Fayette County

Mike Battaglia retires as Keeneland on-air analyst

Handicapper Mike Battaglia announced his picks before the first race at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky, on April 19, 2017.
Handicapper Mike Battaglia announced his picks before the first race at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky, on April 19, 2017. palcala@herald-leader.com

Mike Battaglia, the handicapper and racing analyst, is stepping down from his on-air race-day duties at Keeneland with Saturday’s close of the fall meet.

Battaglia will continue to set the track’s morning-line odds and provide expert picks for Keeneland.com.

“On behalf of Keeneland and our fans, we thank Mike for his tireless promotion of racing, particularly Kentucky racing, and for sharing his handicapping wisdom with legions of fans through the years,” said Bob Elliston, Keeneland’s vice president of racing and sales, in a release.

Battaglia, 67, began as the morning-line oddsmaker at Keeneland in 1974. He was the face of Keeneland in a variety of roles during his 43-year tenure, including as track announcer for Keeneland’s in-house simulcast wagering show and host of “Today at Keeneland,” the race-day replay show.

“It’s not like I am leaving,” Battaglia said in the release. “I will still be making the morning line and I plan to attend the races quite often.”

Battaglia also served as track announcer for 43 years at Turfway Park, where he continues as associate vice president, and called 19 Kentucky Derbys as the track announcer for Churchill Downs. From 1993 to 2014, Battaglia was a reporter and racing analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Battaglia was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in June.

Cheryl Truman: 859-231-3202, @CherylTruman

  Comments