Mike Battaglia's Picks
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2019
COMMISSARIO has stopped badly in his first two races but Brad Cox drops him in class tonight. He should be in good position throughout and gets the nod with Declan Cannon aboard. BARON IT ALL takes a big class drop for Mike Maker. He had a solid work over the Turfway Poly and can also be expected to improve. LOVE MY BOSS definitely fits with these.
FLOROPLUS will be running late in a race loaded with early speed. The class drop is reason for concern but anything close to his best would make him a winner for Genaro Garcia. AMBIDEXTROUS ALEX ran poorly last out but will appreciate the return to Turfway, where he won four races. He is the one to beat with Johnny McKee, who had very good meets at Keeneland and Churchill, aboard. SOUL OF DISCRETION has to be respected.
SEA SHARK has the outside post but has the speed to be on or near the lead throughout. Albin Jimenez picks up the mount and he is capable of springing the mild upset in this one. TIDAL EFFECT figures to be the favorite with the drop in class, but he comes off a dead-last effort at Churchill and could be vulnerable. SUNDAY SCARIES will be running at the end and is a contender.
OVER PROTECTIVE has been away from the races since a fourth-place finish in the Rushaway in March. He has had two solid works recently and is the only horse in here with a win on the Turfway Poly. He is capable of running well with Orlando Mojica aboard for Keith Kinmon. AMERICAN MANDATE has been a steady performer for Steve Asmussen, who is fresh off his 22nd leading trainer title at Churchill. He has the speed to be on or near the lead and looks like the one to beat with DeShawn Parker up. BIZZEE CHANNEL is another speedy runner from the barn of Larry Rivelli. His lone win came over the Arlington Poly and he has to be considered.
RACE 5: THE HOLIDAY INAUGURAL STAKES
JEAN ELIZABETH has been outstanding for Larry Rivelli, winning 10 of her 16 races and never finishing worse than third. She has the speed to make the lead and looks like a solid bet for the wire-to-wire score in the Holiday Inaugural. ROCKY POLICY is a classy seven-year-old who is running very well right now. She has handled all types of surfaces and figures to rally from just off the pace. Martin Garcia, who had an excellent meet at Churchill, picks up the mount and she is the one to beat. STILL THERE was second in the Gr. 1 Ballerina last year but her two efforts this year were dull. Watch the board on this one.
SEQUIN has been second in three of her four races and showed good speed before stopping behind eventual Breeders’ Cup winner British Idiom in the Alcibiades. She has been training over the Turfway strip for the past month and rates the slight edge for Ward and Garcia. MY MAN FLINTSTONE is in the capable hands of Ken McPeek and has finished second in both of his races. He has the speed to be in contention throughout and will be tough with Machado up. FULFILL stopped badly in his only race but can be expected to run much better tonight.
PREDATOR looked good breaking his maiden as the odds-on favorite at Churchill. He faces better company in this one but has the speed to make the lead and can make it two in a row with Channing Hill picking up the mount for Brad Cox. MEMORABLE was well beaten in the slop at Keeneland but ran gamely to finish second. He figures to be the main competition. SHANGHAI MOON is a contender.
TAY TOWN drops back to the bottom and has some decent races on the Poly. EAST AND UNION gets blinkers and could improve. NUTCRACKER BALLET is a first timer who wouldn’t have to be world beater to compete in this one.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2019
UNVEILING drops in class for Mike Maker after a solid effort against better. He looks like a winner at short odds with Martin Garcia picking up the mount. HARLAN’S VADOR is still winless after 16 starts and was well beaten by the top pick last out but could wake up on the move back to Poly. OUT OF THE BLUE is a contender.
WARRIOR’S LULLABY figures to be another strong favorite in the second race. Garcia is also aboard this one for Shelbe Ruis and it would be tough to pick against him in this spot. TEE TEE ran poorly in his last two at Churchill but has a couple of wins over the Turfway strip and rates a chance. TALE OF FAME has a chance,
DEERSLAYER debuts for Mike Maker off a long series of solid works in Louisville and here at Turfway. Maker has good numbers with first-timers running for a tag around two turns and this one could be ready to fire tonight. CLASSIFIED INFO drops in class for Ian Wilkes, whose horses usually improve with racing. Look for a better effort in here. AMERICAIN JOEY is a solid threat.
PROVEN WARRIOR is a 9-year-old veteran who was re-claimed by Kim Hammond last out. He has good speed from the inside post and rates the slight edge in a wide-open claiming race. FERLIN HUSKY has never raced at Turfway but has an excellent record over the Arlington Poly. He is the one to beat. OVERCAME will be tough if he handles the track.
MOLLY’S GAME woke up last out on the Churchill dirt and broke her maiden over this track last year. She can spring the mild upset in another competitive race. NO INTEREST has an excellent record on the Tapeta at Presque Isle and if he takes to the Poly he is definitely the one to beat. HOXIE is a contender.
SISTAS READY ran poorly on the dirt at Keeneland last out but owns a win over this track. Give her the edge with Jimenez picking up the mount for Charlie Lopresti. DOUBLE OAKED has just one win in 23 starts but has been in the money in 12 of her races. She beat the top pick last out and her best makes her dangerous. PASS IT ON rates a chance.
K CHOICE has shown huge improvement in his last two races. Maker claimed him from his last win at Churchill and he faces a very tough field, but he gets the nod in a very contentious race. KNIGHTS KEY is a veteran runner who has performed well on all types of surfaces. He will be rallying from just off the pace with Albin Jimenez and looks dangerous in this spot. UNMOORED moves up in class after an easy win and is a solid threat.
HOORAY FOR HARVEY looks best in here. He comes off a decent effort against better and if he handles the Poly he should be able to win with De La Cruz back aboard. CRUZ DIEZ is a bit erratic but he will be running at the end and could add value to the exotics. GEORGIE HYPHEN drops in class and fits with these.
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