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., Wednesday, September 2, 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.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    1st Race: GREEK BIRD (#3) drops a notch drops a notch in class after being claimed by Joe Sharp. He looks like a winner at this level. KATY LIED (#5) is a veteran runner who handles any type of surface and she is the main competition. I’M SO VAIN (#1) has the speed to be dangerous.

    2nd Race: ASSOULIN (#6) and BACK AT THE RANCH (#5) are both trained by Wesley Ward but run uncoupled. Give the edge to the former off a solid work on Saturday. LITTLE CHERIE (#3) debuts for trainer Mike Maker and has to be respected.

    3rd Race: HIGHBALL (#6) exits a fourth place finish in a Grade 3 race at Fair Grounds and rates the slight edge with John Velazquez picking up the mount for trainer Wayne Catalano. TAGHLEEB (#1) broke his maiden over this turf course last year and the Kiaran McLaughlin barn has been red hot recently. He just missed last out in a fast race at Gulfstream and is definitely the one to beat. COASTLINE (#12) exits the same race as the second pick and can't be left out of the gimmicks.

    4th Race: INDIAN WILDCAT (#4) didn't show much in her debut but she drops in for a tag and trainer Tom Amoss' horses have been running well. KATIE O. (#5) is winless in 11 tries but figures second best. HENRY ELLA (#2) is a contender.

    5th Race: DANZIG STORM (#6) broke his maiden for a tag and Oaklawn and drops back in for $50,000 again today. He has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout and looks best for trainer Mark Casse and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. ARCH ANGEL (#5) broke poorly last out and lost all chance. A better start makes him dangerous. CAVU (#1) needed his last race after a long layoff and should move forward.

    6th Race: MR. SPEAKER (#10) has been off since October but was a Grade 1 winner on the turf at Belmont last year. He has been training well and can also win if rain forces this one to the main track. SAYAAD (#6) is another Kiaran McLaughlin runner who needed his last start and could be dangerous. GRAND ARCH (#4) has been off since November but was second to Wise Dan in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and has to be respected.

    7th Race: UNBRIDLEDEXPLOSION (#5) has been a bit of a money burner in recent starts but never really runs a bad race and seems to have found a spot where she can win for trainer Ian Wilkes with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard. FLEET OF GOLD (#6) has been off since January and is 1 for 14 but still looks like the main competition. ANOTHER INCIDENT (#1) is a contender.

    8th Race – Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select: A LOT (#7) didn't beat much last out but drew off to win easily in that one. He seems to be getting better with every start and gets the nod in a well-matched renewal of the Transylvania. LUCK OF THE KITTEN (#1) was narrowly beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and is training well for his return. He will be tough to catch with jockey Mike Smith in for the mount. NIGHT PROWLER (#2) beat the top pick in the Dania Beach (G3) and trainer Chad Brown has been on a roll recently.

    9th Race: STRAIGHT A HANNAH (#8) is training well for her debut and trainer Mike Maker should have her ready to go today. WINTER WISH (#2) is a 5-year-old who has been away from the races since May but could be dangerous against this bunch. HIDDEN HALO (#4) is a firster from the Tom Amoss barn who has to be respected.




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