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Expert Picks

Tom Leach

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.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Late Pick 4 is especially challenging today--good luck trying to narrow it down to one or two in any of those races. The Pletcher-trained two-year old in the 2nd might give you a possible "single" in the early Pick 4.

1st Race

Raphael (1) should show some speed off those recent efforts and any improvement in the third start off the layoff could make that one tough to beat. Examiner (4), Laser Loop (5) and Wild About Candy (2) are ones to use with the top pick. Exacta boxes 1-4, 1-5, 1-2

2nd Race

Rag Tag (4) is the first two-year old to run at the meet from the Pletcher barn and being owned by Calumet Farm, this one surely figures to be well-meant here. Snake River Red (5) and Joker on Jack (6) from the Ward barn must be considered and Two Dot (1) ran okay behind a really good one on opening weekend. Exacta boxes 4-5, 4-6, 4-1

3rd Race

Nantucket Red (3) had a wide trip last time and the previous race was a good-looking performance. Leparoux staying with this mount makes me lean this way, because he really rides this turf course well. Finess Bere (4) is the one to beat and Twin Channel (2) is next on my list. Exacta boxes 3-4, 3-2

4th Race

Noble Companion (4) goes from turf to the dirt track and trainer Baker does well on the move. This one has been consistent and that gives him the edge for me in this spot. View Magic (1) was claimed by a trainer who does well with new acquistions. Sarcillo (9) has been close to the top pick in two races at the Fairgrounds. Hey Prez (8) has a shot, too. Exacta boxes 4-1, 4-9, 4-8

5th Race

Gamblin Train (4) finished just behind Fortunate Girl last time and the latter looked really good in winning here last week. The big Beyer figure jump last time is noteworthy, too. Ebullient (2) is the only horse in here coming off the Gulfstream circuit and horses making that move in these types of races often do well at this meet. Be Nimble (6) , Moravia (5) and Gallovie (7) are others to consider. Exacta boxes 4-2, 4-6, 4-5, 4-7

6th Race

Urban Insight (5) ran well off a layoff last fall. She shows a good local work and Rosario taking this mount combines to make this one a solid contender in this spot. Paper Clip (6) and Brittas Boy (3) are both worthy of consideration, too. Both come from the Ward stable and that's enough to suggest they are worth a long look. Holdonaminit (1) and Bourbon Girl (4) could be in the mix, too. Exacta boxes 5-6, 5-3, 5-1, 5-4 + Pick 4: 5,3,6 with 7,5,1 with 4,3,5 with 8,1,3,5

7th Race

So Aristocratic (7) has some speed in a race that lacks that commodity. I'm willing to forgive the two starts at Oaklawn given the bad post in one of them and the "off" track in the other. British Invader (5) was claimed last out by the Amoss barn and his numbers with new acquisitions is impressive. Fun Paddy (1) comes off a solid effort and a similar run would give her a shot in this spot. Valkyrie (4) is the other one on my list. Exacta box 7-5-1-4

8th Race

Fooch (4) shows three good, five-furlong works and that should have him fit for this race. Ward does well off the layoff and excels in turf sprints here. Master Guns (3) ran well in a turf sprint here last fall. Get Western (5) also shows some decent form here and the Lopresti-Leparoux combo can be potent. Iona Mobe (2) comes off a nice win and has a pedigree to handle turf. I'll also throw in Geyyourmindright off the Geroux angle, given that he's picking his spots well this spring. Exacta boxes 4-3, 4-5, 4-2, 4-8.

9th Race

Joker D Lish (8) drops out of straight maiden races and that's always a noteworthy switch. I'll forgive the turf experiment last time and the speed this one showed in that previous race could signal an improved run on this drop. Southern Humor (1) is another good price play, as that Fairgrounds form at this level often holds up well. Wild Road (5) comes off that circuit, too, but it moving up in class. Tune In (3) merits a look off the connections. Exacta box 8-5-1-3

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