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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 23
Race 1: Royal Blessing (2) is 1-for-1 here and trainer Brendan Walsh has good numbers on moving horses from turf to dirt. Key this one in exactas with Rich Daddy and Northeast Bound. Exacta boxes 2-1, 2-5
Race 2: More Than Kisses (6) is a Fairgrounds shipper and horses off that circuit do well in the claiming ranks at this meet + trainer Steve Margolis is 20 percent with second-off-layoff horses. Key this one in exactas with Sea Holiday, Pinch Hit and Charity Stripe. Exacta boxes 6-8, 6-5, 6-2
Race 3: Grateful (1) caught a tough field last time and should find this spot a little softer. The red-hot Castellano in the saddle is a plus and this one is working well, too. Juno Moon and Gentle Kitten are the ones I'll use with the top pick. Exacta boxes 1-8, 1-9
Race 4: Lady Lt (3) takes a class drop and with five two-turn resumes on her resume, she should be plenty fit for this spot. Nancy Doll, Open Invitation and Tiz Madness are others to include in a four-horse exacta box. Exacta box of 3-7-2-6
Race 5: Irst (4) shows a regular pattern of works into this start for the Pletcher/Castellano team and that's a hard combo to ignore. Key that one in exactas with Extricate, Heartwood and Silver Treasure. Exacta boxes 4-2, 4-5, 4-1
Race 6: Danceland (7) should benefit from her start over this course and this one got a Beyer fig in the maiden win that would be tough if she can repeat it. Victory to Victory has the class edge but might be vulnerable off the layoff. Enchanting Kitten is a must-use in multi-race wagers for the hot Brown barn and I'll throw in Dancing Waves and Fun, too. Exacta boxes 7-1, 7-8, 7-4, 7-10
Race 7: Stageplay (2) has won here and looked like something special when she was getting her career started. The two bullet works catch my eye, since that is not typical for the Asmussen barn. Key her in exactas with Mo d' Amour, Sweetgrass and Blip n' The Bye. Exacta boxes 2-7, 2-1, 2-4
Race 8: Forgive (2) comes out of some tough races and gets a post position that does well in these turf sprints. Leparoux in the saddle adds to the appeal. Chiltern Street, Loose on The Town, Canadian Flyer, Save the Drama and Wagon Boss are the ones I'll use with him. Exacta boxes 2-1, 2-5, 2-11, 2-3, 2-4
Race 9: Chester Mon (11) is another one with that Fairgrounds-to-Keeneland angle I referenced in race 1 and the Cox stable has done with limited starters here. The Hans Sum One, Flat Bush Four, Hard Knock Life and Cowboy Quinn are others to consider. Exacta boxes 11-6, 11-8, 11-2, 11-12
Pick 4 (starts in race 6): 7,8,4,1,10 with 2 with 2,11,5,11,3,4 with 11,6,8