Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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Let our experts help you handicap the day's races at Keeneland.

Please note that selections typically are available about 48 hours in advance of the race.

E.g., Sunday, December 21, 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 25, 2014

    1st Race: SANDBAR (#2) takes the big class drop after being claimed by Ramseys/Sharp last out. He figures to be tough to beat at this level. HOMEBOYKRIS (#1) has been idle since May when he gave a dull effort in a race won by his entrymate. Watch the board on this one. MUAZZAZ (#5) will be on or near the lead and Ingrid Mason has had an excellent meet.

    2nd Race: JUDY LEGEND (#4) lost all chance last out when she went to her knees at the start. If she breaks well she should be on or near the lead throughout and will be tough to catch today. CALI STAR (#5) has been a beaten favorite in her last four races. I’m taking a stand against at another short price this afternoon. LOTS O' LEX (#6) is a contender.

    3th Race: ARTEMUSMAILCARRIER (#4) faded after pressing a fast pace on a sloppy track last out. He drops a notch in class and appears to be in a good spot to get his maiden score. OUTLAW CHASE (#3) exits the same race as the top pick. He stopped badly after setting that fast pace but the blinkers come off today and he should improve in his second career start. DUKE OF LUKE (#9) got good reviews from the clockers and will be running at the end.

    4th Race: MAJESTICO (#7) ran well to finish fourth in the Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon last out. He looks like a winner as Lukas has him back in against maidens today. TWENTY GAUGE (#2) was second behind Bourbon winner Lawn Ranger at Kentucky Downs and figures to be the one to beat. TASK FORCE GLORY (#9) is a solid contender.

    5th Race: PENOBSCOT (#4) ran for a tag last out but rallied well to finish second last out and galloped out strongly. He can handle the mile and a quarter and could spring the upset despite the class hike. PROUD MAXX (#8) is another one who will like the added distance and has to be considered. COSMO BLUE (#2) stopped badly last out but is capable of better.

    6th Race: HANDSOME DENNIS (#9) exits longer races but ran well in sprints in his earlier races. Give him the slight edge in a wide-open race. STROLL TO VICTORY (#6) drops in class and will be tough if he handle the dirt. INDIAN RED (#1) is a solid threat.

    7th Race: BUMP START (#1) showed huge improvement to run third in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob and has trained sharply since that start. He gets the nod with Rosie Napravnik back aboard for trainer Kellyn Gorder. I GOT IT ALL (#8) has won four of his seven races and figures to be the one to beat. HOLLYWOOD TALENT (#3) has the speed to be dangerous.

    8th Race: GALTON (#5) comes off a solid effort at Kentucky Downs and posted a solid work here last week. Give him a slight edge in what looks like a wide-open allowance race. SHATAK (#8) ran well and Gulfstream and Saratoga and gets lasix for his Kentucky debut. MONOPOLIST (#1) is a lightly raced 3-year-old who should move forward off his maiden win.

    9th Race – Hagyard Fayette (G3): LONG RIVER (#7) ran a very good race in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup rating just off the pace and holding on well to finish third. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin figures to have him ready to go today and he looks like a solid bet to win with Rosie Napravnik up. DEPARTING (#2) was second behind a very sharp Cigar Street at Churchill was third in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap in June. He very seldom runs a bad race and is the one to beat today. PICK OF THE LITTER (#1) will be running late.

    10th Race: MARKET APPEAL (#10) just missed in her debut and posted a recent bullet work at Churchill. He will like the added distance and rates the edge in the finale. MACCHIATO (#2) was second in her only race at Arlington and looks like the one to beat. MI FIORI (#3) rates a chance. 

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