Meet the Contenders: 2023 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes

March 4th, 2023

Meet the horses running in the 2023 John Battaglia Memorial S. over 1 1/16 miles on Tapeta at Turfway Park. For each horse, we're listing a pro, a con, and a rating of potential. The star rating of 1 to 4 represents opportunity to perform well in the John Battaglia Memorial field.

#1 GOOD HEART          *

Pro: Impressed on debut at Kentucky Downs, a trouncing a one-mile turf maiden special weight by 3 3/4 lengths.

Con: Finished far back in his last two starts.

#2 ARISTOCRACY          ****

Aristocracy wins at Keeneland (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Unbeaten colt overcame trouble to rally and win a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Turfway.

Con: Former claimer is stepping up in class for the John Battaglia.

#3 GILMORE          ***

Pro: Showed an affinity for Tapeta when finishing second in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, a Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier.

Con: He’s racing outside of California for the first time.

#4 SCOOBIE QUANDO          **

Scoobie Quando wins the Turfway Prevue Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Debuted with a victory in the Turfway Prevue S. over this track and followed up with a nice second in a $50,000 allowance optional claimer.

Con: He’s one of the slower entrants from a Brisnet Speed rating perspective.

#5 ACCIDENT          *

Pro: Stakes-placed gelding has run some of his better races at Turfway.

Con: He’s yet to visit the winner’s circle in 15 starts.

#6 AMERICAN SPEED          ***

Pro: Finished second in the one-mile Leonatus S. over the Turfway Park Tapeta, showing an affinity for this track.

Con: He was beaten 3 3/4 lengths in the Leonatus and may need improvement to defeat tougher competition in the John Battaglia.

#7 EYES ON THE KING          **

Pro: Handled Tapeta when nabbing a $75,000 allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park.

Con: Enters off a last-place run in the Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream, his lone stakes try to date.

#8 MIRANDA RIGHTS          **

Miranda Rights wins at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Hasn’t missed the trifecta in half a dozen starts, including three contests at Turfway.

Con: Finished behind Scoobie Quando when third in a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Turfway last month.

#9 FREEZING POINT          **

Pro: Trounced a one-mile maiden special weight by 4 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs last fall.

Con: Hasn’t run since November and is unproven over Tapeta.

#10 BROMLEY          **

Bromley wins at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography

Pro: Won his first two starts sprinting, including a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Turfway.

Con: Finished fifth by a wide margin in the Lecomte (G3), his stakes and route debut.

#11 MOON LANDING          **

Pro: Handled Tapeta when dominating his debut in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Woodbine.

Con: Failed to factor when stepping up in class for a $75,000 allowance optional claimer over the Gulfstream turf course.

#12 CONGRUENT          ****

Congruent galloping at Keeneland before the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Photo by Coady Photography

Pro: Experienced colt has competed in five consecutive stakes, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Dropping in class for the John Battaglia can help his chances.

Con: He’s never run over a synthetic track and is slated to start from the far outside post position.

#13 IRONSIDES           **

Ironsides wins at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Broke his maiden at Turfway and ran third in the Leonatus S. over this track.

Con: Former claimer is on the also-eligible list and needs a scratch to draw in; even then, he’ll start from the outside post.

#14 CLEAR THE AIR          *

Edit - Clear the Air will be in the Gotham Stakes

Pro: Romped to a 5 1/4-length maiden victory sprinting six furlongs at Turfway.

Con: Finished fourth (behind Scoobie Quando and Miranda Rights) when stretching out over one mile for a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Turfway. As the second also-eligible, he’ll need two scratches in order to compete.