Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s take on Saturday’s races at Churchill Downs:
TAPIDOR finished last in a field of five in his first start back after a six-month layoff. He was beaten less than six lengths in that one and figures to move forward off of the effort. Give him the edge today. MOON GATE WARRIOR didn’t fire last out but has won two races over this track and is the one to beat. EDEN RIDGE exits the same race as the top pick and rates a chance.
LINBURG’S KITTEN ran well to finish third in a maiden race at Saratoga two starts back. He shipped to Del Mar to run in a stakes race last out and ran evenly late after falling far back in the early stages. He tries the dirt for the first time but drops in for a tag and can win this one. ANALYZING and OVER RIDER run coupled for Kenny McPeek. Both look dangerous today.
ECONOMIES OF SCALE faded badly after flashing speed in her debut at Saratoga but has trained steadily since coming to Kentucky and gets the nod for Al Stall with Mena picking up the mount. TIZ MY LADY has solid form and looks like the one to beat. SHY ran well in her first start back after being claimed and fits with these.
LILLY’S DREAM likes the Churchill lawn and figures to be running late in a race that is loaded with early speed. She looks like a solid bet to win this one with Lanerie aboard for Mike Maker. BURMA ROAD has been running very well and seems capable of rating just off of the early leaders. She will be tough to catch. B ROCKETT is another one who should be running at the end.
CLEVER SERVE drops in for a tag and moves back to the dirt for Wayne Catalano. She broke her maiden here in June and her best would be good enough to beat these. WITTICISM just missed last out and figures to be tough. PROUD DIXIE was claimed last out and posted a recent bullet work for new connections.
WHOLE LOTTA LUCK has three wins over this track. All those scores have come in claiming races but he appears to be capable of winning again despite the class hike. PERFECT PARTNER disappointed in a couple of races over this track back in May but woke up with solid efforts in New York. Throw out his last race at Kentucky Downs and look for a big improvement this afternoon with Lanerie back aboard for Mark Casse. CURLINS VOW likes this track and figures to be dangerous.
MIA D’ORO was third in her debut for Steve Asmussen and looks like a solid bet to get her maiden win this afternoon. GO GOOGLE YOURSELF closed well in her first start on the turf at Kentucky Downs. She should handle the dirt and is the one to beat. PARTY CLUB just missed last out and posted a bullet work last Saturday.
MR. MISUNDERSTOOD is the first of three short priced favorites for today’s stakes races. He is a perfect 5 for 5 on the turf and Geroux picks up the mount for Brad Cox. It would be tough to pick against him in the Jefferson Cup. BRONSON comes off of a solid performance at Kentucky Downs. He has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout and looks second best. GIANT PAYDAY is good right now and has to be respected.
HONORABLE DUTY is a five year old who is in the best form of his career. Brandon Walsh has trained him up to this race after a runner up finish behind Gun Runner in the Foster and he reports that his charge is ready to go. He looks best with Lanerie picking up the mount. FLASHY JEWEL was claimed last out by Mike Maker who has a history of turning claims into graded stakes winners. This one has the speed to make the lead and could go a long way on the front end. EAGLE is always dangerous.
AWESOME SLEW is the definite class in the Ack Ack. He was no match for Drefong in the Forego but rallied well and was clearly second best. Mark Casse figures to have him ready for another top effort and he looks like a winner at short odds. THE PLAYER isn’t as accomplished as the top pick but he is rounding back into top form and can be expected to run well for Buff Bradley. CONQUEST BIG E rates a chance.
ONE LAST STRIKE looks like a winner in the finale for Mike Maker with Lanerie sweeping the late Pick 3. TIZ THAT has only had two races and is capable of improvement. BIG DOLLAR BILL fits in here.