Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

    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.


    Sunday, October 15, 2017

    1st Race: WHATEVERYBODYWANTS (#5) had a rough trip last out as the favorite and finished sixth. He was claimed from that one by Robert Diodoro, who has good success with first claims and Corey Lanerie picks up the mount. OSTENTATION (#4) beat the top pick in that last race with a strong stretch run and looks like the main competition. PRIVATE TIME (#1) exits the same race and has speed from the inside post.

    2nd Race: TOLSTOY (#3) was a high-priced purchase at a 2-year-olds in training sale last year but ran poorly in his only start for Todd Pletcher in March. He moves to the barn of Rodolphe Brisset and drops into a $15,000 claiming race but has had good works and can win at this level. STARSTRUCK KITTEN (#8) has been running on the turf but should handle the dirt and is the one to beat. SNOOSE SASA (#5) has run well at Canterbury and is a contender.

    3rd Race: CATANOVA (#6) has won four of eight this year, including a score over this track in April. He rates the slight edge in a well-matched claiming race. TASHREEH (#5) was a beaten favorite last out but a return to his best form makes him dangerous. PADEN (#2) will be running at the end.

    4th Race: SHINING COPPER (#5) was a “rabbit” for champion Big Blue Kitten in most of his races in 2015 but finished third in the 2015 Arlington Million (G1) and narrowly lost a Grade 1 at Gulfstream in 2016. He ran well to finish third in his first race back after a long layoff and should be ready to win for trainer Mike Maker with Corey Lanerie aboard. SPECIAL OPS (#6) is riding a two-race win streak and figures to be tough to beat. BANDAR (#2) rates a chance.

    5th Race: UNION BOWMAN (#10) is a 10-year-old veteran making his 83rd career start who has finished in the money in half those races and still has good form. He is in a good spot to win this one for trainer Joe Davis and jockey Corey Lanerie. SWARM (#14) drops in class and he figures to be the one to beat. LIMONTE (#7) moves back to the dirt and definitely fits in here.

    6th Race: TIZAHANDFUL (#7) stumbled badly leaving the gate last out and then faded a bit after rushing up to press the pace. She has been freshened since July and should be on or near the lead in her return. MONGOLIAN SHOPPER (#6) is in top form right now and will be hard to beat. KAYLEN'S REVENGE (#8) will be rallying from off the pace and has to be respected.

    7th Race: GIANNA'S GIFT (#1) ran evenly in her debut and the runner-up in that one came back to win here Thursday. She posted a bullet work after that start and can be expected to run much better today. MURIKA (#7) lost all chance in her debut when she stumbled and broke slowly. She ran a decent race to finish fifth and is the one to beat. MALIBU TREASURE (#5) figures to be running late.

    8th Race: SUMMER LUCK (#7) comes off a runner-up effort in the Dueling Grounds Oaks behind Daddys Lil Darling, who was scheduled to run yesterday in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1). She cuts back in distance for this one and looks best for trainer Mark Casse with Corey Lanerie picking up the mount. CORBY (#4) has the speed to make the lead and is the one to catch. LAST PROMISE KEPT (#10) was an impressive maiden winner and has to be considered.

    9th Race: HEIR APPARENT (#7) moves up in class after a win at Churchill. She can run late in a field full of early runners and she gets the edge in here. PROMISES BROKEN (#8) has been idle since a dull effort in June at Churchill. She broke her maiden over this track last year and also ran well in the Adena Springs Beaumont (G3). The class drop makes her the one to beat. GIRLS KNOW BEST (#6) also drops in for a tag and is a contender. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

 

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