First picked race posts at 2:45 pm EDT at Will Rogers Downs
We’re a few days away, hopefully, from an expanded lineup of available races to watch and bet. Golden Gate Fields is supposed to reopen Thursday, Churchill Downs Friday, and Santa Anita Park Saturday. We are looking forward to that the way a 6-year-old kid waits for Christmas morning, but today, we’re happy to have Will Rogers Downs and Fonner Park. We have selected six races, four at Will Rogers and two at Fonner, for a little Tuesday afternoon action.
There is rain across the mid-west today, and the main track at Will Rogers Downs will be sloppy. We do expect the races at Fonner to be run over fast dirt. Let’s go.
Starter Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Dirt, 3 & Up
Nine go in this race, a starter allowance for horses who have started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less the past 18 months. We’re going with a wet-track play here, and it’s with 1-Fred’s Country Boy. He would have been a contender on a dry track, but we move him up over wet going: he’s got terrific wet-track breeding and is 2-for-2 lifetime on wet tracks. Look for him to stalk the pace, while saving ground from his rail post, and to win this going away with a move as the field straightens out for home. We will bet him to win. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 2, $40 to win on 1-Fred’s Country Boy.
Maiden Special Weight, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, Oklahoma-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This sprint for maiden state-bred females drew a big field of twelve. 11-Okie Logic is a strong play: she’s a 3-year-old filly with two career starts, the first last fall at Remington Park in Oklahoma City and the second a month ago at Will Rogers. It’s her last race that we like: she showed high speed in that race, setting the pace into deep stretch, before getting passed very late, and finishing second, three lengths behind the winner.
We think Okie Logic will run better today for several reasons: one is that she should improve second off the layoff and with that race under her belt; another is that sprints at Will Rogers have been favoring outside runners, and she moves to an outside post this afternoon from an inside post in her last: and the third is that she cuts back slightly in distance, from 6 furlongs in her last to 5 ½ furlongs today, which should be a better distance for her. She appears to have the most early speed in the group, and may go wire to wire, but the outside post will give jockey Lori Biehler the luxury of stalking the pace if she chooses. Either way, we think Okie Logic gets her picture taken; we will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 7, $40 to win on 11-Okie Logic.
$7,500 Claiming, 1 mile, Dirt, 3 & Up
This hard-knocking claimer drew a field of ten. We like a horse shipping in from Oaklawn Park, 1-In the Deep. Horses who last ran at Oaklawn have done well at Will Rogers lately, and While In the Deep’s last race was poor, we think he will run much better against the lesser company at Will Rogers. Look for him to be mid-pack early, and to move to the front at the top of the stretch. We liked his chances a good bit on fast dirt; we like him even more in the slop. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 8, $30 to win on 1-In the Deep.
Allowance, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Twelve go in today’s featured race at Will Rogers, a first-level allowance for females. 3-year-old filly 12-Always Inthe Munny checks most of our handicapping boxes: she’s got the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure in the field; she has high early speed; she is sent out by a good trainer, Francisco Bravo; she has been working very quickly in the morning; and she gets the tactical advantage of an outside post. She has steadily improved in each of her three races, and further improvement today, which we are expecting, will put her in the winner’s circle. Look for her to stalk the pace from the outside, and to win this one with a big move at the top of the stretch. We will bet her to win at 3-1, and pair her with 6-Sweet Carolina, whose wet track breeding is terrific, in an exacta box. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 9, $30 to win on 12-Always Inthe Munny; $10 Exacta Box, 6 (Sweet Carolina) with 12 (Always Inthe Munny).
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Nebraska-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Nine females go in this state-bred allowance. We like the filly on the rail, 1-Chamber Doors, who starts for trainer Marissa Black. Her last race, when she finished third in a $5,000 claimer at Fonner on April 28, looks on paper to have been a decent effort, but we think it’s a good bit better than that: she was very wide all the way around the track, which at a bullring like Fonner is virtually impossible to overcome, but she still managed a decent third, only three lengths behind the winner. She showed a lot of fight, which we like.
Chamber Doors broke from post 4 last time, but today gets the rail, which should help her save ground and get a much better trip. We expect her to win this race decisively, and we hope only that we get anything close to her 9/2 morning line odds. We will bet her to win, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Fonner Park, Race 4, $50 to win on 1-Chamber Doors.
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
The nightcap at Fonner, a tough non-winners of four lifetime allowance, drew a field of ten. The pick is 7-Lovethatcause. His recent form is nearly impeccable: he’s run five races this year, all at Fonner, and every one has been good; he’s won his last two; he’s trained by David Anderson, one of the most skilled horsemen on the Grounds, and he’s got an edge in speed figures. He also is admirably versatile, being able to win by stalking the pace, as he did last out, or on the front end, as he did the race before that. He’ll be a short price -- he’s 5/2 on the morning line but will be shorter at post time -- but he’s also the likeliest winner by a big margin. Since we think there is value in every winner, we’ll bet Lovethatcause to win. The bet: Fonner Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 7-Lovethatcause.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, stay safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.