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 10, 2015

    1st Race: LOUD CAT (#7) has been idle since June but has been training well for his comeback. He should get a good trip from the outside post and his best would make him a winner in here. CONTROL STAKE (#1) looks dangerous but he is a 3-year-old stakes winner of over $200,000 so the drop to $50,000 claimers is a reason for concern. AMBIDEXTROUS ALEX (#2) rates a chance.

    2nd Race: SCARLETRIDGERUNNER (#7) drops to a career-low claiming level and has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout. She looks like a winner with Martin Pedroza back aboard for trainer Tim Glyshaw. MS HOOCHIE COOCHIE (#5) has been idle since May but trainer Joe Woodard is good with returning runners and she figures to be the main competition. PURE LEGACY (#6) is a contender.

    3rd Race: DIVINE VIEW (#5) makes his third start back after a layoff and drops in for a tag for the first time. Trainer Larry Jones figures to have him ready for a much better effort and he can win this one with Kerwin Clark back aboard. WINKATDAWAT (#1) is a 7-year-old who is good right now. He comes off back-to-back wins and has the speed to be on or near the lead from the inside post. POSTURE (#6) is another solid contender in a tough race.

    4th Race: SMARTY KITTEN (#1) exits an extremely tough maiden race at Churchill won by Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Brody’s Cause. This is a much easier spot and he appears to be in a good spot to get his first win today. MARKER MAKER (#5) just missed at this level last out and figures to be the one to beat. N J CAPE (#8) has only had one start and should improve.

    5th Race: UNION JACKSON (#2) was ignored at the betting windows in his debut but ran well to finish second. Trainer Steve Asmussen has better numbers with his second-time starters and this one rates the slight edge over Bow Tie Boss in a close call. BOW TIE BOSS (#5) has been second in 4 of his 5 dirt races races. He didn't handle the turf last out but is back on dirt today and definitely the one to beat. BLAZE'N PROSPECTOR (#6) ran well in his only race at Fair Grounds back in December and is training well for his return.

    6th Race: CONQUEST PANTHERA (#5) ran well in his first start back after a year layoff. He figures to improve off of that one and rates the edge with Shaun Bridgmohan back aboard for trainer Mark Casse. JUBAL (#4) has shown steady improvement for trainer Ian Wilkes and a repeat of his last performance makes him dangerous in here. GIN RIKI (#7) will be running late and has to be considered.

    7th Race: J LA TACHE (#2) ran well in her debut. She faded after showing some speed last out but the winner of that one came back to win the Frizette (G1) in her next start. Give her the edge in what looks like a well-matched maiden test. BANNER WAVING (#6) showed improvement in her second career start and looks like the one to beat. HOLDERS SEASON (#5) ran dead last in her debut but may not have liked the mud and is definitely capable of better.

    8th Race: ENCHANTRESS (#8) was favored here on opening day but didn't seem to take to the sloppy track and finished sixth. Look for a much improved effort if the track is fast today. LAVENDER CHRISSIE (#4) ran evenly in her first try back at Kentucky Downs after a four month layoff. She will like the move back to the dirt and her best makes her dangerous. SALAMA (#6) ran well in all of her races in Peru and has trained well since coming to the barn of Charlie LoPresti.

    9th race – Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Lane’s End: SENTIERO ITALIA (#9) just keeps getting better. She ran away from a couple of these same fillies last out while spotting them weight and looks like a solid bet to win the QE II for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with Joel Rosario back aboard. FEATHERED (#8) is also in top form. She has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout and figures to be the main competition. MISS TEMPLE CITY (#3) was no match for the top pick in her last two but ran second to Lady Eli in the Appalachian (G3) here in April.

    10th Race: KINGS KNIGHT (#1A) drops in for a tag for the first time and shouldn't mind the move back to dirt. Give him the edge in here. SELF STARTER (#4) was beaten by her longshot stablemate last out at Kentucky Downs. She posted a solid work over the Keeneland strip last Sunday and is the one to beat. WHITE GLADIATOR (#5) is a definite threat.




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