Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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Please note that selections typically are available about 48 hours in advance of the race.

E.g., Friday, March 6, 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, October 18, 2014

    1st Race: PRAYER BELL (#6) hasn't hit the board in six starts but ran a couple of decent races on the dirt at Churchill. Give her the slight edge on the class drop. PRAISING (#5) also drops in class. She is lightly raced and eligible to improve. HONEYCHILD (#3) is a solid threat.


    2nd Race: VIRGINIA’S JOY (#5) was claimed last out by trainer Ingrid Mason, whose horses have been running very well this meet. She moves back to the dirt, where she has won all three of her races and could spring the minor upset. DON’T TELL ME NO (#4) comes off an impressive score and will be tough to beat as the favorite. BEFUDDLER (#6) is a contender.

    3rd Race: ETRUSCAN (#3) was fifth behind an impressive winner here on opening day. Trainer Larry Jones has good numbers with second-time starters and this one gets the nod in a tough maiden race. HOLIDAY TOUCH (#8) has flashed speed in both of races at Arlington. He should handle the move to the dirt and is the one to catch. VALUE VOUCHER (#9) had a recent bullet work over this track.

    4th Race: SKY FLIGHT (#4) ran evenly in his debut at Kentucky Downs and trainer Mark Casse adds lasix for his return. He should like the added distance and could spring the upset. COV (#11) has solid turf form and his best makes him the one to beat. CUPPA JOE (#12) is a definite threat.

    5th Race: GIMMEADRINK (#6) has proven to be an outstanding claim for trainer Dale Bennett, winning five of his seven races while moving up in class. He figures to get a good trip right behind the early leaders and appears to be in a good spot to get the win. ALMOST ENGLISH (#1) was claimed last out by trainer Joe Sharp, who has been on a tear and has to be respected. PROSECUTION (#11) has been first or second in eight of his last nine races.

    6th Race: DUCASA (#6) looked very sharp in her maiden win at Churchill before stopping badly in a key race next out. She has been off since May but moves to the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen and figures to be ready for a good effort today. EDDY GOURMET (#11) is the only horse in here with two career wins and she finished third behind the highly regarded La Madrina at Saratoga in July. TONI'S HOLLYDAY (#9) could add value to the gimmicks.

    7th Race: KIAMA (#11) is at the top of her game right now and looks like a solid bet to win this one with Julian Leparoux back aboard for trainer Brian Lynch. ZAMQUICK (#13) would be a big threat to the favorite if she draws in off of the also-eligible list. READY FOR SUMMER (#3) has to be considered.

    8th Race: ELNAAWI (#7) has been running against better and drops back into an allowance race today. He has had gate problems in his last two starts but a clean break would make him a winner with Julian Leparoux up for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. BELLARMINE (#6) lost his best chance when he stumbled leaving the gate at Churchill and can be expected to run well in here. ERIUGENA (#4) rates a chance.

    9th Race – Lexus Raven Run (G2): LA MADRINA (#10) makes her stakes debut for trainer Shug McGaughey after winning three of her four career races. She should get a good trip right off what figures to be a solid pace and she could upset this field with Javier Castellano back aboard. MISS BEHAVIOUR (#11) is a deserving favorite. She has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout and will be tough to catch. PIRATE’S TROVE (#4) has won all three of her races on the Polytrack but has trained sharply on the Keeneland dirt and has to be respected.

    10th Race: TAGHLEEB (#3) has shown improvement with every start and appears to be in a good spot to get his maiden win with Julien Leparoux picking up the mount for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. DYLAN WARD (#12) has been off since February but still figures to be the one to beat. AWESOME SKY (#1) is a definite threat.




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