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.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


    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 22, 2016

    1st Race: DISTORTED TYPE (#2) comes off a runner-up finish against better last out and drops back in for a tag today. She figures to win at a short price with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Mike Maker. LUVTHATMUSTANG (#1) has good speed and the inside post. She could run well at decent odds. BAETYKATY (#3) is a solid threat.


    2nd Race: ALBERT CHARLES (#9) stretches out after a fourth-place finish here on opening day. She should like the added distance and trainer Ian Wilkes’ runners usually improve with racing. AVIATOR PARKS (#1) has only had one race and should improve on the class drop. COOKIES ARE GOOD (#7) is a contender.


    3rd Race: IRONCLAD (#6) won his first start back after being claimed by trainer Tim Glyshaw. He won over this track in April and rates the edge in here. LAYTHATPISTOLDOWN (#4) has done almost all of his running on the grass but has a solid dirt record. He posted a recent bullet work at Trackside and is definitely the one to beat. ROYAL BLESSING (#7) fits in here.


    4th Race: HEAVENLY DAZE (#5) showed big improvement in her second career start at Churchill. She has trained steadily over the Keeneland strip and appears to be in a good spot to get her maiden win for trainer Kellyn Gorder and jockey Robby Albarado. BIRD STREET (#3) stopped badly last out as the favorite but is capable of a much better effort today. GATEWAY TO GOLD (#1) is a contender.


    5th Race: TEQUILITA (#11) was second behind Dancing Rags at Laurel and that one came back to win the Darley Alcibiades (G1) on opening day. She looks like a solid bet to get her maiden win with Florent Geroux picking up the mount for trainer Michael Matz. HARKNESS (#5) debuts for trainer Andrew McKeever, who won with a first timer here on Wednesday. This one is training sharply and has to be considered. MAKE AMENDS (#7) exits a key race at Churchill.


    6th Race: NAIFAH (#5) was fourth behind the highly regarded Coasted at Saratoga and trainer Graham Motion adds Lasix for this one. She looks like another winner at short odds. KITTEN SQUARED (#12) showed nothing in her two races but adds blinkers and had a nice work last week. Could wake up at a big price. PICASSO MOON (#11) rates a chance.


    7th Race: GETTYSBURG (#9) set the pace for stablemate Creator when he won both the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Belmont (G1). He looks like the controlling speed in here and is capable of the front-running win for trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. DECEMBER SEVEN (#7) was an impressive maiden winner at Churchill in September and has training well since that score. SEEKING BLAME (#2) will be running late and is a definite threat.


    8th Race: TALE OF LIFE (#4) ran poorly last out at Parx but may not have cared for that track. He won here in April and has the speed to be on or near the lead today. Look for him to regain his winning ways with Julien Leparoux aboard. FINANCIAL MODELING (#9) was eased in April in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and caught a yielding turf course in his comeback race at Ellis. He has trained well for Brad Cox and can run much better today. CATHOLIC COWBOY (#3) ran evenly in the Woodward (G1) and has to be respected.


    9th Race – Lexus Raven Run (G2): LIGHTSTREAM (#12) has the class edge coming off of a third-place finish in the Mother Goose (G1) and a narrow loss in the Test (G1). She will be running late in a race loaded with early speed and she rates the edge with Julien Leparoux back aboard for trainer Brian Lynch. MA CAN DO IT (#2) comes off of a solid maiden win and prior to that ran very well in three graded stakes races. She will also be coming from off the pace and looks like the one to beat. SOPHIA'S SONG (#10) is a definite threat.


    10th Race: CASUAL COCKTAIL (#3) is a speedy runner from the barn of Tom Proctor who tries the turf for the first time. She worked on the grass at Fair Hill and has trained sharply since coming back to Kentucky. Give her the edge. LAMONTAGNE (#8) has solid form in turf sprints and is definitely the one to beat. CLAIRENATION (#11) has been off since July but is a contender. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016



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