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.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015

    1st Race: FORTUN (#1) was well backed in her debut but ran poorly to finish ninth. She has had a bullet work since that start and trainer Eddie Kenneally drops her in for a tag today. WINGED LADY (#7) ran evenly in her only start and also had a bullet work at Churchill. She should improve. A THOUSAND WISHES (#6) woke up last out and is a contender.

    2nd Race: CONSPIRED (#6) doesn't like the turf and will enjoy the move back to dirt today. She won over this track in April and appears to be in a good spot to pick up another score with Robby Albarado back aboard for trainer Bernie Flint. TIZZY BE HOT (#5) has been hooking better company and drops in for a tag for the first time. Trainer Jeff Greenhill is having another solid year and this is the one to beat. NO FLOWERS (#1) rates a chance.

    3rd Race: C'EST BON (#3) has been in the money in 5 of his 8 races and looks to be in a good spot to pick up his maiden win with Julien Leparoux aboard for trainer Brendan Walsh. FORENSIC (#8) is still winless after 12 starts but he can't be left out of the gimmicks in this one. SEA LIGHT (#11) has only had two races and figures to improve.

    4th Race: BUCKSKIN DOLL (#5) ran poorly last out but a return to her best form would make her a winner for trainer Todd Pletcher with John Velazquez picking up the mount. SMOOTH CARAMEL (#2) looked good breaking her maiden and was claimed by trainer Angel Montano, who does well with his first claims. BON HEIR (#7) fits in here.

    5th Race: PLEASE DON'T FLASH (#4) was third in her debut after breaking a bit slowly. Her works here have drawn positive reviews from the clockers and she rates the slight edge in what looks like a very competitive maiden test. NOBLE MASTER (#6) beat the top pick last out and also has worked well over this track. She figures to be the one to catch. UNCLE WALTER (#5) is a first-timer from the barn of Ramsey/Maker who has to be respected.

    6th Race: SKY FLIGHT (#10) didn't fire last out at Kentucky Downs but is a graded stakes-placed runner who broke his maiden over this turf course last year. Trainer Mark Casse figures to have him ready to go and he looks like a winner with Julien Leparoux aboard. CAPTAIN DIXIE (#11) ran evenly in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) and also owns a win here at Keeneland. He is the one to beat. SISTAS STROLL (#3) is a filly taking on the boys, but she has been training exceptionally well and has to be considered.

    7th Race: WATERSHED (#4) was an impressive maiden winner in his debut and ran a decent race behind Runhappy in the King’s Bishop (G1) despite a bad start. He looks like a solid bet to get his second career win for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with Joel Rosario back aboard. HOLDING ACES (#5) was also an extremely impressive maiden winner. He beat Union Jackson, who came back to romp over this track last week and he could be tough to catch. TIZNOW R J (#7) was given a needed vacation after a couple of subpar efforts but is training sharply for his return.

    8th Race – Sycamore (G3) -- DA BIG HOSS (#1) has proven to be another exceptionally sharp claim for trainer Mike Maker, who took him for $50,000 back in June. He has won back-to-back stakes races and appears to be in a good spot to get his first graded win today in the Sycamore. HOLIDAY STAR (#8) was second behind the top pick in the John’s Call and won this race last year. He figures to be the main competition. CHARMING KITTEN (#11) threw in a bad one last out but is a career winner of almost $800,000 and has to be respected.

    9th Race: OPEN RANGE (#8) was fourth in a field of 12 at Kentucky Downs and drops in for a tag today. Give him the edge against a pretty tough field for $15,000. MAGICAL CONNECTION (#4) drops a notch after being claimed by Ramsey/Sharp, who have been uncharacteristically cold this meet. SAIL MAKER (#7) drops in class and is a definite contender. 




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