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.

Friday, October 28, 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.

    Friday, October 28, 2016

    1st Race: COMICA (#5) comes off a sharp win at Parx and figures to be running late in a race with plenty of early speed. She rates the slight edge with Florent Geroux picking up the mount. PRINCESS DROSSIE (#4) will also benefit from what figures to be a fast pace. She won here in April and looks dangerous again today. CLASSIC BO (#6) is a bit suspect at the seven-furlong distance but has the speed to be a contender.


    2nd Race: THE GREAT WAR (#4) flashed speed against Breeders’ Cup-bound A. P. Indian in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) and ran well to finish fifth. That was his first race back after a five-month layoff and he figures to move forward off of that effort. BLACK BEAR (#2) figures to make the lead and is the one to catch. PULLING G'S (#1) is a classy runner who moves to the barn of trainer Neil Howard but has been off since February and might need a race.


    3rd Race: TOP COUNCIL (#10) debuts for trainer Phil Sims, who is having an excellent meet. This one has been training steadily and seems to have caught a fairly weak bunch. He is capable of running well at first asking. HUGH B. (#9) is also trained by Sims. He has the speed to be on or near the lead and is the one to catch. ANIMAL QUIET (#7) has been second in five of his six starts but has been a beaten favorite in all but one of those races.


    4th Race: FREEDOM (#8) just missed in her debut at Churchill and posted a recent bullet work here at Keeneland. She looks like a winner with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Bill Mott. PURELY A DREAM (#4) ran well on the dirt in her debut but shouldn't mind the move to grass for trainer Kenny McPeek with Corey Lanerie aboard. WEDDING DAY KITTEN (#2) debuts for Ramseys/Maker and has to be respected.


    5th Race: SQUATTY (#8) has a solid record this year and her best would be good enough against these bottom claimers. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (#10) comes off an even effort at this level and is the one to beat. TATUMS GOLD (#6) drops in class off the claim and rates a chance.


    6th Race: DEWYALOVEMENOW (#10) debuts for trainer Steve Asmussen off a series of good works. She should be ready to run and can spring the upset with Ricardo Santana Jr. named to ride. SPELLKER (#4) is the one to beat but she has been a beaten favorite in all three of her races. She can win but will probably be over bet again today. WHITE TIGHTS (#7) is a definite threat.


    7th Race: AURORA'S KID (#2) ran well here in April and probably needed her race in Delaware. She should move forward off that one and gets the nod in a very well-matched sprint. JACK WEST (#1) has been off since April when he broke his maiden here at Keeneland for trainer Nick Zito. He has trained well since returning to Kentucky and has to be considered. PATRIOTIC AMERICAN (#7) is a contender.


    8th Race: WAYWARD KITTEN (#1) has been in the money in nine of his 11 races and ran well over this turf course in April. Trainer Wesley Ward has only one win this meet but this one figures to run well with the rider change to Julien Leparoux. DUJAC (#8) ran well in his first start back after Ian Wilkes claimed him at Saratoga. He looks like the one to beat. NILEATOR (#3) is a contender.


    9th Race: OPEN ARMS (#1) broke her maiden at Churchill and ran well against better company in New York. Give her the edge for trainer Ian Wilkes, who is having a terrific meet. CALLINGMISSBROWN (#2) won her debut despite breaking last and the rider losing his irons. Trainer Graham Motion adds Lasix and trainer Florent Geroux picks up the mount. She figures to be tough to beat. JULERETTE (#3) has the speed to be dangerous.  


    10th Race: JUENESSE DOREE (#11) just missed in her debut and appears to be in a good spot to get her maiden win for trainer Mark Casse with Julien Leparoux back aboard. OH SO TERRIBLE (#10) set a fast pace in her sprint debut at Kentucky Downs. She figures to go right to the lead today and is the one to catch. RAVISSANTE (#1) debuts for trainer Graham Motion and has to be respected.

Friday, October 28, 2016



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