Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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

E.g., 2014-07-23

    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 24, 2014

    1st Race: BEAUTY SISTERS (#3) worked heads up with Goodbye Sorrow, who broke her maiden at Gulfstream in March. Trainer Wesley Ward figures to have her ready to go today. ANNIEBEAR (#6)  has been training well for Graham Motion and figures to be the one to beat. SPANISH PIPEDREAM (#8) is also trained by Ward and has to be considered.

    2nd Race: ONE GOLDEN ROAD (#1) hooked stakes winners in his last two races and posted a sharp work over the Keeneland Polytrack on Saturday. Anything close to his best makes him a winner for trainer Mike Maker and jockey Javier Castellano. BOWMAN’S CAUSEWAY (#3) is a veteran runner who comes off a good effort over the track. He is the one to beat. NIEDERZEL (#6) showed nothing last out but is capable of better.

    3rd Race: BOOK CLUB (#1) drops in for a tag for the first time and should like the move back to the Polytrack. Give her the slight edge in here. OLYMPIC AVENUE (#2) stopped badly last out but that was her first star in almost a year. She will definitely move forward and also takes the class drop. INDYGO F M A (#6) is a solid contender.

    4th Race: HINES (#9) finished third despite a troubled trip last out at Gulfstream. He is a high-priced Keeneland sales grad from the Todd Pletcher barn and appears to be in a good spot to get his maiden win with John Velazquez back aboard. MAJESTIC SUNSET (#14) is on the also-eligible list but would be tough to beat if he draws in. BLARP (#10) ran well last out and can't be overlooked.

    5th Race: TREASURY BILL (#2) was stakes-placed as a 3-year-old and has been training well for his 4-year-old debut. Trainer Wayne Catalano figures to have him ready to roll with Joel Rosario picking up the mount. BREAKING BALL (#10) also comes off a layoff. He posted a bullet work here last Thursday and looks like the one to beat. SCHMOOZE (#6) comes off a career-best performance at Turfway and is a contender.

    6th Race: CAN’THELPBELIEVING (#1) ran evenly in the Palm Beach (G3) beaten just three lengths by Gala Award and Coolmore Lexington (G3) winner Mr Speaker. He looks like a solid bet to win this one with Alan Garcia back aboard for trainer Graham Motion. SCORIA (#3) looks like an improving 3-year-old and is definitely the one to beat. SPECIAL ENVOY (#5) just missed last out and is solid contender.

    7th Race: CHARMING KITTEN (#8) has been hooking graded stakes company on the grass and was a close-up third in the 2013 Toyota Blue Grass (G1). He will be rallying from off what figures to be a fast pace and gets the nod with John Velazquez picking up the mount. BELLARMINE (#9) is a perfect 2 for 2 over the Keeneland Polytrack. He just won a race last Saturday but looks very dangerous despite the short rest. MORPHEUS (#1) is training well for his U.S. debut and has to be respected.

    8th Race – Bewitch (G3): ROMANTICA (#9) was a Group 1 winner in France and gave favored Dank all she could handle in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1), beaten just a half-length. She has been training steadily for her return to the races and Bill Mott should have her ready to win. VIVA RAFAELA (#6) has been running well and has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout. She will be tough to catch. AIGUE MARINE (#11) is a contender.

    9th Race: FORMAT V. (#9) was pulled up last out but has posted two works over the Keeneland Polytrack since then. Trainer Tom Amoss has had an excellent meet with a limited number of starters and he should have this one ready. BERGMAN (#12) looks like the main competition. EXULTANT (#8) rates a chance.

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