Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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Let our experts help you handicap the day's races at Keeneland.

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

E.g., Friday, October 24, 2014

    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.


    Friday, October 10, 2014

    1st Race: MONEY TRIP (#7) debuts for trainer Wesley Ward and appears to have caught an easy field. Give him the edge. BOTTLE ROCKET (#4) ran evenly in his only start. MAJESTIC SPRING (#5) is a first-timer from the barn of Ken McPeek and has to be respected.
     
    2nd Race: COMO SE LLAMA (#4) looked very sharp in his recent win at Churchill. He should be rallying from just off the pace and is capable of making it two in a row for trainer Chris Richard and jockey Corey Lanerie. HIGHROLLER DAVE (#5) is riding a six-race win streak and is definitely the one to beat. A. P. CORSAIR (#1) was claimed last out by Mike Maker and is a solid threat in a tough starter allowance test. 
     
    3rd Race: KILTED (#6) ran well last out at Kentucky Downs and shouldn't mind the move back to the dirt today. Give him the edge in this maiden claimer. SMOKIN AFTER FUN (#3) drops in class and trainer Phil Simms’ horses are running well right now. PERCY'S AMBITION (#9) is a solid threat.

    4th Race: MAGNOLIA STEEL (#6) was no match for a runaway winner in her debut but was beaten less than a length for the runner-up spot. She should like the added distance and looks best on the class drop. KNOLL (#4) also takes the drop but the top two finishers in her last race have both come back with poor efforts here at Keeneland. SUMMER COCKTAIL (#2) fits in here.
     
    5th Race: SONGOFICEANDIFRE (#6) has never run a bad race and the daughter of Dynaformer should be able to handle the mile and a half distance. She rates a slight edge in a wide-open allowance race. SMALL WORLD (#1) was a game maiden winner at a mile and three eighths and will be tough to beat. SKY BIRD (#10) is still a maiden but just missed against Small World and has to be considered.
     
    6th Race: GREAT REZULTS (#2) broke his maiden for a tag at Churchill but has been training very well over the Keeneland surface. He can make it two in a row with Julien Leparoux back aboard for trainer Ian Wilkes. CONQUEST BIGLUCK E (#7) won his debut at Churchill in June and has been training steadily for his return. Trainer Mark Casse figures to have him ready to roll today and he is the one to beat. INDYGO BO (#3) came from well off the pace to get his maiden win at Arlington and will be tough if he handles the move to the dirt.
     
    7th Race: MARINE PATROL (#11) comes off a couple of even efforts at Saratoga and is undefeated in two starts over the Keeneland lawn. He gets the nod with Corey Lanerie aboard for trainer Dale Romans. I'LL CALL (#9) also likes this turf course and posted a recent bullet work for trainer Graham Motion. POWER PED (#5) is definitely capable of winning in a wide-open race.
     
    8th Race: ASK CHUCK (#3) hooked Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Carpe Diem in his debut. He ducked in leaving the gate in that one and never really got untracked. Trainer Charlie Lopresti has good numbers with his second-time starters and this one is eligible to improve. WAGING WAR (#7) is training well since coming to Kentucky and is the one to beat. PEACENQUIET (#9) was hammered at the windows in his only race. He ran poorly in that one but posted a recent bullet work at Churchill.
     
    9th Race – Buffalo Trace Franklin County: FREE AS A BIRD (#12) will be running late in a race that figures to have a torrid pace. She has never been better and rates the edge with Joel Rosario back aboard for trainer Ian Wilkes. AGELESS (#2) beat the top pick in the Giant’s Causeway here in April and is definitely the main competition. VUITTON (#14) definitely prefers the dirt but could add value to the gimmicks.

    10th Race: MIRACULOUSMO (#10) won last out despite a rough trip and is capable of the repeat today. CODY LAW (#8) has been in the money in eight of his last nine and is the one to beat. WISE CROSSING (#5) rates a chance.

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