Written by Daniel Benjamin
Daniel Benjamin's Top Three Plays For Fonner Park.
Race 1: Maiden Weight Special
This six-furlong race that features 10 horses should result in an exciting finish. #7 PR Streakin will look to finally break its maiden status after coming in second best in each of his last two races. Expect PR Streakin, who will once again be ridden by Brian McNeil, to try to set the pace as he has gotten out of the gate early in each of the previous two events. #4 Trip Code recovered nicely down the stretch to get the last piece of the action in his career debut after hesitating out of the gate and falling well off the pace. Jake Olesiak, who is one of the top jockeys at Fonner, replaces Nathan Haar atop of Trip Code in this one. #3 P R Why Not Me and #9 Pete and Repete are candidates to improve on their last performances with better trips. Pete and Repete along with P R Why Not Me finished third and fourth respectively in their last outing well behind P R Streakin. This will be Pete and Repete’s second race in 2020 while P R Why Not Me has finished behind PR Streakin in each of his last two races.
Picks: I like the #4 here with a $2 WPS bet if he goes off at 2-to-1 or better. I also like a #7, #4 exacta box. For a more exotic wager, I like the 7 keyed with the #4, #3, and/or #9.
Race 4: $15,000 Al Swihart Memorial S.
This six-and- one-half furlong race is slated to be a seven-horse field, with all but #5 Little Love Shack who is making her first start in 2020 coming off of extremely short breaks. I like the #7 Eaton’s Memory to extend her streak to four straight wins. Eaton’s Memory is coming off a strong first-time performance at Fonner in his last outing as he took control of the race early and coasted to a stakes victory over several horses that are currently in this field -- #4 Chubbs Charmer,#1 Dixie Flyer,#6 Mattapan and #3 Stella Marie. Expect Chubbs Charmer, who finished a distant second to Eaton’s Memory, to get off to a better start than in her last showing where she bumped a rival horse out of the gate, and be a contender. The eight-year-old mare has raced well in three of the last four outings and enjoys Fonner Park, having recorded five-lifetime victories there. Matapan should also be a contender as she got off to a fast start and led in the April 14 meeting, before being allegedly interfered and overtaken by Eaton’s Memory at the quarter-pole. Dixie Flyer may be worth a flyer in exotic bets as she has shown mild improvement in each of her last two races.
Picks: I like a $2 bet on the #7 to win. I also like an exacta box #7, #4, #6.
Race 8 Bosselman Pump and Pantry/Gus Fonner S $50,000 Stakes Race
This race features a strong field of eight runners, four of which competed in a similar stakes race at Fonner on April 11 that saw #2 Blue Harbor end up in the winners’ circle. Blue Harbor, after settling behind the leaders four-wide early, caught the leaders around the ¾ pole before pulling away for the victory. #3 Mr. Tickle, who made up eight places and 6 ¼ lengths down the stretch, finished second in the heat as he edged out #5 Yo Y Me at the finish line by a head. Blue Harbor, Mr. Tickle, and Yo Y Me have been in very good form of late and I expect them to be competitive in this race as well. However, I really like #9 Pendleton who is coming off a strong season-opening second-place finish in a $65,000 stakes race at Sunland Park. While Pendleton is racing at Fonner for the first time ever, the six-year-old gelding has fared well at several different tracks in his debut where he has won 8 of his 15 career races and finished in the money in 11 of those outings. Pendleton has not raced in over 2½ months though he will have up-and-coming jockey Francisco Arrietta onboard. #1 Taruca and #4 Sleepy EyesTodd are value picks that could get a piece of the action
Picks: I will be putting $2 on the #9 to win. I also like an exacta box combination of #9, #2, #5. A more exotic combination is the #9, #2, #1 with the #3 and/or #5.