Written by Daniel Benjamin
By Daniel Benjamin
Race 2 - Starter Allowance (purse -$7,100)
Six geldings, with a claiming price of $5,000, will go a very short four-furlongs. This race appears to have two top horses, #5 Knight Distributor, and #1 Retrofit. Knight Distributor moves down in class in this one and is my pick here as he is the top speedster with an early pace rating of 75. The five-year-old gelding has garnered three wins in his last four races, which includes recording a career-best ESpeed of 94 in his last outing while holding off Top of the Page in a $10,000 optional claimer. Jockey Armando Martinez, who has posted a career-high 23% win percentage and a 53% WPS percentage, is in the saddle of Knight Distributor who is looking to go 2-for-2 at this distance. Retrofit also is coming off a win, on May 5 beating Free Music -- who is in this race by 1.5 lengths -- and has three victories in his four outings. Retrofit’s four wins at this distance and at Fonner Park are the highest totals in the field. #2 Man Camp may be able to cause Knight Distributor some problems if he can get out of the gate well as he possesses the second most speed among the competitors in the field. Man Camp, who is 1-for-1 at this distance for his career, is coming off a seventh-place finish at this level though that was at six furlongs the last time out.
Picks: I like the a win bet on the 5. I also like an exacta or trifecta box of 35, #1, #2.
Race 5- Allowance Optional Claiming(Purse - $8,800)
Nine very good geldings will go six furlongs in this $7,500 optional claimer. Like in Race 2, there are two frontrunners in this one -- #9 Super Charlie and #7 Be My Shadow. You can’t go wrong with either one but I’m going with Be My Shadow in this one. Be My Shadow has improved in each of his last two starts since finishing seventh in the Budweiser Tondi Stakes back on March 24, which includes placing second behind Super Charlie in an allowance race on May 6. Expect Jake Olesiak, who is one of the top jockeys at Fonner Park, to get Be My Shadow to the front early. Be My Shadow has nine wins at this distance, which ties Super Charlie for the most in the field, and 50% of 14 victories have come at Fonner. Super Charlie should be right there alongside Be My Shadow like he was in the last outing where he overcame a five-furlong deficit to win by three-quarters of a length. Super Charlie, who is a fantastic closer, has won two straight races and finished in the top-3 seven consecutive times. #6 Name the Price and #5 Ye Be Judged have had strong rookie campaigns thus far and should be in contention to reach the podium in this one.
Picks: I like a win bet on the #7. I also like a trifecta box of #9, #7, #6, #5.
Race 7- Allowance Optional Claiming ($8,400)
Eight extremely strong geldings will go six furlongs in this $10,000 optional claimer. I believe that there are five horses that have a very good chance of claiming gold. #2 Lovethatcause medaled in all five of his starts this year, which includes two phenomenal outings which he won each race by at least four furlongs. The five-year-old Iowa-bred horse, who has finished in the money in 10 straight races, will have Jake Olesiak in the saddle.#1 My Boy Lollipop showed tremendous improvement in his last outing -- his fourth career start -- as he registered a personal best ESpeed of 85 while grabbing victory in a $10,000 waiver claimer at Oaklawn Park. I believe My Boy Lollipop is in good position to score in his first start, as he has reached the podium in 75% of his races, at Fonner Park. #7 Dance Doctor had been racing well, even if the results haven’t been there, this year prior to a fifth-place finish at Will Rogers on May 11. Dance Doctor has also run well at six furlongs over his 11 starts at the distance. I also expect the #8 Rock City Roadhog and #4 I’m River to be involved in some form. Rock City Roadhog is making the drop in class after three straight stake races. He is also back at six furlongs, where he appears to be very comfortable at, for the first time in three starts. I’m River, with Fonner Park’s top jockey Armando Martinez on board, should be primed for a better effort after struggling to a fifth-place finish in his first start of 2020 on April 15.
Picks: I like an exacta box bet of #2, #1. I also like a value show bet on the #8. Also, a trifecta box of #2, #1, #4, #8, or if you want to add the #7 to those numbers for a superfecta bet.