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Tom Leach is “the Voice of the Wildcats” for football and men’s basketball and a contributor to Keeneland.com as well. He is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for radio coverage of thoroughbred racing. During race meets, check out Keeneland’s You Tube channel for his trainer and jockey interviews ahead of major stakes races and listen for the weekly “In The Money” podcast with Tom and Jim Goodman at keenelandselect.com. You can follow Tom’s coverage of the Cats at tomleachky.com.
FRIDAY, April 14
Race 1: Fleetway (8) goes for the Ramsey/Maker connections and they can be expected to heat up soon. The cutback from two turns is also a plus. Art Imitates Life and Young American are the ones to use in exactas. Exacta boxes 4-2, 4-3
Race 2: British Humor (4) comes off the Fairgrounds circuit and horses from there have fared well at this level and this one's last win was a new Beyer top. A couple of first-time starters--Rough Sea and Rarest Quality--are the ones I'll use with the top pick. Exacta boxes 4-7, 4-8
Race 3: Blaze Star (1) ran a lifetime best last time out and the speed/rail combo is a strong one. Use this one with A Dixie Twister and Jokasa. Exacta boxes 1-3, 1-5
Race 4: Wessex (3) ran well at Gulfstream in the first start off the long layoff and Leparoux signs on fo rthe mount. Key that one with Cause Ioya, Awesome Song, Res Ispa and Giada Vegas. Exacta boxes 3-11, 3-10, 3-9, 3-5
Race 5: Cause I'm Alex (8) is intriguing, as connections that are not regulars on the Keeneland circuit entice Leparoux to ride. Add that fact to nine lifetime wins and this one is worth a long look. Use in exactas with Ferocious Tiger, Big Kick (ran huge here last fall), Aesop and Aye Skipper. Exacta boxes 8-2, 8-3, 8-6, 8-5
Race 6: Wholehearted (1) improved last time and McPeek has strong numbers on the turf-to-dirt move. I'm going here in part because of the outside post for likely favorite Moana. Access Code, Harkness and Ladrona are others to consider. Exacta boxes 1-10, 1-8, 1-5, 1-4
Race 7: Antonoe (11) is the pick in a wide-open race. When lacking another deciding factor, the connections of Juddmonte Farm-Chad Brown-Javier Castellano is hard to pass up. Inchargeofme, Sweet Tapper, Salty Breeze, Vagabond Princess and Shaan are the ones I'll use with the top pick. Exacta boxes 11-7, 11-3, 11-1, 11-5, 11-13
Race 8: Promote (6) won first-time out for trainer Shug McGaughey. He's not noted as a trainer who cranks them for the debut so that win at six furlongs suggests this one has plenty of upside and this one had a troubled trip last time. Starship Zeus, Scarf Down, Star Hill, Lex Vegas and Speightful Song are others worth a look here. Exacta boxes 6-2, 6-3, 6-8, 6-9, 6-1
Race 9: in the grade 1 Makers 46 Mile, I'm taking an improving horse who may get overlooked in this bunch--Inspector Lynley (8). The 102 Beyer last time was a best yet and he followed it up with three bullet works. Velasquez keeping the mount is plus, too. Key this one with What a View, Heart to Heart, and Blacktype. Add American Patriot and Bolo if your budget permits. Exacta boxes 8-2, 8-9, 8-1
Race 10: Borso Vento (4) caught two fields in those Gulfstream races and the cutback from two turns to seven furlongs adds to the appeal. Last Stage and Burgameister are the ones I'll use with my top pick. Exacta boxes 4-5, 4-12
Pick 4 (starts in race 7): 11 with 6,2,3,8 with 8,2,9,1,3,4 with 4,5,12