Written by Daniel Benjamin
Fonner Park From Daniel Benjamin
Fonner Race 4 Maiden Special Weight ( Purse; $7,040)
This six and one-half furlong race is set to have 10 female runners with three of them really standing out. This is the first race for all 10 horses at this distance. #8Zibby Too is starting from an outside post position, which she seemingly likes, and the three-year-old is coming off her best performance of the youngster's career. Plus, she has improved in each of her three previous starts with jockey Jake Olesiak in the saddle. Developing a reputation as a closer, Zibby Too has finished ahead of #1Sweet Cowgirl in each of the two meetings between the horses. Sweet Cowgirl is coming off a third-place finish (April 21) after leading half of the contest before faltering down the stretch. Expect Sweet Cowgirl to take the early lead as she is the only horse in the field to have shown the propensity to demonstrate any early speed. The four-year-old filly, who will have Scott Bethke in the saddle for the third straight outing -- previously recording a fourth and third-place finish -- has finished in the money in five of the last eight outings. #6Miss Blue Rooster will look to bounce back from a disappointing fifth-place showing in her last race where she finished behind both ZibbyToo and Sweet Cowgirl. Jockey Chris Fackler gets his first ride on Miss Blue Rooster, who has been in the money in three of her last five starts at the track. Fackler has been in the saddle of the winner in each of the five-year-old mare’s last two meets and has won 16% of his rides on female horses for his career while also registering a WPS% of 46.
Picks: I like an exacta box of #1,#8. I also like a trifecta bet of #1 keyed the #8, #6. May also put a show bet on the #6 if the odds are good.
Race 7 Claiming ($5,400)
This very short four-furlong race is slated to have nine runners who either have not earned four career wins or have garnered a victory in 2020. I expect this race to be highly competitive. #9Langs Legend is in excellent form, as he has raced the best that he has this calendar over the past two outings, having finished second in both events. The eight-year-old gelding, who will have Armando Martinez in the saddle for the fourth straight race, has finished in the money in three of his five meets this year and owns a career WPS% of 42.8. Plus, Martinez and trainer Larry Donlin Jr. have had a successful working relationship. #1College Party has been very consistent since moving to Fonner Park in March this season and he is looking to end up in the winner’s circle for the third straight time. College Party has had a pretty easy time in each of the last two races. He has finished first or second in all four contests. #7Contraband has alternated strong and troubling performances over the last four races. Despite being unable to overcome a poor start in his last race, the four-year-old Oklahoma bred gelding has finished in the top three in three of his six starts this year and has been in the money in 50% of his 14 career races. #3G Man Is In Town and #4Hyperbolizer have not had an easy go of it lately but they could be value plays in exotic bets as both are listed as 10/1 on the morning line.
Picks: I like an exacta or trifecta box of #9,#1,#7.
Race 6: Allowance ($7,000)
Eight horses are set to go six furlongs in this allowance race that is for fillies and mares who have not won two races.#6 Shell Locket has raced well at this distance over her career and overcame a bad start (April 15) in her first appearance since last August, as a result of closing strong to finish third. The performance was Kentucky bred five-year-old mare’s first-ever race at Fonner Park. Shell Locket has the highest WPS% in the field at 61.5.#4Pretty Rich followed her first career victory with a career-best performance as she was clearly the second-best horse in the April 6th meet. The four-year-old filly has finished in the money in three of her four races at Fonner Park, showing improvement in each of those contests. #3D L’s Girl is moving up in class after coming off a tremendous showing while breaking her maiden status in just her second career race as she went coast-to-coast for the victory. D L’s Girl showed some early speed in her last outing and that ability may prove beneficial in this meet. Jockey Nathan Haar and David C. Anderson have a history of working well together and both have done a fine job with the ladies on the dirt over their careers. You may want to consider the #8Brillant Mind in an exotic combination and possibly a long-shot show bet -- her ML is set at 10/1 -- Brillant Mind will have Mike T. Luark in the saddle and the eight-year-old showed improvement from her initial race at Fonner Park in her last outing. She is the oldest horse in the field and has posted a 33% WPS (9-for-27) percentage for her career.
Picks: I like a value bet on #3 to show. I also like a trifecta bet of #6 keyed with the #4, and #3 with the possibility of throwing in the #8 either for a fourth horse in the trifecta or a superfecta bet.