Keeneland Race Course handicapper Mike Battaglia provides comments for Friday's four Breeders' Cup races:
Post time: 3:30 p.m.
Ray’s The Bar is a lightly raced colt from the barn of Chad Brown. He closed well to finish a close-up third in his U.S. debut and should move forward off that effort. He figures to be running at the end in a race that should have a fast pace and could spring the upset. Camelot Kitten is also trained by Brown and also makes his third career start. His runner-up effort in the Bourbon was a solid performance and he is a definite threat. Cymric looks to be the best of the Europeans. He just missed in a Grade 1 at Longchamp and has to be respected.
Post time: 4:10 p.m.
Liam’s Map looks like a standout in the Dirt Mile. He has the speed to be on or near the lead and drew well with the three post. The price will be short but it would be tough to bet against him today. Wicked Strong finished behind the top pick in the Woodward and Whitney. He should be running at the end and is the one to beat with Johnny V. picking up the mount. Lea had first preference in the Mile but opted for this one and is a definite threat.
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
Post time: 4:50 p.m.
Harmonize flashed early speed in her first two races but showed her versatility coming from far back to win the Jessamine. She looks like she could be a good one and rates the edge with Junior Alvarado back up for Bill Mott. Catch A Glimpse is one of many promising 2-year-olds from the Casse barn who comes off a sharp front-running win in the Natalma. She will have to avoid a speed duel today but if Geroux can get her to rate she will be tough to beat. Sapphire Kitten just missed against the top pick and is a definite contender at nice odds. Illuminate appears to be the best of the Europeans but she has never been past 6 furlongs and never raced around turns.
Post time: 5:35 p.m.
Stopchargingmaria has been one of the most consistent fillies in training for her entire career. She was a beaten favorite last out in the Personal Ensign when she dueled for the lead throughout, but her best races have come from just off the pace. She should get a good stalking trip in the Distaff and rates the edge in another extremely well-matched field. Wedding Toast is a 5-year-old who has never been better. She has won three in a row and has the speed to be on or near the lead again this afternoon. She will be hard to beat. Got Lucky was a game winner in the Spinster. She will be running at the end and she is a definite threat.