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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 11
Race 1: Quality Council (7) has 5 wins and the trainer excels with layoff types. Exacta boxes: 7-6, 7-4
Race 2: The Third Ace (6) is in top form for a sharp trainer--a potent combo. Exacta boxes 6-7, 6-5
Race 3: Skylander (6) gets a top speed jock and this one showed big improvement last time in second off a layoff. Exacta boxes: 6-3, 6-1, 6-2
Race 4: Hidden Candy (8) drops out of the always-tough maiden ranks at Saratoga and goes for potent connections. This one could wake up here. Exacta boxes: 8-9, 8-2, 8-1
Race 5: Dr Turkmen (4) is the pick of jockey Julien Leparoux and his agent and that's good enough for me, in a wide open race. Exacta boxes: 4-3, 4-1, 4-7
Race 6: High Jinks (2) goes for the trio of Rosario, Maker and Ramsey--they've won a few races together here and this one makes its second start off a claim. Exacta boxes: 2-5, 2-6, 2-13
Race 7: Lovely Maria (5) was heavily bet in a debut win and shows sharp works here. Also, don't sleep on Rachel's Ready (7), who could be a factor if she can rediscover that debut form. Exacta boxes 5-3, 5-6, 5-8, 5-7
Race 8: Street Girl (5) turns back from longer races and makes second start for Pletcher. Divine Beauty (7) is the one to beat but is coming off a long layoff. No longshot jumps off the page but the two favorites do have holes in their resumes in this spot, so beware a "price" horse here. Exacta box of 5-7
Race 9: the 30th anniversary edition of the grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, presented by Lane's End, is loaded with talented young ladies. I'm going with Crown Queen (8), who may more upside left than some of these. Also, she has a win on less than firm turf. Exacta boxes 8-6, 8-2, 8-9
Race 10: Holiday Twist (4) showed good speed in the debut and may hang on this time. Pay attention to the tote board as there are some first-timers from top trainers. Exacta boxes 4-1, 4-6, 4-7
Late Pick 4 (starts in race 7): 5 with 5,7,2,3,6 with 8,2,6,7,9 with 4,1,6,7