Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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E.g., 2014-07-31

    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 17, 2014

    1st Race: FORGET THAT GAL (#6) was second against better over this track on opening weekend and appears to be in a good spot to get the win today. IRON GINNY (#5) looked very sharp beating lesser company at Gulfstream and looks dangerous despite the class hike. LOTTA DISTINCTION (#4) has been off for a year but is training well and Doug Matthews is good with returning runners.

    2nd Race: SKY RACER (#4) is training well for Mark Casse, who won the only 2-year-old race of the meet on April 5. This one has been training sharply and should be ready to go with Stewart Elliott in the irons. CIRCLE THE WORLD (#3) is one of two in here for trainer Wesley Ward. She is a filly taking on the boys but has to be respected. MIDNIGHT DECISION (#1) is from the barn of John Hancock, who is also good with his 2-year-olds.

    3rd Race: SECRET SOMEONE (#8) showed big improvement in her first try on the turf. She is training well since coming to Kentucky and should love the added distance. Give her the edge in a well-matched maiden race. TREATY OAK (#5) will also like the move back to the grass and is a definite threat. ATTAINMENT (#3) fit with these.

    4th Race: WILD SWAVA (#11) looks like a stand out in a fairly weak starter allowance race. She should win this one at a short price. FREUD’S MISTRESS (#12) is suspect at the distance but could make an easy lead with Stewart Elliott aboard. ROB AND JON’S GIRL (#9) has been running well at Turfway and is a contender.

    5th Race: OTOKOGI (#8) stopped badly in his debut at Laurel but has two solid works since that start. He should handle the move to the Polytrack and can be expected to run much better today. BREAKING DOORS (#1) ran OK in his races at Woodbine and gets Lasix for his 3-year-old debut. DR. ABRAMSON (#3) is training steadily for Ken McPeek, who was tied atop the trainer standings with Mark Casse at the start of Wednesday’s card.

    6th Race: DRAW TWO (#4) comes into this one off a couple of solid efforts at Gulfstream. He can handle the mile and a half and rates a slight edge in what looks like a wide-open allowance test. GLOBAL EXPRESS (#2) exits the same race as the top pick and owns a win over the Keeneland lawn. FORMIDABLE HEART (#7) comes off a layoff but did win at over this turf at a mile and a half last October.

    7th Race: MACO LIGHT (#1) was beaten by Henny Jenney last out at Gulfstream but has been training sharply over the Keeneland Polytrack since that start. She can turn the tables on that rival today with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Kellyn Gorder. HENNY JENNNEY (#2) has a solid record and should be tough to beat. E BUILT THIS CITY (#5) has the speed to be a contender.

    8th Race – Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association: ZINZAY (#2) came off a five-month layoff to finish second behind a front-running Resistivity at Gulfstream. She will move forward off that start and can spring the mild upset for trainer Rusty Arnold and jockey Joe Rocco Jr. RESISTIVITY (#9) is one of two runners in here for trainer Mark Casse, the other being LACAROLINA (#3) , who was a group winner in Europe last year. Both are capable of solid performances this afternoon.

    9th Race: SHY ROSA (#10) was no match for a runaway winner at Turfway in her U.S. debut but was five lengths clear of the third-place finisher in that one. She drops in for a tag and rates the edge with Corey Lanerie back aboard. PROUD ENGLISH (#5) fits with this bunch. MADAKET (#11) debuts for Ben Colebrook, who won with a first-timer last week, and Julien Leparoux rides.




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