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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.
SATURDAY / October 18
Race 1: Praising (5) drops into maiden claiming ranks and shows a sharp work at Keeneland. Exacta boxes 5-6, 5-3
Race 2: Befuddler (6) gets the edge here because of a race over the track and making the third start off the layoff. Exacta boxes 6-4, 6-5
Race 3: Etruscan (3) also should benefit from a start over the track and has a pedigree that suggests this one will appreciate added distance. Exacta boxes: 3-9, 3-5, 3-1, 3-8
Race 4: Sky Flight (4) beat half the field in his debut and has a pedigree that says he'll like two turns. Also, the main contenders may get wide trips from outside draws. Exacta boxes 4-2, 4-11, 4-12
Race 5: Almost English (1) likes 7 furlongs and makes the second start off a layoff, suggesting improvement is likely. There's a ton of speed in here and this one can tuck just behind the speed and then out-finish the closers. Exacta boxes: 1-11, 1-2, 1-3
Race 6: Kala Ryan (1) is coming off a layoff of almost a year but shows a pattern of very good works and this filly flashed some exciting potentia last fall. Exacta boxes 1-11, 1-2, 1-6
Race 7: Kiama (11) stands out here unless one or more of the also-eligibles draw in. If Kitty Wine (14) makes the cut, that one is probably the leading challenger to the favorite. Exacta boxes 11-14, 11-12, 11-3, 11-5
Race 8: Joy Boy (1) is in peak form and gets the nod if he can produce anything close to that last race. The only caveat is that speed wasn't doing that well earlier this week but that may change as the weather improves. Pay attention to that angle in this spot. Exacta boxes 1-3, 1-6, 1-5
Race 9: an interesting mix of proven performers and potential rising stars go in the grade 2 Lexus Raven Run and I'll take one of the latter--La Madrina (10). It's an aggressive move but Shug McGaughey is a Hall of Famer and I'll trust his instincts. I also like that Castellano comes in to keep the mount. Milam (1) is also likely to be a nice overlay relative to her true ability. Thank You Mary Lou (2) is certainly the one to beat so the play here is a 5-horse exacta box of 10-1-2-8-11
Race 10: Taghleeb (3) finished strong after a bad start and a troubled trip last time and Leparoux should fit this one perfectly for a strong finish. Exacta boxes 3-1, 3-2
Late Pick 4 (starts in race 7): 11,14 with 1,6,3,5 with 10,1,2,8,11,6 with 3