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Mike Battaglia’s Turfway Park picks for Saturday

Turfway Park’s Mike Battaglia provides daily selections and comments for the Tribune during the live racing meets.




HIGLEY O’PRADO didn’t show much in his race here last Saturday but drops a notch in class and could wake up at this level. WARRANT OFFICER has been second at this level at Churchill and figures to be the one to beat. GOLDEN RULE HAVEN has only had one race and will improve.


PURELY BOY is a 10-year-old veteran who has an excellent record over the Turfway Poly. He drops back in against bottom claimers and looks best for Hugo Rodriguez with J. D. Ramos picking up the mount. VENKMAN has had a solid 3-year-old campaign, winning four of his nine races. He has never raced on Poly but if he handles the move he could be tough to beat. TED W was dull last out but a return to his best makes him dangerous.


MISTY BLUE didn’t break sharply last out but rallied well to finish fourth. She has a couple of decent works over this track for Mike Maker and should get a good trip from the inside post. Give her the edge over her stablemate. SWANAGE is also trained by Maker. She faded after making a nice middle move in the Jessamine and figures to be tough in this one. LIL MISS HOT MESS is a contender.


SAGARA has won two in a row on the dirt and owns a win over the Turfway Poly. Give her the edge in what looks like a wide open sprint. BLUSHING BELLA has been a consistent performer for Cipriano Contreras and should get a good trip from just off the pace. DANCE PROPOSAL has the speed to be on or near the lead and has to be considered.


BOBBY AXELROD is trained by Peter Miller, who has been on a hot streak recently. This one had to need his race at Churchill and figures to move forward tonight. Give him the edge with Martin Garcia aboard. MARSAC has been off since April but Ian Wilkes has solid numbers with returning runners. Look for improvement from him with leading rider Albin Jimenez picking up the mount. NEW FRONTIER is on the also-eligible list but is a win candidate if he draws in.


WHOA NELLIE didn’t have the smoothest of trips last out and was no match for an impressive winner while six lengths clear of the third-place finisher. She looks like a solid bet to win this one with Joe Rocco picking up the mount for Larry Jones. RED DANE was narrowly beaten by the top pick at Keeneland back in October. She has been idle since then, but Charlie LoPresti has already had a couple of winners, including one who paid over $99.80 on Wednesday. TEMPLE FUR fits with these.


LIONITE was away from the races for over a year and had to need his two races at Churchill. He was claimed last out by Paul Holthus and posted a near-bullet work here last Sunday. He figures to be ready for his best performance and could spring the mild upset. MOON OVER MONTANA ran poorly last out but will appreciate the move back to the Poly tonight. He has the tactical speed to be in contention throughout and is the one to beat for Rivelli and Jimenez. NEVER EVEN CALLED broke poorly last out and then faded after making a good move. He is a contender.


DETOUR lost all chance last out when she checked sharply while trying to make a move through on the inside. A clean trip will make her tough to beat tonight. WARRIOR’S PATH drops in class and gets in light with Ramos. LETTEM BERN has the speed to be dangerous.

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