Let our experts help you handicap the day's races at Keeneland.
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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
Race 1: I'm taking a stab with a Western Tease (6) because this gelding is in top form and the trainer has a good record with these quick turnarounds (this horse ran 5 days ago and won in Baltimore). Whatthecatdrugin (8) goes for a new trainer who does well in these kinds of situations (see Jeremy Plonk's blog on this website) and draws top jock Rosario. Francois (5) is certainly the one to beat. EXACTA BOXES: 6-8, 6-5
Race 2: Sunshineandsilence (7) has good tactical speed and in 7-furlong races, I like to look for horses who have been running longer rather than go with horses trying to stretch out from shorter distance races. Hurricane Girl (6) and Dark Nebula (5) both fit the latter category and while they are solid contenders, I think the 7-horse can run them down in deep stretch. EXACTA BOX: 7-6-5
Race 3: usually trainer Wesley Ward scratches one when he enters two in a race like this but I would feel safe taking either. If both stay, Bluesville (7) gets the nod over Mary at the Cove (5). Mad Princess (1), with a start over the track, is a possible upsetter. EXACTA BOX: 7-5-1
Race 4: Holiday Broad (9) comes from the potent Ramsey/Maker combo and has the closing style to fit the profile of two-turn races on the main track this spring. She gets the slight nod over two other horses who have shown an affinity for this surface, Frances Gardner (11) and Tellalittlesecret (12). A 3-horse exacta box might be a good way to go. EXACTA BOX: 9-11-12
Race 5: Not particularly high on any horse in this group. I'll give the nod to He's So Fine (6), given the strong connections and the way horses coming out of the Gulfstream turf races have run here this spring. Good Tickled (2) and John Gordon (7) are worth a look, too. EXACTA BOX: 6-2-7
Race 6: trainer Eddie Kenneally does well in these turf sprints and in an open race, I'll take a shot with Ingenue (9). I like Julien Leparoux in the saddle on this one,too. Trainer Merrill Scherer usually wins a race or two at each meet, so keep an eye on A Time to Love (10). The Cat's All That (6) showed big improvement when put on the turf last fall, so he's worth a look, too. EXACTA BOX: 9-10-6
Race 7: Pacific Theater (9) is an understandable favorite but it's hard to take a short price on this one when Clement's horses have not fired at this meet. I'll go for Argosy (5), who ran well in his only start for trainer Dale Romans. And Pegasus Star (7), with Gary Stevens up, has to be respected. EXACTA BOX: 5-9-7
Race 8: Chad Brown's horses have not been firing in their Keeneland starts, so again, it's hard to take a stand on a short price with that trainer, not matter how good he is overall. I'll try to beat the favorite here with Rusty Slipper (7), who ran against a strong bunch last time. Watsdachances (4) must be respected and Eden Prairie (6) ran an improved race off the layoff. EXACTA BOX: 7-4-6
Race 9: Kid Twist (4) and Kitten Goes Pro (11) are both good win candidates--I'll take the former because the closer style fits the prevailing trend for these types of races. EXACTA BOX: 4-11-5
BEST EXACTA RACE: 4
50-cent LATE PICK 4 for $50 or less: 6/10/9 with 5/9/7 with 7/2/6/5 with 4/11 = $36