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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 / April 19
Race 1: (7) Late Night Lu is the pick--he ran well here on opening weekend and faces the same kind of horses. Also, jockey Pedroza has done well with a limited number of runners. (1) Iamdonewithmylawyer and (2) Dr Hal come out of the same race, so box all three and hopes the '2' runs first or second. Exacta box of 7-1-2
Race 2: (10) Magnolia Lane ran well here last spring and now comes back for the 3rd start off a layoff, which could signal improvement. Exacta boxes: 10-9, 10-5, 10-2
Race 3: (3) Zane is in peak form and has shown an affinity for this track. (6) Any Given Royal and (7) Bellarmine could easily win this, too, so the play is a 3-horse exacta box. Exacta box of 3-6-7
Race 4: (9) Expecting Cash was very impressive in winning here on opening weekend and already has eight career wins on the resume, so this one knows how to find the winner's circle. Exacta boxes: 9-6, 9-5, 9-3
Race 5: (5) Ardingly offers good value with a 10-1 morning line. He found some trouble in his last race and finished strong and this is the third start off a layoff. Exacta boxes: 5-3, 5-4
Race 6: (10) Commandment is taking a class drop here and goes for top connections, plus shows a good work over the surface. Exacta boxes: 10-11, 10-12, 10-2
Race 7: (11) Ageless has run some of her best numbers since trying turf sprints. Add Leparoux in the saddle and the value here is appealing. (8) Queen's Award figures to run much better getting back on a turf course she likes and the same goes for (9) Sweet Cassiopeia. Toss in (7) To My Valentine and make it a four-horse exacta box of 11-8-9-7
Race 8: (6) Winning Cause gets the call because of his love for the main track here. Coming back on six days rest suggests confidence from the trainer. (9) Frac Daddy may be the one to beat. Exacta boxes: 6-9, 6-10, 6-1
Race 9: (1) Mr Speaker and (6) Divine Oath are virtually even for me. I'll lean to the former because of two-turn experience but will play both on top in exactas. Exactas keying 1,6 with 1,6,10, 8
Race 10: (10) Athenian Beauty ran decent v. better and I think this one might improve getting off the Oaklawn track and back on one she likes better. Exacta boxes: 10-9, 10-2, 10-5
Late Pick 4 part-wheel (starts in race 7): 11,8,9,7 with 6,9,1 with 6,1 with 10,9,2,5