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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.
SUNDAY / April 13
Race 1: (3) Trick Me Ride gets Stewart Elliot to ride and he and his agent are making good choices on picking mounts. Also, I'm looking for value in a race in which the favorites don't dazzle me. Exacta boxes 3-4, 3-5
Race 2: (6) Visionary Rider goes second-off-the-layoff and shows a sharp work in preparation for this. Exacta boxes: 6-1/1a, 6-3, 6-2
Race 3: (1A) Rumblefortheroses gets the nod for the Pletcher/Ramsey combo. In a race with no standout for me, I'll lean to those connections to get to the winner's circle but a definite "spread race" if you're playing horizontal wagers. Exacta boxes 1-4, 1-5, 1-3
Race 4: (6) Rhythm Blues is making the third start off a layoff and I like the fact that this horse has a couple of allowance races under its belt in a field with several just coming off maiden-breaking wins. Exacta boxes: 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Race 5: (5) Jannes Paul showed improvement in the two starts here in 2014 and may find this is a softer spot than he's been in. Also, Leparoux is riding and he's having a strong meet. Exacta boxes: 5-4, 5-1, 5-3
Race 6: (4) Transportation has won on synthetic and is making the second start off the layoff for Graham Motion, whose horses have run well at this meet. The 8-1 morning line is quite attractive as well, in a well-matched field. (6) Frivolous likes this track and that is a valuable commodity so don't overlook that one. Exacta box of 4-6-8-5
Race 7: (2) Strike One is my upset pick here. Not sure he's good enough to beat these but I'll take a shot at a nice price. He's run quite well in three of the last four outings and that last race on turf was quite impressive. (7) Utley is the one to beat, with Leparoux + an affinity for this turf course. Exacta box of 2-7-1-5
Race 8: (3) Ready to Act gets the call in the grade 2 Beaumont Stakes. Trainer Chad Brown has had a good week here at Keeneland and this one's last race showed Room Service finishing third and she came back to dead-heat for the win in the grade 1 Ashland on opening Saturday here. Ready to Act is unproven on polytrack but turf form often transfers better than dirt form. Exacta boxes: 3-6, 3-4
Race 9: (7) Gathering ran big here last spring--so big that her trainer moved from that entry-level allowance win into a graded stake. That move backfired but after a long layoff, she came back with a strong performance earlier this winter at Gulfstream. The newcomer to Mott's barn, (3) Filimbi, is the only one that I could see beating Gathering. Exacta box: 7-3
Late Pick 4 part-wheel: ALL with 7,2,1 with 3,6 with 7,3 = $54 for 50-cent ticket