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., Thursday, March 5, 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.

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    1st Race: ARTEMUSMAILCARRIER (#1) exits a race behind Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Carpe Diem and a couple of others have also come out of that race to win. He did finish last but has trained well since and drops in for a tag today. OUTLAW CHASE (#5) and COOMER (#6) are both first-timers who are training well.

    2nd Race: SPEEDY GIRL (#7) stopped after showing speed last out but that was her first start in six months. She can be expected to improve and could lead all the way today. BLUEGRASS GIN (#6) looks like the one to beat. TIZSOTIZNOT (#4) beat the top pick last out and has to be respected.

    3rd Race: DOUBLE RAH RAH (#6) drops in class and anything close to his best would be good enough to win this one. BILL OF RIGHTS (#4) also takes the class drop and moves to the barn of trainer Brad Cox. He figures to be the main competition. RUNYON HUMOR (#7) should like the move back to the dirt.

    4th Race: DEVILISH REASON (#7) won when dropped to this claiming level at Churchill and appears to be in a good spot to make it two in row with Calvin Borel back aboard for trainer Buff Bradley. FASTER THEN LIGHT (#5) has done all of her running on the grass but should be able to handle the dirt and is a contender. LEAVE IT IN VEGAS (#3) comes off an easy maiden score.

    5th Race: REASON TO BE PROUD (#7) moves into a starter allowance race after being claimed by Ramseys/Maker last out. He figures to like the added distance and looks like a solid bet to win with Javier Castellano picking up the mount. GALLANT EAGLE (#1) was claimed by Joe Sharp, who has won five of 11 since going out on his own. He is the one to beat. HONDO WANDO (#3) is a contender.

    6th Race: PYRITE MOUNTAIN (#5) comes off four straight runner-up efforts, losing by a combined total of one length. He appears to be in a good spot to break that streak today for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano. TAKEN BY THE STORM (#4) just missed in his comeback race for trainer Ken McPeek and he broke his maiden over this turf course as a 2-year-old. He is the one to catch. FEAR THE KITTEN (#6) could add value to the gimmicks.

    7th Race: TOUT (#9) has shown steady improvement for trainer Bill Mott and comes in off a game maiden win at Belmont. He had a sharp work over the Keeneland dirt on Monday and he appears capable of moving forward again today. ULANBATOR (#1) is the definite class in her coming out of four graded stakes races. He will be hard to beat. RANKHASPRIVLEGES (#7) is a contender.

    8th Race – Sycamore (G3): RED RIFLE (#4) has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout with John Velazquez aboard. He is proven at the mile and a half distance and rates the slight edge over Unitarian in a close call. UNITARIAN (#9) won the Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) here in April and has been training very well for his return. He will probably be closer to the pace today and is definitely the one to beat. HOLIDAY STAR (#3) is good right now and is a contender.

    9th Race: BARBADOS (#2) was fifth behind a repeat winner at Kentucky Downs and has been training well on the dirt here and at Churchill. He gets the nod with Paco Lopez up for trainer Kellyn Gorder. POW WOW PAL (#4) flashed speed in his debut and Churchill and is the one to catch. BOOMSHAKALAKA (#1) is a contender.




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