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.

E.g., Tuesday, August 4, 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.


    Saturday, April 18, 2015

    1st Race: A. P. SONATA (#4) is a high-priced Keeneland sales grad from the Bill Mott barn. She should be ready for her best performance in her third career start and rates the edge in the opener. SAMANTHA NICOLE (#6) lost her best chance when she stumbled leaving the gate last out and she is the one to beat. SPANISH FLOWER (#3) is a contender.

    2nd Race: ROUS (#6) has been running well at Turfway but shouldn't mind the move back to the dirt today. He won at this distance over the Churchill strip and rates the slight edge over Defer Heaven in a close call. DEFER HEAVEN (#4) was claimed off a sharp win at Oaklawn but is unproven at the seven-furlong distance. BAD STUDENT (#9) drops in class and fits here.

    3rd Race: FORTUTIOUS (#4) comes off a couple of solid efforts in Tampa and appears to be in a good spot to ger her maiden win for trainer Ian Wilkes and jockey Julien Leparoux. RANGER’S DREAM (#7) showed big improvement in her second career start and could be tough to catch. EARLYBIRDSPECIAL (#3) debuts for Kellyn Gorder off a series of solid works.

    4th Race: HOOTENANNY (#1A) had an outstanding 2-year old-campaign, narrowly missing in a Group 1 race in France and winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) in his last start. He has been training well for Wesley Ward and should be ready today. ASIA  (#1) runs coupled with the favorite and is a perfect 2 for 2 this year. SARATOGA DREAMER (#2) looks like the main competition for Ward duo.

    5th Race: GREYFELL (#12) ran poorly last out but drops in for a tag for the first time anything close to his best would make him tough to beat today. YAP YAP YAP (#6) narrowly best the top pick at Gulfstream and also takes the class plunge. WHISKEY SHINER (#5) was claimed last out by Brad Cox, who is very good with his first claims.

    6th Race: ROCK FALL (#4) ran two huge races at Belmont to end his 3-year-old campaign and looked good winning last out despite a poor start. He figures to move forward today and could spring the upset over millionaire Delaunay. DELAUNAY is an 8-year-old veteran who is still going strong and he will be hard to beat in here. PABLO DEL MONTE (#1) is a contender for a minor award.

    7th Race: SECURITY RISK (#8) has been off since August when he knocked sideways while making a move on the turn at Saratoga. Trainer Shug McGaughey adds Lasix this afternoon and he posted a recent bullet work. He could spring the mild upset. NEXRAD (#1) was fourth behind two next out winners at Gulfstream and should move forward off that one. SEEKING ALPHA (#5) has only had one start and is a solid threat on the move to the grass.

    8th Race: GO SET GO (#3) needed her race at Gulfstream and should move forward off that start. Give her the edge in a well-matched maiden race. WARRIORSCMOUTOPLAY (#9) has been in the money in 4 of her 6 races and is the one to beat. MAYLA (#2) flashed speed in her debut when favored and will probably improve.

    9th Race – Dixiana Elkhorn (G2): DYNAMIC SKY (#10) has hooked much better in his last three races in California and is proven at today's distance of a mile and a half. He figures to be ready for a top performance and looks best with Julien Leparoux aboard for trainer Mark Casse. UNITARIAN (#4) won this race last year and comes off a domination performance in the 2-mile H. Allen Jerkins Stakes at Gulfstream. He has been training well and is a definite threat. HOLIDAY STAR (#6) won the Sycamore (G3) here in October and can't be left out of the gimmicks.

    10th Race: SILVER MORGAN (#6) drops in class and appears to be in a good spot to pick up the win for Ramsey/Maker with Javier Castellano aboard. ARI’S PRIDE (#4) didn't fire here on opening day but looks like the one to beat. PROUD IMAGE (#5) is a threat at this level.

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