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., 2014-07-22

    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.

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    1st Race: SILVER LINING JOHN (#9) has only won two races but has been hooking some tough company, including Triumph and Song, who has won three straight stakes at Sam Houston. The drop in for a tag is puzzling but his best makes him a winner in this spot. TWO WILD FOR WORDS (#8) likes the Keeneland Polytrack and is the one to beat. LOOKN MIGHTY FAST (#1) is a solid contender with Julien Leparoux up.

    2nd Race: JUSTICE JUDY (#9) hasn't raced since October but hooks what appears to be a weak field in her comeback. She is the only 4-year-old in here and she gets a weight break with Dylan Davis up. SKYDECK (#10) drops in for a tag for the first time and has to be considered. BLUE TEMPTATION (#3) is a contender

    3rd Race: TRIPLE CHARM (#4) was a close-up fourth against a much tougher field in the Honey Fox (G2) at Gulfstream. She handled the synthetic surfaces in Great Britain and gets the nod in a small but well-matched field. SKY GIRL (#3) was a graded stakes winner last year and has been training sharply for her 4-year-old debut. LEINAN (#1) likes the Polytrack and looks dangerous.

    4th Race: BROADMOOR DE LIGHT (#2) comes off a win on the dirt at Oaklawn and ran well on the Keeneland Polytrack in October. She looks best in this bottom claimer with Rosie Napravnik picking up the mount. KATY LIED (#4) has been dull recently but likes this track and could wake up today. RICHIESLILDARLING (#5) has the speed to be dangerous.

    5th Race: ZAMQUICK (#5) has been off since a solid effort at Gulfstream in January. She has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout and her best would be good enough to win this one. WINTER WISH (#4) has been off for 15 months but had a good work over this surface last week and could run well. TOWN TOUR (#3) faded to last in her most recent start but worked well at Churchill.

    6th Race: GRIP HANDS (#4) does his best running on the synthetic surfaces and was an impressive winner over the Keeneland Polytrack in October. He has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout and will be tough to beat with Robby Albarado aboard for trainer Graham Motion. EXPLORING (#9) also owns a win over this surface. He has been training well for Mark Casse, who is off to a hot start this meet. DERBY KITTEN (#8) rates a chance.

    7th Race: SIMILU (#2) broke her maiden over this track in April 2013 and has been idle since May. She has been training well for Shug McGaughey and should be running late in a race with plenty of early speed. She could spring the mild upset. ULTIMATE SHOPPER (#7) ran a huge race in her debut win last year at Belmont and anything close to that would make her a winner again today. PREVIOUS (#12) has to be considered.

    8th Race: OCCASIONAL VIEW (#9) has been idle since a dull effort at Oaklawn back in January but is back on his favorite surface today. He has trained sharply for Ken McPeek and rates the slight edge in a tough allowance race. DYNAMIC SKY (#7) is a multiple stakes winner in Canada in the capable hands of Mark Casse. He comes off a long layoff but his class makes him dangerous. BULL DOZER (#3) is a hard-knocking 6-year-old who has won 15 races and has to be respected.

    9th Race: SIMON EYES (#9) drops a notch in class and is the only runner in here with a win on the synthetic surface. He is capable of beating this bunch with Dylan Davis aboard for Wesley Ward. DRAMA COACH (#5) also takes the class drop and has the speed to be dangerous with Javier Castellano riding. SNEAKY BLOWOUT (#2) will be running late.




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