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Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbred Tuesday: Garrity picks the horses at Will Rogers Downs and Fonner Park

The day’s lone stakes, the $55,000 Will Rogers for state-breds, goes a mile on the dirt, and drew a field of six.

Chris Garrity

It’s Tuesday, and it’s again Will Rogers Downs and Fonner Park. We have a pair of plays at each track and expect fast dirt in all of them. Let’s go.

Will Rogers Downs, Race 5, 4:15 pm ET

$55,000 Will Rogers Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, Oklahoma-breds 3 & Up

The day’s lone stakes, the Will Rogers for state-breds, goes a mile on the dirt, and drew a field of six. 5-Southgate is a strong play: he’s been trounced in his last four or five races, but they were stakes at Sam Houston and Remington Park, and had much, much tougher fields than he will face today. We think he will thrive in these shallower waters, and we also think the pace of the race will favor him: he’s got a midpack grinding running style that does not knock anyone’s socks off, but which should be very effective in a race loaded with stretch-out sprinters and early speed. Look for him to sit in the middle of the pack for the first two-thirds of the race, and to grind his way past the tiring pacesettters down the stretch. We will bet him to win at 2-1. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 5, $50 to win on 5-Southgate.

Fonner Park, Race 1, 5:00 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Nebraska-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Nine drew into this state-bred maiden race for female horses. It’s a powerful reminder that Beyer Speed Figures are just as effective in a lowly state-bred maiden race as they are in a Grade 1 stakes: this comes to mind because 4-P R Gold Money has an edge on speed figures and is the play. Her figs are good, but also good are that she has good early speed, and figures to have a tactical advantage, breaking from the 4 post with three slow-breaking horses inside of her. She should get a good, ground-saving trip, and from there, we expect her to get her picture taken. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Fonner Park, Race 1, $40 to win on 4-P R Gold Money.

Will Rogers Downs, Race 9, 6:15 pm ET

Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up

This second-level allowance dirt sprint drew a field of seven, and it’s an impressive group, especially for a midweek card at a minor track. 6-Kansas City Zip is our pick: he’s a 5-year-old gelded son of City Zip who has an edge in both early speed, meaning he’s faster than the other six runners; and in Beyer Speed Figures, which measure the final time of the race. When a horse is the fastest early and the fastest overall, there’s only one thing to do, and that’s to loosen the rubber band around the bankroll. This is doubly so because Kansas City Zip starts for the powerful Karl Broberg stable, whose runners win at a high rate. We will bet him to win at 2-1. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 9, $50 to win on 6-Kansas City Zip.

Fonner Park, Race 4, 6:21 pm ET

$2,500 claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up

This is a conditioned claimer, for horses 3 and older who have not won a race in 2020. We expected, when we looked at the past performances of the ten entrants of this bottom-level race, to see a bunch of equines that might have a problem outrunning a horse pulling a hansom cab in Central Park. We were surprised, then, to see that some of them can actually run, including our pick, 6-Rulethenight, who starts for trainer James Compton. He’s a 7-year-old gelding who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 57 in his last start, which is the best in the field by a pretty significant margin, and even better, he earned that figure legitimately, contesting an honest pace before fading slightly to finish third. We think that a repeat of that effort is going to be good enough to take this race; we will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Fonner Park, Race 4, $35 to win on 6-Rulethenight.

That’s all for today. Enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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