Sports

The Big Fresno Fair: Handicapping with Exacta Kenny for Oct. 9

Each day of the fair, Bee handicapper Exacta Kenny will break down one race on the card with a betting plan for $20. For Friday, he’s attacking Race 9, a $40,000 claiming race over 5 1/2 furlongs with a small but competitive field of five geldings:

▪ Analysis: Friday’s card offers 10 races, so plenty of wagering opportunities throughout the day. Today, I wanted to key in on one horse and put my whole $20 bankroll on it to win. Usually, that’s not my strategy, as I like to mix in the exotic wagers, but it’s never a bad thing to mix up your betting to get positive outcomes. I keyed in on Race 9 as it boasts arguably the day’s most talented field, and the most lucrative purse for the winner. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the Hall of Famer who wins races up and down the state with daily regularity, has two entries here – No. 1 Barrel Knot (3-1) and No. 2 Elmonte Cristo (4-1) – and both pack big speed. Drawing the two inside posts, these two horses should be gunning from the gate and I’m hoping they’ll take the starch out of each other coming toward the finish line. This could set things up perfectly for my selection, No. 4 Too Fast to Pass (8-5). This 5-year-old is trained by Jonathan Wong, a true up-and-comer in the game that boasts a win percentage of 32 this year. When I see his horses entered, I take notice, and I’m loving what I see here. The horse has a proven stalking style that should fit perfectly with the shape of this race, being drawn outside of the two burners up front. What I like even more with this one is he’s a powerhouse running on dirt tracks: Six wins and three runner-up finishes in 18 races, thus in the exacta 50 percent of the time. The four other horses in the field are a combined 1 for 29 in the win category on dirt. This screams an edge to me, and factor in this horse comes in sharp and handled by an excellent trainer, I’m all in, despite the likely short price. But, with two Hollendorfer entries in here, they should take a beating at the windows and I’m fine getting anything near 8-5 in this spot.

▪ The plays: No messing around here. $20 win on No. 4. Also, if you find you like a horse or two in the race before this or after this, play daily doubles with the No. 4 keyed in this race.

Have a question, comment or hot tip for Exacta Kenny? Reach him at klewis@fresnobee.com

Away they go ...

▪ Friday’s first post: 1:15 p.m. (10 races).

▪ Schedule: Live racing continues through Oct. 18. Racing will be dark on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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