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 23, 2015

    1st Race: WEEKEND WISH (#3) is on a roll since trainer Billy Gowan claimed her back in June. She has reeled off three straight wins and appears to be in a good spot to continue her streak today. CARMALLY CAT (#6) may be overlooked in the wagering coming off races against Indiana-breds but she could run well at nice odds. COTTON CLUB CUTIE (#2) is a solid contender.

    2nd Race: LIVONZIN (#7) has run well in all three of his races since being claimed by trainer Chris Hartman. He is questionable at the distance but this isn't a very strong race and he could spring the mild upset. PAINT THE MOON (#1) has had a solid year running in starter and optional claiming races. He drops back to the bottom for this one and is the one to beat. SLICK PARDONED ME (#2) is a 9-year-old veteran who is still running well.

    3rd Race: BENNY'S BOMBSHELL (#6) came back to run well after a long layoff but ran poorly when moved up in class after that. Trainer Wayne Catalano drops her back in for a tag today and she should like the move back to dirt. MAZIETTE (#1) ran well to finish third in her Keeneland debut and should move forward off that effort. APPEAL TO THE WIN (#2) has never raced on dirt but drops in for a tag for the first time and will be tough if she handles the footing.

    4th Race: SWEETWATER (#2) flashed speed in her last race before fading in the stretch. Trainer Mark Casse drops her in for a tag and she looks like a winner at this level. CINCO ZIPPY (#5) has been a beaten favorite in four of her five races but also takes the class drop and is the one to beat. SAPPHIRE SPITFIRE (#1) is a contender.

    5th Race: TASUNKE (#3) dropped back after chasing some fast fractions last out but re-rallied and was going well at the finish. She should move forward off that one and figures to like today’s seven-furlong distance. Give her the edge with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Todd Pletcher. NONCOMMITAL (#1) was a beaten favorite in her debut but is another one who should improve with that one under her belt. CAN'T BE DAZZLED (#6) is a definite contender in a tough maiden race.

    6th Race: SURGICAL STRIKE (#1) had a rough trip in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) but closed well once clear. A better trip may be all he needs to win this one with Robby Albarado back aboard for trainer Ben Colebrook. ONE LEGEND (#3) beat the top pick when they hooked up at Ellis and gets Lasix for the first time today. He figures to be a solid contender. GOOD INTENT (#2) ran well in his U.S. debut and can be expected to turn in another good performance this afternoon.

    7th Race: BOMBO GENESIS (#2) has been idle since finishing a strong third in her debut at Gulfstream in January. She only shows one work but trainer Wesley Ward usually has his horses ready to run and this field doesn't look particularly strong. FLYING JIBE (#7) has been a beaten favorite in her last two but ran well over this track in April and is the one to beat. BIRD SENSE (#9) is a definite threat.

    8th Race: BOLD CONQUEST (#6) is winless since breaking his maiden last September but he has been running strictly in stakes races since that score. He is training well since returning to Ky. and anything close to his best makes him a winner as he drops back in against allowance company. THUNDERGRAM (#2) looked very sharp winning back-to-back races at Churchill in May. He had to need his race at Belmont and is the one to catch. AWOPAHO (#1) comes off a solid runner-up effort and has to be respected.

    9th Race: PERSONAL DIARY (#1A) was very impressive when she scored the upset win in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last year. She hasn't won a race since then but has been facing top company and appears to be in a good spot to return to the winners circle today. AL'S GAL (#2) has been in the money in 11 of her 14 races and just missed last out at Parx. She is the one to beat in here. YUZURU (#5) could run well at nice odds.

    10th Race: DONEGAL MOON (#3) just missed against favored Conquest Windycity here on opening day and rates a slight edge over Wild Man in a close call. WILD MAN (#1) may not have cared for the mud in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) but has had two solid works since then and figures to be the main competition. VILMA (#5) finished right behind the top pick last out and can't be overlooked. 




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