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.

    Friday, October 9, 2015

    1st Race: KENTUCKY DANCER (#2) stopped badly in both of her races but drops in for a tag today. She should be on or near the lead and rates the slight edge over Brown Eyed Lady in a close call. BROWN EYED LADY (#4) just missed last out and was in front a few strides past the line. A better start will make her hard to beat. EVER ARCH (#6) is a first-timer trained by Mike Tomlinson, who has excellent numbers with his debuting runners.

    2nd Race: ARTSY (#2) was overmatched in a tough allowance race at Ellis but drops back in for a tag and won impressively here in April. Anything close to her best would be good enough to win this one. EILEEN EVELYN (#1) comes off back-to-back wins at Indiana Downs and looks like the main competition. LOVE BULLET (#7) is a contender.

    3rd Race: ADOPT A KITTEN (#1) drops in for a tag after hooking better at Saratoga and Kentucky Downs. The move to the dirt is a concern but if she handles the footing she should win this one with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Wesley Ward. COLD DISH (#5) also takes the class drop and trainer Kenny McPeek adds blinkers. She figures to improve and is a solid threat. NATIVE INDY (#3) rates a chance. 

    4th Race: THIRTEEN ARROWS (#3) came back-to-win after an 11-month layoff then faded badly when chasing Breeders’ Cup-bound Stonetastic last out. She looks like the controlling speed in here and appears to be capable of the wire-to-wire win. THANK YOU MARYLOU (#4) is the definite class in here. She was third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) last year and had to need her last race at Kentucky Downs after a four-month layoff. She will be running late and will be tough to beat. V C F PROUD MARY (#6) moves to the barn of trainer Eddie Kenneally and is training well for her return.

    5th Race: NANCY DOLL (#2) is a lightly raced 3-year-old who ran evenly in a couple of races on the Arlington turf. She posted a recent bullet work on the Hawthorne dirt and drops in for a tag for the first time. Give her the edge in here. MY DUCHESS KATE (#6) is also taking the class drop for Neil Howard and should run well at this level. LA MAJESTIQUE (#1) prefers the turf but definitely fits in here.

    6th Race: METAL MAGIC (#9) has been a beaten favorite in all three of her races but appears to be in a good spot to get his maiden score with Corey Lanerie back aboard for trainer Eddie Kenneally. MISSLE BOMB (#7) was overmatched in the Iroquois (G3) but is back in against maidens this afternoon and figures to be the main competition. WAR STROLL (#3) ran well in his only start and is a contender.

    7th Race: CATRON (#2) lost all chance last out when he was slammed leaving the gate. He closed very strongly and was beaten just over two lengths in a very good effort. Look for big improvement today and give him the edge in an extremely tough allowance race. NECK ‘N NECK (#5) is a classy veteran who is approaching the $1 million mark in career earnings. He broke a long losing streak last out will be running at the end as he cuts back to the one-mile distance. STREET STRATEGY (#4) looked very sharp winning at Churchill this summer and a repeat of that one makes him a definite threat.

    8th Race: MISS COBBLESTONE (#3) was fourth behind a repeat winner at Saratoga and ran looked very sharp in her maiden win back in June at Churchill. She looks like a good bet to pick up her second career victory today. SWEPT UP (#6) has been idle since a dead last finish at Ellis. She moves to the barn of trainer Charlie LoPresti and has been training steadily for her return. ENOREE (#5) will be tough if she handle the move to the dirt.

    9th Race – Buffalo Trace Franklin County -- LADY SHIPMAN (#4) is a perfect 7 for 7 in turf sprints of 5½ furlongs or less and she has been winning by daylight margins. She will be on or near the lead throughout and looks like a solid bet to win again with Eduardo Nunez aboard for trainer Kathleen O'Connell. AGELESS (#5) is a veteran runner who has been in the money in 18 of her 21 races. She will be flying late and can't be left out of the gimmicks. SHRINKING VIOLET (#9) is a solid contender with her best performance.

    10th Race: MAKE THE SUN SHINE (#9) has been second in four of her five races and should get her maiden win for the red-hot Mark Casse barn. CHARIS (#6) moves back to the dirt for this one and is the one to beat. CLEARTAP (#4) has been idle since March but has to be respected. 




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