The John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Tipsheet

February 25th, 2021

An overflow field of 13 sophomores will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Turfway Park Tapeta in Friday’s $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial S. The 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series contest will reward the top four finishers with points on a 10-4-2-1 structure.

John Battaglia Picks

  • #1 Gretzky the Great
  • #7 Hard Rye Guy
  • #12 Warrior in Chief
  • #4 Like the King

Free PDF Downloads for the John Battaglia Stakes

John Battaglia Wagers

  • $20 Win 1
  • $2 Exacta Key Box with 4,7,12
  • $1 Trifecta Key 1 with 4,7,12

John Battaglia Contenders

#1 GRETZKY THE GREAT makes his first run of the season following a sixth-place result in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). Casse pupil was a sharp maiden winner in his previous run on the All-Weather, and is the class of the cast. Nyquist colt will be forwardly placed early under Corrales.

#2 THE PREDICAMENT has won or placed in each of his three races on the course in preparation of his stakes debut. Hamm trainee stretches out after an allowance second most recently, and he will need a major step forward to be considered a contender on Friday.

#3 TWIRLING MAMBA aced his local debut when defeating allowance foes for Ortiz. Twirling Candy colt has good early foot, and he could be a top-three threat if he takes to route racing. Albin Jimenez has the assignment.

#4 LIKE THE KING led throughout in a facile allowance tally on the surface in his juvenile finale. Chestnut son of Palace Malice has been training in swift fashion in the interim, and he could be the one to catch turning for home if he races to his morning works. Rafael Bejarano has the call.

#5 KINETIC SKY makes his synthetic debut coming off a smart maiden score at Fair Grounds last time out. Brad Cox charge responded to the addition of blinkers most recently, and he could contend while making his stakes bow if he thrives upon the surface.

#6 PICO D’ORO is unplaced from a pair of starts going a route of ground for Morey. Curlin colt was a nice winner two back in his first run here, but he will have to prove to be capable of running long before I can back him in a deep field like this one.

#7 HARD RYE GUY possesses longshot appeal for conditioner Ian Wilkes. Steady late runner is much improved since arriving at Turfway Park, and the son of Hard Spun will have a contested pace to rally into late at a price. Chris Landeros will be up.

#8 HUSH OF A STORM gives Morey a pair of players in the field. Creative Cause colt is perfect from two local tries, led by a smart allowance victory at one mile last time out, and the $75,000 purchase wouldn’t be a surprise with another forward move under Gonzalez.

#9 FORT MOULTRIE graduated in his second career run when showing vast improvement for Reeve McGaughey. Lightly raced Mosler gelding has intrigue at a big price for the gimmicks with Prescott in the controls.

#10 NOTABLE EXCEPTION dominated at Arlington Park at first asking prior to finishing unplaced in his next pair of outings at two. Sisterson pupil possesses speed and seemingly likes the All-Weather, so a positive performance at huge odds is not out of the question.

#11 CATMAN is a wildcard who makes his first synthetic try following six turf races in succession. Bay son of Kitten’s Joy broke his maiden with stakes company, but he is not in top form following three unplaced showings with black-type foes.

#12 WARRIOR IN CHIEF took a big step forward in his route debut when upsetting the field at Churchill Downs last time out. Kantharos colt has trained steadily in advance of his three-year-old debut, and I expect him to run well in his first try on the oval. Robby Albarado will be on board.

#13 BAKWENA is a talented maiden who has performed well in two of his trio of lifetime appearances to date. Trained by Darrin Miller, the Graydar colt has a solid turn of foot, but he will have to overcome the widest post if he gets into the body of the field.