Mike Battaglia's Picks
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13 (Preview)
SERIOUS I CANDY pressed a very fast pace before tiring in her first race back after a six-month layoff. She will improve off that one and is capable of the wire-to-wire score tonight. SUGARSUGARSUGAR drops a notch in class and figures to be the one to beat. SHELTOWEE'S POINT also takes the class drop and is a solid threat.
NATIONAL PRIDE dropped to the bottom to get his maiden win for Mike Maker and can make it two in a row with Prescott back aboard tonight. BROTHER CESARE looks like the main competition. DELIVER GLORY ran poorly last out but is capable of better.
ETHYL ETHER has been off for almost three months but is training well for her return. She will like the move back to the Turfway Poly and can win this one with Ouzts picking up the mount for Bill Connelly. PICANTE CALIENTE was a bit overmatched in the Holiday Inaugural but fits much better with these. BIZZEE MISCHIEF has the speed to be a contender.
AMBIDEXTROUS ALEX drops back in against bottom claimers and owns a win over this track. Give him the edge. BEACH HUT woke up last out and just missed. A repeat of that one would make him dangerous. MARK MY WAY is a solid contender.
PATTI PATTI PATTI has been a consistent performer this year and has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout. If she takes to the Poly she can win this one. I AM MISS BROWN was claimed from a win at Churchill and moves up in class tonight. She is good right now and is the one to beat. BLAME THE DREAM is a contender in a well matched starter allowance race.
MAN OF BLUES was second in a race here on opening night and moves up in class after being claimed by Kim Hammond, who has solid numbers with her first claims. He is bred to get the added distance and rates the edge with Rodney Prescott picking up the mount. MANSOOR exits the same race as the top pick and has already proven he can go the mile and a quarter. He is the one to beat. TAKIN THE SLOROAD likes this track and is a solid threat.
HAWAIIAN NOISES was in tight behind a wall of horses but rallied through on the rail to break his maiden at Keeneland. He faces an easier field tonight and looks like a solid bet to make it two in a row for Wes Ward with Luan Machado picking up the mount. KITCHI looks second best.
DYNAMIC RACER gets Lasix for the first time and could improve.
EAST COAST SWING is another two-year-old from the powerful Ward barn. She didn't show much in her races in England but has been firing bullets in the morning at Keeneland and should be ready. TOAST THE BULLDOGS debuts for Mike Maker off a series of solid works and has to be respected. MALIBU PARTY is a contender.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14 (Preview)
MARNATE figures to be on or near the lead throughout and gets the nod in the opener. BELA MENINA didn't fire last out but is capable of better. SWEET ROCK ran well at big odds last out and is a contender.
LOVE THE POWER drops to the bottom and has a solid record over this track. Her best makes her a winner at this level. PROM THEME also does her best racing here and she is the one to beat. DON'T TELL MOM has the speed to be dangerous.
VICTOR JARA comes off a couple of dull efforts but has had a couple of months off and is training sharply over this track. He rates the edge for Joseph Davis with Machado picking up the mount. WOLF MAN ROCKET was beaten by a couple of these same runners last out but he was running at the end and could add value to the gimmicks. TRAPPE VALLEY is a solid contender.
BOURBON SHOTTE looks like a winner in a very weak maiden claimer. LETITGO has had only three races and should improve. STEVE AND AARON takes a big class drop.
TUMULTUOUS GAL is actually stakes placed in Illinois and takes a big class drop tonight. Give her the edge in a wide open race. DA MRS. scored a 43-1 upset win to break her maiden here on opening night and has to be considered. JR'S JOY fits with these.
BIG KICK is a nine-yearold veteran runner with over $400,000 in career earnings. He has been off since May but has been training steadily for Kim Hammond and rates the edge on the class drop. MONEY TALKER is also nine years old but is still running well finishing in the money in 8 of his last 12 races. He is the one to beat. IRISH PROUD will like the move back to the Poly and is a legitimate threat.
AQUA FRIO moves to the barn of Mike Maker and drops in for a tag for the first time. He has been training well since coming to Kentucky and has handled a synthetic surface, winning two races at Golden Gate. Give him the edge with Prescott picking up the mount. HICKORY HILL ran poorly last out but was a winner at Keeneland in his prior start. If he takes to the surface he will be tough to beat. THE CURT FOX loves this track and is a definite threat.
WICKED GEM drops in class for Kellyn Gorder and gets blinkers for the first time. He hasn't hit the board in seven tries but could wake up at this level. HARLAN'S VADOR has been off since May but is working well for his return. FIRST TIZ BEST rallied to finish second at Belterra and has to be considered.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 (Preview)
I GOT IT comes off a decent effort at Churchill and will appreciate the move back to Poly. She looks best with Rafael Mojica aboard for Ricky Short. NAPA VALLEY ROSE just won here last Saturday and a repeat of that one makes her tough to beat. PUPPY ON A STRING stopped badly last out but has the speed to make the lead and should run much better tonight.
TAPITOR was no match for a runaway winner at Churchill but held on well to finish second in that one. He drops in class and can win this one for Helen Pitts with Franklin picking up the mount. WICKED GEM exits the same race as the top pick and has to be considered. AULD CUP takes the class drop and fits in here.
CHARM OFFENSIVE was never in contention last out against a better field but drops in class tonight. He broke his maiden over this track last year and appears to be in a good spot to pick up another win against this field. I'M A LUCKY GUY and RISKY TOWN finished a head apart in their last race and both are capable of running well again.
PRINCETONIAN was closing well going five furlongs last out and will appreciate the added distance tonight. He gets the edge with McKee back aboard for Brett Santangelo. CJS BILLY BYU beat the top pick last out and has the speed to be dangerous. MONDAY CONFESSION was dull in his last two but is capable of better.
GAMBLER'S CHOICE has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout and rates the edge in this one. LUDLUM gets blinkers back on tonight and posted a recent bullet work. He should get a good trip from the inside post and is the one to beat. JUST BE FRANK is a definite contender.
LAND BATTLE was a game winner in his first start back after being claimed by Kim Hammond. He can rate just off of what figures to be a fast pace and is capable of the repeat score with Machado back aboard. LANIER prefers more distance but is a classy runner who will benefit from the fast pace and will be closing late. TORAZO likes this track and has to be respected in a tough allowance race.
RAF stopped badly in both of his races but drops in for a tag for the first time for Mike Maker. He will be tough to catch with Prescott picking up the mount. QUITE A BIT ran evenly at this level last out and looks like the main competition. RUSSIAN TO TAPIT is a contender.
LADY RUBI is 1-for-17 but drops in class and hooks a fairly weak bunch. She gets the nod. SHE'S GOT FRIENDS closed well to finish second last out and looks like the one to beat. TEMPLESIS fits in here.
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