After a strong Saturday, the winning train hit the brakes and came to a standstill Sunday. This game always has a way of humbling you, but the good thing is: There’s always another race, another opportunity.
Even better is that there’s Monday racing action at the fair for the Columbus Day holiday. It’s only a seven-race card with some modest fields, but let’s see if we can dig up a few winners to end the first week. Reminder: After two dark days, we’ll be refreshed and back with selections in Thursday’s Bee.
▪ Best bet: Race 4, No. 6 Rock All Day (3-1). This 4-year-old filly has improved since adding blinkers and coming to California, finishing third behind two next-out winners at Del Mar before she won an allowance race at Los Alamitos a few weeks ago. Trained by the successful Kristin Mulhall, who competes with the best in Southern California, this speedy filly looks very dangerous with a nice outside post at 5 1/2 furlongs.
▪ Value Play: Race 3, No. 1 Pulpit Hanna (4-1). I like the comfy inside draw for this 4-year-old daughter of Lucky Pulpit – the same sire as superstar California Chrome – and she has shown to be a consistent runner of late, hitting the board in her last five. Let’s play $10 win, $10 place if she stays anywhere near her morning-line price.
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▪ Longshot play: Race 2, No. 1 Hunterwood Point (10-1). We tabbed this horse as our longshot play Saturday at 30-1, but he scratched in order to run at this much softer claiming level. Still getting nice value on the morning line, this one will be flying late in a suspect five-horse field.
▪ Feature race: Monday’s highlight is a salty group of optional claimers going six furlongs in Race 6. Trainer Andy Mathis holds the aces, with the speedy No. 4 Marynetta (5-2) coming in fresh off a layoff since July. The 8-year-old could be dangerous if she gets a lonely lead. His other entrant, No. 1 The Spiral Jetter (8-5), ships north after tangling on the dirt with powerhouse Enola Gray over the summer before a decisive win on the lawn at Del Mar. Now cuts back to a sprint and will be winging home to catch her stablemate. $20 win on No. 1, with a $1 trifecta keying the 1 on top with her stablemate, the improving No. 5 Redneck Girl (9-2) and No. 6 Alexita (9-2) underneath. 1 over 4/5/6 ($6).
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The Big Fresno Fair horse racing
Monday’s first post: 1:15 p.m. (seven races)
Schedule: Live racing continues through Oct. 16 (Tuesday, Wednesday dark days)