Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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    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 17, 2015

    1st Race: DONITA'S RULER (#1) has been running very well against tougher competition. Anything close to her best makes her a winner for trainer Matt Kordenbrock with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount. RUSTICANA (#2) ran well in both of her starts over the Keeneland dirt and figures to be the one to beat. LOTTA ATTITUDE (#4) is a definite threat.

    2nd Race: GALLANT STEED (#4) needed his race at Kentucky Downs after a long layoff. He should move forward off that start and rates the slight edge today. BRETT PARK (#2) has been in the money in 7 of his 11 races and is definitely the one to beat. LEFLORE COUNTY (#5) looks best of the rest.

    3rd Race: RASTANORA (#1) makes her first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who adds blinkers for the first time. She worked well with the blinkers on Sunday and is the only runner in here with experience at today's distance. Look for her to get her maiden win with Florent Geroux aboard. ULTIMATUM (#7) ran well in her debut and galloped out very well in that one. She is definitely the one to beat. DANCING ONTHEMOON (#2) has been second in three straight races and has to be considered.

    4th Race: LITTLE NORWEGIAN (#7) needed her last race after a four-month layoff. She rates the slight edge in what looks like a very well-matched claiming race. SEE THROUGH (#2) just missed in her last start at Churchill and a repeat of that one makes her tough. HAPPY TO GO (#6) drops in class and has to be respected.

    5th Race: WHENCE (#6) has run well in both of his races and looks like a good bet to break his maiden at short odds this afternoon. GO NAVY GO (#1) was fifth behind Airoforce at Kentucky Downs and that one came back to win the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) in his next start. A good trip from the one post would make him dangerous. Z NOBLE (#5) stopped badly in his debut but figures to be on or near the lead today and should improve.

    6th Race: PARTLY MOCHA (#2) was claimed by Ramsey/Maker in July and has been training well for his return. The fact that he is moved up in class is a good sign and he can win this one with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount. YODEL (#7) is a lightly raced filly taking on the boys but she is good right now and is the one to beat. SHADOW ROCK (#4) needed his last and is a contender in another wide-open race.

    7th Race: GUN RUNNER (#1) was a game winner over heavily favored Gametown in his debut at Churchill. He has trained well over this track and should get a good trip from the inside post. He gets the nod with Ricardo Santana Jr. back aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen. RAFTING (#2) showed big improvement in his second career start and gets Lasix for his Kentucky debut. BANDWITH (#4) was another impressive debut winner and the runner-up in that one came back to win here last week.

    8th Race: EMOTIONAL KITTEN (#1) was second behind Kitten’s Point despite a very rough trip in the Mrs. Penney Stakes at Parx. She will be running late in a race that figures to have an honest pace and she can regain her winning from today with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Wesley Ward. I'M ALREADY SEXY (#6) is a multiple stakes winner who just missed last out after pressing the pace throughout. She packs high weight but figures to be tough to beat with her best effort. EDEN PRAIRIE needed her last race and is another classy runner in this stakes-caliber allowance race.

    9th Race – Lexus Raven Run (G2): PAID UP SUBSCRIBER (#1) is a lightly raced filly who has shown improvement in every start. She ran well in the Prioress (G2) to finish fourth and should like today's added distance. She can spring the mild upset in a well-matched renewal of the Lexus Raven Run. BAR OF GOLD (#2) beat the top pick in the Prioress and is also on the upswing. She figures to be rallying from just off the pace and is the one to beat. IRISH JASPER (#3) finished behind the top two last out but is a solid contender.

    10th Race: TANNER’S POPSICLE (#5) has had an excellent year, winning four of his six races. He figures to be on or near the lead throughout and will be tough to catch with Corey Lanerie picking up the mount. ALMOST ENGLISH (#8) woke up with a big win at Churchill last out and looks like the main competition. SMOKING ROMANCE (#1) is a contender. 




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