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Mike Battaglia’s Turfway Park selections for Saturday

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




MISTER CARSON set the pace until deep stretch last out and drops a notch in class for this one. He figures to be front again and gets the nod for Tom Drury with Malcolm Franklin back aboard. HIGLEY O’PRADO figures to be the one to beat. COMBATING rates a chance.


STORMY PACIFIC is a 9-year-old veteran who is in good form right now. He comes off a runner-up effort at this level and looks like a good bet to handle this field with a similar effort. STATELY OAK exits the same race as the top pick. He should be on or near the lead and is the one to catch. ELWOOD’S ADVICE is a contender.


MADE IN AMERICA and VEHEMENT are hard to separate in what looks like a two-horse race. MADE IN AMERICA rates the slight edge as he is lightly raced and had a very good race over this track last out. VEHEMENT has been off since August but moves to the barn of Tom Drury and ran against better last year. SURREPTITIOUS figures best of the rest.


MERCHANTS OF COOL is another talented runner from the barn of Wes Ward. He comes in off a 10-length maiden win and figures to make it two in a row at short odds. JOHN’S ROCK was no match for High Holy last out but was well clear of the third-place finisher in that one. He should get a good trip from the inside with Jimenez back aboard. BEXAR is also trained by Ward and moves up in class after breaking his maiden for a tag.


HARD TARGET was second behind the aforementioned Merchant of Cool last out. He should improve off that effort and can win this one with Rodney Prescott back aboard for Doug Cowans. BIGMANCAN was a game second last out for Garry Simms and he is definitely the one to beat. SUGOI debuts for William Morey, who has excellent numbers with first-timers.


COMPLICIT came back after a four-month layoff to win in her first start for Eric Reed. She will be rallying from off of what figures to be a fast pace and can make it two in a row in a well matched allowance race. ROGUE TOO has proven to be a bargain claim for Doug Danner, winning four in a row in front-running fashion. She figures to have company on the lead tonight but still looks like the one to beat. ARCH OF TROY moves up in class after being claimed and has to be respected.


RUMANDICE ran well to finish second in her Turfway debut for Kenny McPeek. She figures to move forward off that one and should get a good trip from the inside post. Give her the edge with Luan Machado back up. JEANNIE’S BEEPBEEP came off a year-long layoff to post a game win last out. She is undefeated in two career starts and will be hard to beat if she can handle the added distance. NAUGHTY JOKER is a definite threat in another wide-open race.


CAIRN won at this level two starts back and ran evenly against tougher in his last start. He has a solid record over this track and looks best in this one. HEART IN HAND exits the same race as the top pick and gets in light with apprentice Joe Ramos. He is a solid contender. RUNNINGFROMTHEFEDS is on the also-eligible list but the Chicago invader will be a threat if he gets in.


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