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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.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Wagering strategies for Friday 4-20
"Others" listed in order of preference for exactas, tri's and multi-race wagers

1st Race

(2) Mine Mine Mine improved significantly in the second start and he might find this spot a tad softer than his last race but I don't think there's any standout. (1) Vamp intrigues me off the surface change and cutback to one turn.
Win bet: 2
Others: 1,3,5

2nd Race

(7) Electric Avenue gets the nod off the strength of the Cox barn at this meet and the class drop but don't overlook (3) Doctor Lee. Calvin Borel is riding well and this one could hit the board at a price.
Win bet: 7
Others: 3,1,4

3rd Race

(2) Surely You Jest caught good fields in those first two races and he might drift up in price since he has not finished better than fourth yet. In a field where it looks like any one of five or six could win, I want some value. (3) Animus is the one to beat off some good races at Oaklawn and these connections won together on Wednesday.
Win bet: 2
Others: 3,1,4

4th Race

I will say upfront that I have no strong opinion here. Going with (1) Belgian for a few reasons. Good jock, trainer does well on the turf-to-dirt move and if you can forgive his last race, the previous two efforts look very strong. (7) Finnegan off the layoff for Ward could certainly win here.
Win bet: 1
Others: 7,6,4

5th Race

(2) Catauga County comes off the Fairgrounds circuit and those shippers have torn it up at this meet. Trainer Joe Sharp does well turf-to-dirt and this horse ran a much-improved race in his second start. (7) Just Old School and (8) Warrior Inside have solid credentials but nobody looks especially strong so a first-timer could light up the exacta or tri here. Keep an eye on (10) Kinsella, as jockey Jack Gilligan often hits the board at big prices.
Win bet: 2
Others: 7,8,10

6th Race

(7) Plans to Prosper was wide around both turns in the debut and she still ran big. Now, she cuts back from nine furlongs and should improve in the second start. (8) Victory Garden certainly looked good enough in her debut to think she could win here and (4) Flat Meadow has the pedigree to improve two turns. In a race without a standout, (1) Innocent bears watching as the Oliver barn can fire with some big prices at this meet.
Win bet: 7
Others: 8,4,1,10

7th Race

(3) Auntie's the One has a race over the track and that's often a positive angle at this meet. She ran well on opening weekend and should improve in the second start off the layoff. (5) Operatic is a strong contender, too, as that 81 Beyer figure suggests she can handle the class jump. (1) Clever Serve is also a win contender.
Win bet: 3
Others: 5,1
Pick 4: 3,5 with 8,2,1,6,4 with 7,11,9,2 with 8,7,9

8th Race

Taking (8) Deeply Undervalued here for Chad Brown. This one had trouble last time and may take a big step forward in the second off the layoff. Watch out Raging Bull does on the Thursday card, as these two worked together earlier this month. (2) Patrick's Day caught some good fields in New Orleans and can win here, too. (1) Harlan Strong and (6) Arch Daddy are win contenders, too. I'm against (4) Patterson Cross because of a poor effort in the '18 debut.
Win bet: 8
Others: 2,1,6,4

9th Race

No standout in the grade 3 Hilliard-Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes. I'll lean to (7) Jenda's Agenda because of the speed and a good post draw. (11) Well Humored is a strong candidate in this spot but I don't like the post so she's the second choice. (9) Valdorna can win if you forgive her last try and don't overlook (2) Mines and Magic. She ran well off the layoff and should move forward.
Win bet: 7
Others: 11,9,2,12

10th Race

(8) Maybe Wicked was favored in the March 24 debut and she ran well from a bad post. (7) City Day's good run behind Rushing Fall jumps off the page but I'll give the edge to the former because she's run this year. (9) Stave merits consideration off how well the Jones barn is doing.
Win bet: 8
Others: 7,9,1,4

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