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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.
WEDNESDAY, April 12
Race 1: Bangle (6) shows a good gate work and these are connections that already won a baby race at the meet. McErin is the next-best option. Exacta box 6-4
Race 2: Bottle Work (6) drops out of tougher company and has run well on this course. Activer Runner and Lucky Me Lucky You are the ones I'll use with the top pick. Exacta boxes 6-1, 6-5
Race 3: So Random (3) drops from straight maiden company, McPeek does well with horses making their second start and this one took some money in the debut race. Chill Phil, Leather D and Brunerstown are the others to consider. Exacta boxes 3-1, 3-4, 3-5
Race 4: Secede (2) just missed in the three-year old debut and should improve off that run. I also like that Clement reaches out for a top local turf rider in Leparoux. The four horses coming out of Gulfstream--Empressof the Nile, Meister Legend, Kupuri and Union Way--are the horses I will use around the key horse, Secede. Exacta boxes 2-6, 2-3, 2-9, 2-8
Race 5: Cced (7) and Factor of Faith (6) are a tossup here for me. I'll give a slight nod to the former off the Beyer figure improvement in the first start for a new trainer. The latter, though, drops in class and has won four races already. Key those two on top in exactas, while adding Twirl Girl (dangerous because of good Keeneland form), Walkabout, Miner's Cat and Dorodansa underneath. Exacta part-wheel 7,6 with 7,6,5,8,1,9
Race 6: Either Too Awesome or No Mo Dough (1/1A) are worth a look to upset likely favorite Diamond Jim. What tipped it for me in the direction of the Motion entry was that he reached out to Jose Ortiz to ride. Excitations is also worth a look. Exacta boxes 1-8, 1-5
Race 7: Alasaal (4) has improved markedly since getting moved to the grass and the McLaughlin barn has been firing in the early days of the meet. Commend and Gio's Calling are contenders off good form on the Keeneland turf and I'll also use Morse Code and Derby Champagne in exactas. Exacta boxes 4-11, 4-1, 4-3, 4-9
Race 8: Doll Face (8) drops out of straight maiden company, gets Leparoux in the saddle and has a bullet work on this track. Peloncillo and Dona Elba are the strongest contenders, but consider adding Sales Call and Flatter Chatter to your exotic tickets, too. Exacta boxes 8-7, 8-2, 8-11, 8-10
Pick 4 (starts in race 5): 7,6 with 1,8,5 with 4,3,9,11,1 with 8,2,7