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.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    1st Race: TIME FOR MY ANGEL (#7) ran well when dropped in for a tag last out. She has the speed to make the lead and appears to be in a good spot for her maiden win. MADISON OLIVIA (#3) broke poorly last out and Julien Leparoux picks up the mount today. ELONA (#1A) can add value to the gimmicks.

    2nd Race: DIVINE STORM (#6) looks like a winner but will be a short-priced favorite with Corey Lanerie picking up the mount for trainer Chris Richard. RILEY ROCKS (#1) should make the lead from his inside post and is the one to catch. K C'S CALL (#2) can complete the chalky trifecta.

    3rd Race: ALZANBAQ (#1) drops in for a tag for the first time and should get a good trip from the inside post. Give him the edge in a well matched race. BIRD HUMOR (#7) has been running evenly at this level and has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout. PARK RANGER (#4) posted a solid recent work over this track and also takes the class drop.

    4th Race: CREATOR (#7) closed well to finish second in his debut and posted a solid work over this track last week. Trainer Steve Asmussen figures to have him ready for a top effort this afternoon and he rates the slight edge in here. HUNTER O'RILEY (#3) also closed strongly in his debut at Saratoga and the winner of that one came back to win the Pilgrim (G3) in his next start. DISSIDENT (#5) ran in the Pilgrim and is back in against maidens today.

    5th Race: NATIVE INDY (#6) had a rough trip last out and may like the cutback to six furlongs today. She could spring the mild upset in this one. PRETTY PRICELESS (#3) just missed in her last start and figures to be the one to beat. ANGELS AND ARCHES (#10) could add value to the gimmicks.

    6th Race: AMAZING CHARISMA (#3) drew off to break her maiden on a muddy track here on opening Saturday. If she handles the fast surface as well she can make it two in a row with Julien Leparoux back aboard for trainer Ken McPeek. PROGNOSIS (#4) has the speed to go right to the front and comes off a game maiden win at Ellis. She is the one to catch. SOUTHERN GIRL (#6) broke her maiden at first asking at Delaware and has trained well since coming to Kentucky.

    7th Race: FARZ (#10) was a game maiden winner over the Keeneland lawn at the same 1 3/16 distance as today's race. He appears to be in a good spot to make it two in a row with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. VIGILANTE (#1) broke his maiden at Saratoga in August in his third career start for trainer Wayne Catalano. He is training sharply for this one and is a definite threat. GENEROUS KITTEN (#5) has won two races and can't be dismissed.

    8th Race: BULL DOZER (#9) is a 7-year-old veteran who has definitely lost a step or two recently. He does drop to a career-low claiming level and should get a good trip behind the two speed runners. Give him the edge. DEFER HEAVEN (#1) and ABBAA (#6) both look like need-the-lead types who figure to hook up in the early going. If either of them makes a clear lead, he will be tough to catch. 




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