him the one to beat in here. TULIRA CASTLE (#3) has been off since September but is in the capable hands of trainer Jimmy DiVito and drops in class for his return.

    5th Race: VIA STRATA (#6) is undefeated and untested in two career races at Aqueduct. She appears capable of controlling the pace in this one and looks like a good bet to make it three in a row for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and jockey Irad Ortiz. ENGAGINGLEE (#1) has done most of her racing on the grass but both of her wins have been on dirt. She figures to the the one to beat with Corey Lanerie back aboard for trainer Dale Romans. AMBUSHER (#3) has been off since October but is graded stakes placed and has to be respected.

    6th Race: QUINTA VERDE (#3) moves to the barn of Chad Brown for her U.S. debut. She was a close third in a Group 3 race in June 2014 and the winner from her last race came back to win a Grade 1 in her next start. She will be tough to beat if this race stays on the grass. LOVE'S ILLUSION (#1) is definitely the one to beat and would be the top pick on the dirt. ENGLISH SUNSET (#6) is a solid contender.

    7th Race: CINNAMON SPICE (#6) comes off back-to-back wins at Fair Grounds and has the tactical speed to be on or near the lead throughout. She rates the edge with Kerwin Clark back aboard for trainer Larry Jones. BIRD MAKER (#1) needed her race in Florida and will move forward off that start. She will be running late and can't be left out of the gimmicks. ELUSIVE FATE (#2) prefers more distance but is a threat.

    8th Race: PIONEEROF THE WEST (#1) ran poorly at Oaklawn but may not have cared for that track. He hooked tougher company in California and should get a good trip from the inside post. Give him the slight edge with Shaun Bridgmohan picking up the mount for trainer Mark Casse. SHAMAN GHOST (#6) looked sharp breaking his maiden when stretched out to today's distance. He is steadily improving and can't be left out of the gimmicks. DONWORTH (#4) overcame trouble to break his maiden and should handle the added distance.

    9th Race: MOONLIT METEOR (#5) is riding a three-race win streak and looks like a good bet to make it four in a row for trainer Tom Amoss with jockey James Graham picking up the mount. DA DON (#11) figures second best. CHUCKS TURN (#7) drops in class and is a contender.

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