Expert Picks - Mike Battaglia

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Let our experts help you handicap the day's races at Keeneland.

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

E.g., 2014-07-30

    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.


    Sunday, April 6, 2014

    1st Race: BLUE FORTY (#3) drops in for a tag and moves back to the synthetic surface, where she has won four races. She rates the edge in the opener. DISSENSION (#5) comes off a solid runner-up effort over the Gulfstream turf. She cuts back to six furlongs and will be running late in a race that figures to have a fast pace. CASH IS QUEEN (#2) definitely fits at this level.

    2nd Race: EXPECTING CASH (#2) has never raced on the Polytrack but moves to the barn of Tom Amoss and posted a solid work over the Keeneland surface on Monday. He faces softer competition today and rates the edge with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard. STRONG RESOLVE (#4) hasn't raced since November but won back-to-back races over this track in October and is definitely the one to beat. BRAT (#5) rates a chance.

    3rd Race: INFLATION TARGET (#5) has been running well against bottom claimers at Turfway and gets the nod against a fairly weak field this afternoon. SASUENO (#3) stopped badly last out at Turfway but drops in class today and posted a bullet work on Thursday. He is the one to beat. HANCHO (#6) will be running late

    4th Race: IS SILVER GOOD (#7) has been in the money in five of his seven starts and was claimed last out by Ken Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker. He appears to be in a good spot to get the win with jockey Rosie Napravnik picking up the mount. EMOTIONAL STROLL (#3) comes off of an impressive score at Laurel in February. He should be able to handle the move to the Polytrack and will be running at the end. ATASHEEN (#4) has the speed to be on or near the lead and is a definite threat.

    5th Race: XAVERIAN (#7) had a rough trip in his debut but rallied to finish fourth behind Woodfield Springs, who was third in the Transylvania here on Friday. He figures to move forward in his second career start and rates the slight edge over Turf Kitten in a close call. TURF KITTEN (#11) finished second in both of his races at Fair Grounds and will be tough to beat. FLORIDA WON (#5) has been off since August when he was fourth behind Spiral winner We Miss Artie.

    6th Race: FRAZIER'S PEGASUS (#4) ran poorly last out but may have bled in that one. She gets Lasix today and broke her maiden over the Keeneland Polytrack in October. Give her the edge. THIS IS NICE (#2) has just one win in 21 starts but drops in for a tag and will be tough to beat at this level. ARTIE R R (#6) ran well in her first race back after a long layoff and should improve.

    7th Race: LATE NIGHT LU (#5) comes off a solid effort at Oaklawn and ran well in his only start over the Keeneland Polytrack in October. Give him the edge in what looks like a well-matched maiden test. FRANKLIN (#4) and RESTLESS SPIRIT (#7) are both capable of winning with their best efforts.

    8th Race: PERSONAL DIARY (#1) has been off since October but has been training steadily and is capable of coming from off the pace in a race that should have a legitimate pace. She can spring the upset with her best effort. PARTY NOW (#12) looks like the logical winner but will have to overcome the outside post and could be vulnerable. UNSPURNED (#2) ran very well in stakes races in Canada and can't be dismissed.

    9th Race: PURELY BOY (#1) has a solid record on the Polytrack. He looked good winning last out at Turfway and can make it two in a row today. BERGMAN (#8) drops in class and is the one to beat at this level. FISH (#7) has run well over the Keeneland strip in the past and could be tough despite the layoff.

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