Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

You are here

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., November 27

    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. 




Keeneland Association, Inc. 4201 Versailles Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40510
Telephone: (859) 254-3412 Toll Free: (800) 456-3412 Fax: (859) 255-2484

©1999-2015 Keeneland Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved