Mike Battaglia's Picks
FRIDAY, MARCH 16 (Preview)
TETRADRACHM is a nine year old veteran with career earnings of over $460,000. He faded a bit last out but should be in good position throughout and gets the nod in a well matched claimer. FAITHFUL NEIGHBOR has the speed to make the lead and could be tough to catch. PLAIN TALES is a solid contender.
DESIREE is a lightly raced filly who has shown improvement with every start. If she continues to progress she should be able to break her maiden tonight. BONNIE BONNET has had eleven chances to but she drops in class for this one and gets blinkers for the first time. he figures to be the main competition. SAFARI HEART moves up in class but seems to fit with these.
SEVENHEARTSWARRIOR has been in the money in 7 of his 12 races. He drops in class for this one and looks best with Lebron back aboard for Denis Roberson. CINCINNATI lost his best chance when he stumbled in his race here on January. Look for a much better effort tonight. STANDUPANDFIGHT rates a chance.
HAY NET comes off of back to back wins for Otto Draper and is capable of extending that streak with Franklin picking up the mount this evening. JUST ANOTHER JOHN has just one win and is running out of conditions but he is pretty good right now and is the one to beat. STAN'S OLD HABITS has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout.
PAMPERED VOW is still maiden after 18 tries but he drops to the bottom for this one and gets the nod in a fairly weak field. CHARIOT ran poorly last out but a return to her best makes her dangerous. SYLVESTER YOLY exits the same race as the top pick and is a solid threat.
DON'T TELL MOM comes off of a game win at this level and appears to be in a good spot to make it two in a row with Franklin back aboard for Genaro Garcia. LADY ARYA takes the big class drop after a five month layoff. Anything close to her best would win this one but the drop and time off are reasons for concern. OLYMPIC SMOKE rates a chance.
MAGNETIC SPOT is a four year old filly who has been second in three of her last four races. She has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout and rates the slight edge over a pair of three year old runners tonight. TIGER LISA also has good speed. Lebron takes off of the top pick to ride here and she figures to be tough to beat. LIL MS PERFECTION comes off of an easy maiden win and has to be respected.
WINNERS EXPEDITION cuts back to six furlongs and should be rallying from off of the pace with Outz aboard. Give her the edge in a well matched bottom claimer. DISONES PRETTY has just three wins in 40 starts but she has the speed to be on or near the lead and is the one to catch. DIXIE JACKPOT moves back to the Turfway surface where she has had success in the past.
TRAPPE VALLEY was second in his first race back after a long layoff. He figures to move forward off of that effort and can win this one with Kennedy back aboard for Sally Schu. J DUB has good early speed and gets blinkers for the first time tonight. BUNZLAUER fits in here.
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 (Preview)
NORMANDY CROSSING loves this track and is riding a two-race win streak. Look for him to make it three in a row with Ouzts back aboard for Susan Anderson. TAKIN THE SLOROAD will be running at the end and looks second best. JINGLE ME THIS is good right now and is a contender.
FRENCH CURVE stopped badly after flashing early speed in his only race last year. He moves to the barn of Tom Drury for his three-year-old debut and rates the edge in his return. BATTERBATTERSWING was third in his race over this surface and looks like the one to beat. DA BULLET is a contender.
FAMILY KITTEN ran well to finish second in his first two races and ran evenly last out in the Battaglia. Maker moves him back into a maiden race today and he looks like a solid bet to win this one with Gaffalione picking up the mount. GET TOUGH ran evenly in his only start and is the one to beat. PEACE OF EKATI debuts for Michael Dickinson, who always has to be respected.
TRUE BOOTS has been off since November but McPeek has solid numbers with returning runners and this one can win with Drayden Van Dyke picking up the mount. BEMUS POINT also comes off of a four-month layoff but is in the capable hands of Rusty Arnold and has to be respected. MIA VALENTINA has been running for a tag but fits with these.
NECESSARY has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout and looks best in a well matched maiden race. TRUE DREAM has been idle since October at Keeneland but is training steadily and looks dangerous in this spot. FINAL REWARD was a beaten favorite last out but will be running at the end and has to be considered.
RACE 6: THE LATONIA STAKES
PROUD AND FEARLESS had a solid three-year-old campaign for Larry Jones. She has been idle since a dull effort back in November but has been training steadily at Fair Grounds and should be ready for her return. ALPINE SKY woke up last out after a couple of dull efforts. She should bet a good trip from the inside post and looks dangerous with Saez aboard for Mark Casse. APOLOGYNOTACCEPTED stopped badly in her last race after coming off of a long layoff. She was really good last year and anything close to her best would make her very tough to beat.
RACE 7: THE RUSHAWAY STAKES
YEAR OF THE KITTEN looked good breaking his maiden at first asking at Churchill back in November. He failed to fire in his three-year-old debut at Gulfstream but had to need that race. Maker figures to have him ready today and he will be running late in a race loaded with early speed. Give him the slight edge with Gaffalione aboard. HONORABLE TREASURE ran fifth in the Champagne after an impressive maiden win at Saratoga back in August. He has been off since a fifth-place finish in the Street Sense but hooks an easier field for his return and looks like the one to beat. VIOLENT STORM was a game maiden winner at Churchill back in November and is another one who figures to be running at the end.
RACE 8: THE KENTUCKY CUP CLASSIC
ROYAL SON loves this track. Kellyn Gorder has this six-year-old in peak form right now as evidenced by back-to-back blowout wins. He figures to be laying right off of the early leaders and looks like a good bet to make it three in a row with Dean Sarvis back aboard. CHIP LEADER doesn't have the stakes experience of most of these horses but he also comes into the Kentucky Cup Classic in top form. He moves to the barn of Todd Pletcher after winning three in a row and has the speed to make the lead with Van Dyke riding. He could be tough to catch. DESIGNED FOR WAR comes off of a huge effort in his first start after being claimed by Maker and looks like a solid threat.
RACE 9: THE BOURBONETTE OAKS (G3)
GO NONI GO was fifth in a very tough renewal of the Sweetest Chant where the winner and third-place finishers both came back to win graded stakes races next out. She has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout and looks like another solid win candidate for Maker and Gaffalione. BET SHE WINS was an impressive winner on the Poly at Arlington before a sixth place finish in the G1 Alcibiades at Keeneland. She will like the move back to the Poly and looks dangerous for Chris Block with Jimenez aboard. QUEEN'S FATE also exits the Sweetest Chant and is a contender.
RACE 10: THE JEFF RUBY STEAKS (G3)
See Mike's comments all on contenders.
MANIACAL has been a consistent runner for Wesley Ward, finishing in the money in seven of his nine career races. He drops in for a tag today and appears to be in a good spot to pick up the win with Garcia back aboard. HOLLYWOOD TALENT is a seven-year-old veteran who is very good right now. He is the one to beat. MOUNT CALVARY fits with these.
ALTAR ISSUES is one of two first-timers in here for Mike Maker. She comes off of a series of solid works at Belmont and Saratoga and should be ready to fire today. CHURCH is a well bred Claiborne/Dilschneider filly by First Samurai. She has been training well for Tom Drury and has to be respected. KILLAG KATIE is the other Maker runner. Her works here at Turfway are decent and she looks like a contender.
Turfway Park LLC makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of data in the picks but disclaims responsibility for the consequences, if any, of any errors therein or errors in the data carried in newspapers or Daily Racing Form.