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., Saturday, August 29, 2015

    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, April 3, 2015

    1st Race: IMPROV (#5) just missed in her debut and stumbled leaving the gate last out. Give her the slight edge in the opener with Julien Leparoux back aboard for trainer Rusty Arnold. DICKINSON (#1) ran well in both of her races in New York before stumbling badly and unseating her rider last out. She has posted a solid work since that one and is definitely the one to beat. FINE INSTINCTS (#4) was a beaten favorite last out but trainer Todd Pletcher adds blinkers and this one also has to be respected.

    2nd Race: PADEN (#5) ran well here in the fall and has posted back to back bullet works in preparation for his 4-year-old debut. She appears to be in a good spot to win for trainer Andrew McKeever and jockey James Graham. PETEIZUM (#3) ran a couple of huge races at Parx followed by two clunkers at Oaklawn. She may not have liked the track in Arkansas and looks dangerous today. ARI'S PRIDE (#8) is a consistent runner from the always tough barn of Brad Cox.

    3rd Race: WHITE CLOVER (#7) was no match for her more accomplished stablemate I'm a Chatterbox at Fair Grounds but is in much easier today. She figures to be on or near the lead throughout and will be tough to catch. TASSEOGRAPHY (#4) needed her two races at Oaklawn and has been working well since returning to Kentucky. Trainer Phil Sims usually has his horses ready for Keeneland and this one could run well at a decent price. SWEETGRASS (#1) comes off an impressive maiden win and also worked well over this surface.

    4th Race: SECRET STASH (#9) was a distant runner-up in her second race back after a long layoff. She is a 4-year-old taking on mostly younger rivals and could spring the upset in here. ISLAND FEVER (#5) and PROSPECTOR D'ORO (#2) finished a head apart last out at Fair Grounds and both looks like solid contenders today.

    5th Race: CHRISTIE'S READY (#2) beat a tough field at Turfway that included Wesley Ward-trained Rare Medal, who came back to win next out. She appears capable of making it two in a row for trainer Charlie LoPresti with the big rider change to John Velazquez. STREETHEART (#3) has been idle since November but hooked some good ones last year and is training well for her 3-year-old debut. THUNDER BAY (#1) comes off an impressive maiden score at Tampa Bay Downs and is bred to be a good one.

    6th Race: AWESOME SKY (#3) has shown big improvement since trainer Mark Casse moved him to the turnback in September. He gets the slight nod if the predicted rains don't force this one off the turf course. TAKE THIS (#5) would seem to be the one who would benefit from a move to the main track and is capable of winning if it is switched the dirt. LOS BORRACHOS (#11) is a solid contender from the Bill Mott barn.

    7th Race: HOW ABOUT HIM (#9) was no match for Yokeys Warrior, an extremely impressive debut winner for trainer Al Stall at Fair Grounds and is the favorite here. Give him the edge over some first-timers who have been training well for good connections. ABDAAR (#3) is one of those firsters. Trainer Chad Brown has solid numbers with his debut runners and this one has had a series of good works in Florida. WILD AND UNBRIDLED (#4) caught the Keeneland clockers’ eyes with a bullet here on Monday.

    8th Race: RAPSCALLION (#5) has raced mainly on the grass but looked good winning a race over the sloppy main track here at Keeneland in October. He has been off since December but is in the capable hands of trainer Graham Motion and jockey John Velazquez picks up the mount. A. P. INDIAN (#6) came back off of a thirteen month layoff and won in hand. He figures to be on or near the lead and could be very tough to catch. TRANSPARENT (#7) is a solid threat in a wide-open allowance race.

    9th Race – Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select: DIVISIDERO (#8) ran a huge race to break his maiden despite a wide trip. He had some trouble in the stretch in the Palm Beach (G3) and may have been the best in that one. He appears to have a lot of talent and rates the slight edge with jockey Rafael Hernandez back aboard for trainer Buff Bradley. LUCK OF THE KITTEN (#10) just missed against his stablemate Hootenanny in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and has been training sharply for his return. Trainer Wesley Ward figures to have him ready and he will be tough to catch with jockey Mike Smith in for the mount. A LOT (#4) showed big improvement in his second start back after a layoff and is a definite threat for trainer Bill Mott and jockey John Velazquez.

    10th Race: MOONLIT METEOR (#5) is riding a three-race win streak for trainer Tom Amoss and is in a good spot to make it four in a row today. CHUCKS TURN (#6) needed his last race after a long layoff and has the speed to be dangerous. ALL STAR BELL (#7) has been running well at Turfway and shouldn't mind the move back to dirt.




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