Looking for a sure bet at the horse races? These guys say they’ve got it

Place your bets! A how-to guide for Big Fresno Fair horse racing

Bee handicapper Exacta Kenny offers a quick tutorial on how to make a winning wager.
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Bee handicapper Exacta Kenny offers a quick tutorial on how to make a winning wager.

Bee editors and horse players Kenny Lewis and Dave Cooper are going head-to-head with a bankroll battle during The Big Fresno Fair, which starts its nine-day racing schedule Thursday. Each starts with a hypothetical $500.

Each day, Kenny and Dave will serve up their favorite bet with some lively banter.

Exacta Kenny says

Let’s kick off the meet the right way with a winner in Race 4, a 5 1/2 -furlong dash for low-level claimers. It’s a contentious race with four or five that have a legit shot to get their photo taken. No. 7 Ihearditallbefore offers juicy value at 9-2, as the 4-year-old has run several strong races since trying the dirt this summer. 4 of 9 at this distance, he should stalk and pounce from a nice outside post.

The bet: $50 to win on No. 7. Let’s double down by keying the 7 on top of a $10 exacta, with the 1/6/8 underneath.

Note to Dave: Hope you have some water nearby because you’ll be choking on my dust right from the start. Or maybe something stronger if I hit the exacta, too.

Do you know the difference between picking a horse to place, show or win? Do you know your 'fectas? Exacta Kenny takes the guesswork out of picking a pony at The Big Fresno Fair.

Dimer Dave says

Today: Let’s go to Race 5, a $2,500 claimer for 3-year-olds and up. I land on the favorite, No. 6, Wise Tale at 2-1 on the morning line and under the stewardship of a top trainer in Jonathan Wong. Counting on an apprentice jockey in Edgar Velasco could be a mistake, but I like saving the 7 to 11 additional pounds every other horse will be lugging for 5 furlongs.

The bet: $10 across to win, place and/or show ($30) on No. 6. Spice it up, if you’re feeling a little frisky on opening day, with a variety of horses to finish second through fourth and complete the 10-cent superfecta (picking the top four finishers in a race). How can you not like Cinco de Mario, at 15-1, to get into the mix on Oct. 5? Throw in the 3, 4, 7 and 9, as well.

Note to Kenny: Like that purposely vague superfecta wager? If I win, I’ll show you how I constructed the ticket. If I lose, I didn’t make it to the window in time.

The Big Fresno Fair horse racing

First post time: Weekdays 1:45 p.m., weekends 12:45 p.m.

No racing: Tuesday, Oct. 10 and Wednesday, Oct. 11

Admission: Ground floor is free with fair admission

Seating: $5 reserved, $7 box (must purchase whole box, which come in two-, three-, four- or six-seat options)


Early mornings and long days are routine for horse trainer Jonathan Wong. His job is to make sure his horses get the care and exercise they need to run a good race in the afternoon for race fans at The Big Fresno Fair.