Tipsheet: 2022 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 3rd, 2022

An overflow field of 14 sophomores will vie in Saturday’s $125,000 John Battaglia Memorial S. at Turfway Park. The 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series contest offers 17 qualifying points in total, with the top-four finishers earning them on a 10-4-2-1 structure.

John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Picks

  • #11 Bloodline
  • #10 Tiz the Bomb
  • #4 Stolen Base
  • #8 Erase

John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Wagers

  • $15 win and place #11 Bloodline
  • $4 exacta key box 11 with 4, 8, 10
  • 50-cent trifecta box 4, 8, 10, 11

John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Contenders

#1 GOLDENEYE graduated in style second time out on the surface and will make his debut since transferring to Bill Morey in this one. The bay led in gate-to-wire fashion most recently, and he will surely be part of the pace from the rail. Albin Jimenez rides.

#2 RICH STRIKE finished well to be a belated third in a recent stakes run on the oval. Eric Reed's charge could easily improve in his second local assignment, and he rates as an exotics contender with a clean voyage.

#3 LA BELLEZZA NEGRA romped by 11 lengths to breakthrough in his fourth lifetime try last time out. The speedy Cairo Prince colt is a class and distance question mark, but the dark bay will be forcing the tempo early on in the very least. Regular jock Edgar Morales stays.

#4 STOLEN BASE is a proven commodity on the turf and will be especially dangerous late if he takes to the synthetic for trainer Mike Maker. The son of Bodemeister was a good third in his 2022 debut and looms large on Saturday with even minor improvement. Gerardo Corrales riding adds to his appeal.

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Stolen Base wins maiden at Saratoga (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

#5 ON THIN ICE just missed in a recent allowance tilt on the oval for trainer Mark Casse. The More Than Ready colt has improved his Brisnet Speed number in each career try to date, and the bay will be moving well in the lane as a contender beneath Chris Landeros.

#6 LEGENDARY LORE has gone close in two recent allowance heats locally for William Morey. The son of Practical Joke has been consistent to this stage of his development, though he will need to vault forward to challenge for the top prize late on Saturday.

#7 DROPPIN G’S came home a close fourth in a recent allowance race for trainer Jerry Antonuik but seems to be a bit outclassed by many in the field. A victory by the capable gelding would be a big surprise.

#8 ERASE was a stylish stakes winner on the surface most recently and rates an obvious chance with even slight improvement in this spot. The Brad Cox pupil will face additional pace pressure in his second route attempt, but the son of Dialed In continues to improve and could thrive with a forward move under Ry Eikleberry.

#9 O P FIRECRACKER intrigues with the addition of blinkers on this occasion for trainer Robby Medina. The recent stakes fourth ran evenly last time out in a solid effort, and if the equipment change helps, then the dark bay could be a major player late at a fine price.

#10 TIZ THE BOMB possesses the class and turn of foot to be the one to beat for trainer Ken McPeek. The Grade 2 victor didn’t handle the Gulfstream Park dirt in his 2022 debut, but he has trained well in the interim and will be formidable with the surface change on Saturday. Alex Achard will guide the stout late runner.

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Tiz the Bomb wins the Bourbon Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

#11 BLOODLINE closed for a sharp second in the Texas Turf Mile S. last time out, and I feel that he will thrive in his first All-Weather attempt in this big cast. The $600,000 son of Uncle Mo is a colt on the rise, and I will give the stalker from the Brad Cox shedrow top billing. Regular rider Marcelino Pedroza retains the mount.

#12 GRAEL moves from the turf to the Tapeta for the initial time for trainer Brendan Walsh. The Godolphin homebred flashed potential as a juvenile, but he needs a big move forward from a wide post and others appear more likely to me.

#13 AMICABLE is first on the also-eligible list for trainer Charlie Livers. The Indiana-bred was dusted in his first stakes assignment, and I can’t endorse him here.

#14 WINTER SON comes off a nine-length setback when facing claiming foes, and he looks to be quite overmatched with this crew.