Mike Battaglia's Picks
THURSDAY, JANUARY 18 (Preview)
ROB AND JOHNS GIRL didn't show much in her first race back after a four-month layoff but drops to the bottom tonight. She likes this track and figures to improve enough to beat this field. TALIAFERRO COUNTY looked good winning two starts back and a repeat of that one makes her dangerous. WOOD NOT MIND fits in here.
SLOWHAND was a beaten favorite in his last race but ran gamely to finish second. He gets the nod with Garcia aboard for Wes Ward. CINCINNATI drops a notch in class after some decent efforts in Florida. If he takes to the Poly he will be tough to beat. NIGHT GALLERY finished right behind the top pick in his first race since July and is a definite threat.
LIL POM POM overcame a rough start to finish a close-up third in her Turfway debut. A better start may be all she needs to win this one with Lebron back aboard for Barbara Riley. TIZ BEAUTY exits the same race as the top pick and figures second best. DOODLES drops in class and has to be considered.
DISORDERLY CONDUCT drops back in against bottom claimers and looks like a solid bet to win this one at short odds. OWL CREEK has been dull recently but has run well over this track in the past and will be running late in a race that figures to have a fast pace. He could add value to the gimmicks. HELLO PEOPLE has been in the money in five of his six races over this track and has to be respected.
BREZNO has an excellent career record on the all-weather surfaces and comes off of back-to-back wins here at Turfway. Kim Hammond had him entered to run for $25,000 on last Friday's canceled card so the drop back in for $8,000 is a bit bothersome but it would be tough to go against him in here. MYKONOS was claimed for a winning effort at this level back in December and Lebron picks up the mount. He is the one to beat. ENLISTED MAN likes this track and is a contender.
NEVER GROW OLD was a beaten favorite last out but had a rough trip in that one. She was steadied in the first turn and bothered by a loose horse turning for home. Give her the edge with Franklin picking up the mount for Wes Ward. TRIVIAL exits the same race as the top pick. She lost in a head-bobbing finish in that one and has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout. She will be tough to catch. CHASING CARS was also in that race and is a contender.
TIZZA TEMPER didn't fire last out on the dirt but she has much better form on the grass and figures to like the move to the Poly tonight. Give her the slight edge in what looks like a very well matched allowance race. ETHYL ETHER ran well to finish third in her debut here last month. She posted a recent bullet work for Bill Connelly and looks dangerous with Ouzts back aboard. LEISURE ran well on the Poly at Woodbine and moves back to the barn of Ben Colebrook. She is a definite threat.
PREEMPTIVE STRIKE drops back a notch in class and appears to be in a good spot to get his second career win against this bunch. GIOVANTE also takes the class drop after an even effort against better. He will be running at the end and looks like the main competition. SANTA MONICA BEACH has been off since November but is training well for his return--if he draws in.
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