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.
Final four days of the fall meet starts today and race 3 looks like it might be our best shot to catch a price horse...
Crafty Lady (7) might have an upset shot here on the class drop in a field that lacks any standouts. He 2020 debut was ugly but she had trouble at the start and she has a pedigree to handle stretching out. Tale of Mona (1) drops in class and comes off a two-turn race. Paddy Kaye's Wild (5) comes off consecutive runnerup finishes. Illusionista (6) gets a look just off the trainer, whose horses have run well at this meet. Exacta box 7-1-5-6
Algebraic (2b) was sensational in winning here earlier in the meet and he should be able to handle the class rise. If this one scratches, then look to Tkotchke (3) who comes off a maiden win for Asmussen at the 50k level. Passageway (4) moves up off a win but has good speed. Exacta boxes 2b-3, 2b-4
The longshot play of the day comes here with Menzel (5). His Beyer improved significantly in start number two and that was with trouble leaving the gate. Ian Wilkes is due for a winner after two runnerup finishes on the Sunday card and this race looks wide open. And this one is bred to like turf, too. Tiz Splendid News (2) barely missed winning her debut sprinting at Kentucky Downs and she looks like the one to beat. Lady Blakeney (10) is a player here for trainer Arnaud Delacour, who has done well with limited starters at this meet. Dame of Malta (3) is a first-time starter for Delacour.
Exacta box 5-2-10-3
Going with Bump (1), a first-time starter from the hot barn of trainer Brad Cox. Snowblind (4) drops in class for Asmussen and turf-to-dirt is a good angle for him. Conformist (5) is first-timer that gets the meet's leading rider in the saddle. Giant's Gateway (2) gets a look only because it's a big class drop from that last race to this spot. Exacta boxes 1-4, 1-5, 1-2
Mi Tres Por Ciento (5) didn't get a chance last week when losing the rider but Gafflione stays with him for another try at two turns for the first time since coming to this country. Lone Rock (3) makes the second start for the Diodoro barn and it's a drop in class to this spot from the last race. Intrepid Heart (2) will take a lot of money but the time off and class drop off a win makes me leery of this one. Exacta boxes 5-3, 5-2
Pick 4: 5,3,2 with 7,5,2,6 with 8,5,4,3 with 7,4
Carpe Vinum (7) comes out of a "key" race at Kentucky Downs and should be very tough here. Golden Curl (5) ran her lifetime best Beyer fig in a win last time. Pass the Plate (2) has won here in her only try. Naughty Joker (6) comes off a layoff for connections that win often here and this one has always been highly thought of. Exacta boxes 7-5, 7-2, 7-6
Never Forget (8) has shown big improvement in her last two races and we interviewed trainer Vicki Oliver for the Today at Keeneland show and she said this filly is training better than ever. Storie Blue (5) is third-off-the-layoff for a trainer who picks his spots well. Aurelia Garland (4) has caught some good ones her last few starts. Union Maiden (3) merits respect from the Chad Brown barn. Exacta boxes 8-5, 8-4, 8-3
Trainer Graham Motion has two in here and either could win in turf test at nearly a mile-and-a-quarter. I'll lean for Fortuna (7) because Gafflione rides and she had a bad post last time. Safari Queen (4) was much-improved last time otu and a repeat makes her a contender. Champagne Diet (9) goes for a trainer who excels in distance races and Longpants Required (10) is consistent with her late run. Exacta part-wheel 7,4 with 7,4,9,10