We have just two plays, but we think (or maybe hope!) that they are good ones. We expect fast dirt in both races. First picked post time is 6:15 pm.
Fonner Park and Will Rogers Downs are the tracks running today. We have just two plays, but we think (or maybe hope!) that they are good ones. We expect fast dirt in both races. Let’s go.
$55,000 TRAO Classic Sprint Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Oklahoma-breds 3 & Up
Eight drew into this overnight stakes race for state-breds, and the hot favorite is 2-Welder, a 7-year-old gelding who brings an incredible record into this race: he’s has 31 career starts, and he’s won 21 of them, and finished second or third eight times. That’s hitting the board 28 out of 31 times, which is incredible at any level, but even more so considering that Welder has been competing primarily in stakes races. He’s 2/5 on the morning line, and he is so on merit.
Despite his glitzy record, however, there are several reasons to be a bit hesitant about backing him at a very short price. The first is age: Father Time is undefeated, the old saying goes, and Welder is now 7 years old, which is getting up there for a racehorse. He’s also coming off a layoff, having last run in December, and his recent morning workouts have been decidedly underwhelming. And his last race before his vacation was troubling: he finished fourth in an allowance race at Remington Park -- and he did so as the 1/20 favorite, burning a lot of money in the process. Welder may win this race on pure class, but at odds-on, he is a stone-cold play-against. We are looking elsewhere for the winner.
We like 7-Shannon C. He’s a 5-year-old gelded Scott Young trainee who returned from a long layoff on April 8, twenty days ago, finishing second in a handicap that was his first start in nearly a year. We like Shannon C for three reasons: the first is that he figures to improve in his second start off the layoff; the second is that his runner-up finish in his last was better than it looks on paper, as he set a wickedly fast pace and held on gamely for second; and the third is that he has a clear and significant edge in early speed over the other runners in the field. Add the fact that he draws a coveted outside post, and it’s all systems go: we think Shannon C is going to go right to the front, and not look back. We will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 9, $50 to win on 7-Shannon C.
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Nebraska-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This allowance/optional claimer for state-bred females drew a field of nine. We like 2-Judge on the Run: she is a 5-year-old mare who has had traffic trouble in her last couple of races, getting very wide trips -- and at a bullring track like Fonner, losing a lot of ground on the turns is virtually impossible to overcome. The bad trips make her form look worse than it really is.
Today Judge on the Run gets a good inside post, which should prevent ground loss, and we expect her to get a good stalking trip, to make a big move around the far turn, and from there, to get her picture taken. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Fonner Park, Race 7, $50 to win on 2-Judge on the Run.
That’s all for today. Enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.