Mike Battaglia's Picks
COMMENTS FOR THURSDAY
GRIMPANTE ran an improved race in her first try over the Tapeta. Give her the edge for Ian Wilkes with Chris Landeros back aboard. NOSTALGIA finished a couple of lengths behind the top pick last out but Corrales picks up the mount and she could improve. CONOLOWAY comes off of a dead last performance but posted a recent bullet work over this track for Mike Maker.
DRAGON DREW was a front running winner last out. He will have to come off of the pace tonight but is capable of the repeat score. GOLDENPENCE is back in against bottom claimers and will be tough at this level. ED'S ROCKET will win with anything close to his best performance but the big class drop is a good reason for concern.
NINEELEVENTURBO just missed last out as the favorite but has posted two bullet works since that start. He appears to be in a good spot to get his maiden win for Maker and Hernandez. TORIN was fourth in his debut for John Ortiz and has also been training sharply since then. He figures to improve and has to be respected. SCALE is a definite threat.
ARIAN RAE rallied from off of the pace last out to finish second. She figures to be in good position throughout in this one and gets the nod in a well matched race. DANCE OR STROLL looked very good finishing second in a six furlong race last out. A repeat of that one makes her the one to beat but she is questionable at tonight's one mile distance. FLIRTY is a contender.
QUEEN OF VERONA won at this level last out and is capable of the repeat score. RUN LIKE REV beat several of these same runners last out and has to be considered. LIVELY KITTEN is a contender.
LUNA FORTIS is good right now. She comes off of back to back wins including a nice score in her Turfway debut. Look for her to continue her streak tonight with Emmanuel Esquivel back aboard for Cipriano Contrares. QUICK WITTED hasn't won a race in quite a while and has never been on the synthetic surface. He has however been running against better and if he takes to the track he will be tough. FROND will be running late.
HAUNT cuts back to six furlongs and should be rallying from off of a fast pace. He figures to be in good position from his outside post and rates the edge in a very tough allowance race. GLENWOOD best the top pick last out and can run well again tonight. MOONOVERSEBA has been in the money in 14 of his 19 races with 6 wins. He has to be respected.
TILL THEN is one of many in here taking big class drops. Give him the edge for high percentage trainer Jonathan Thomas. CANTBETEMALL looks like the one to beat. SUBLIMINAL CRIMINAL is a contender.
COMMENTS FOR FRIDAY
DRAMA RUN comes off of a solid runner up effort at this level and gets the nod in the opener. CAN'T TOUCH ME drops back to the bottom after hooking better in her last few races. Her best make her a winner but she is unproven over the synthetics. NEW APPEAL has been off since July but is training well for her return.
HEMP HEAVEN ran well to finish second in his debut for Wes Ward. He was claimed from that one and moves up in class for Jimmy Corrigan but he should improve and rates the edge. GOODTIME ARTIE was a beaten favorite last out but will be rallying from just off of the pace and is the one to beat. QUANTUM VELOCITY figures to go right to the lead. He has been stopping badly in his races in Canada but drops a notch in class and could be tough to catch.
LOVE YOUR BUTTONS has been off since September but has been training steadily for his return and hooks a fairly weak field of bottom claimers. DETERMINATOR ran well at this level last out and is the one to beat. MESA SKYLINE is a contender.
WAIT FOR NAIROBI ran the best race on her short career in her first try over the Turfway Tapeta. She has trained well since then and rates the edge with hot riding Santiago Gonzalez picking up the mount. TWENTY CARAT debuts for the always tough Wes Ward. She has been training over this track since November and figures to be ready tonight. MISS MALIBU should improve and has to be respected in what looks like a wide open race.
BANGO was a very impressive winner in his race at Churchill back in November for Greg Foley. He has been training in New Orleans so the fact that he ships in for this one is a positive sign. Give him the edge with Corrales aboard. MADE IN AMERICA was a game runner up in his first try back after six month layoff. He should improve and will be tough to beat. LOOKIN TO STRIKE can rally from off of what should be a fast pace and is a definite contender in a tough renewal of the Forego.
MISS EAU DE VIE was a beaten favorite last out but ran gamely to finish second for Maker and Corrales. She rates the slight edge in another solid allowance race. PLIANTLEA exits the same race as the top pick. She needed that one and Michael McCarthy's runners have to be respected. INTO VANISHING comes off of a game maiden win.
STRAITOUTTAPOPCORN drops back in for a tag after a good effort last out. All of her best races have boon in the synthetic surfaces and she looks like a winner at this level. DOLCI didn't beat much in her maiden win but she looked very sharp and won with with authority. This is a better bunch but she has to be considered. CENTERFOLD ANGEL is a definite threat.
NO NAY NOW drops to the bottom for Ward and figures to get his maiden win at this level. WINGING WAYS looks like the main competition. ANIMAL KRACKERS will be running late.
COMMENTS FOR SATURDAY
NOBLE ALMA closed strongly to win last out and should get a solid pace to run at again tonight. She can make it two in a row with Bejarano picking up he mount for Lila Gonzalez. MISS KITTY MAE may be the fastest from the gate and gets the inside post. BRIDGE DANCER is a solid threat.
MORAL STANDARD didn't show much in his debut but drops a notch in class and gets blinkers. Look for improvement tonight. CHASING ARTIE ran poorly in his only start at Gulfstream back in May. He has been training steadily for Wes Ward and has to be respected in this spot. FAST BOB is a solid threat.
VIVID VERSE was very sharp winning his Turfway debut. He moves up after being claimed from that one and can make it two in a row with Jimenez picking up the mount for the new connections. UNCLE EARLY looks like the controlling speed and could be tough to catch if left alone on the front end. JOHNNY CAB has an excellent record on the synthetics and is a definite contender.
SECRET MOVE flashed some speed against better last year at Churchill. He drops in class for his 4 year old debut and hot rider Santiago Gonzalez picks up the mount for Susan Anderson. GRAN ROJO has been dull recently but could improve against this bunch. CREASY is a contender.
DIXIE HIGHWAY drops in class and hooks a fairly weak bunch. Give him the edge. MOON LAUNCH will be running late and is a solid threat. RUN THIS TOWN fits in here.
SEQUOYA has been off for two months but is training steadily for Ian Wilkes and appears to be in a good spot to pick up his second career win tonight. SEVEN SEVENTEEN looks like the main competition for the favorite. STUY TOWN BABY has the speed to be dangerous.
QUEEN BRIDGET came off of a long layoff to post a game win for trainer John Ortiz. She has had a couple of solid works since that score and can make it two in a row in a very good allowance race. OXUM POWER didn't win her comeback race last out but did rally well in the stretch. She should move forward and will benefit from what should be a lively pace. RIA MUNK figures to be on or near the lead and is a definite contender.
CHASINGSERENDIPITY is a first timer from the barn of Brad Cox who is definitely in the running to win the Eclipse Award after his excellent 2020 campaign. This one has been training well and posted a bullet work here recently. GENERAL GINNY comes off of a dull effort but gets blinkers and lasix and should improve. JOYFUL PRAISE ran against weaker company last out but is a contender at nice odds.
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