Each day of the fair, Bee handicapper Exacta Kenny will break down one race on the card with a betting plan for $20. For Saturday, he’s attacking race 9, a conditioned-claiming sprint over 5 1/2 furlongs::
▪ Analysis: The final race of Saturday’s card has several interesting options in a packed field of nine. The condition of this race is key – it is for horses that are non-winners of two races in their lifetime (designated by the N2L in the form). You have several here who have over 20 races under their belt but have never added to their maiden score. You have a horse that has raced only once, winning while debuting as a 6-year-old! You also have a horse who actually has won two races, in just three attempts, but his victory at the Tillamook County Fair in Oregon doesn’t count here as a qualifying win. So, quite a contrast from top to bottom. Let’s start with the aptly named No. 8 Federal Judge (10-1), owned by former Fresno judge Oliver Wanger and Fresno attorney Anthony Lorrie. This 5-year-old gelding has won just once in 24 career races, but guess where it came? That’s right, in Fresno, for the hometown owners. After a decent fourth at Stockton by Federal Judge off a two-month layoff, I’m banking on the trainer having this one ready to roll for his owners here, and at that price, he’s an interesting player. Just to his inside is No. 7 Chumaree Won (12-1), the speedball who picked up two dominant wire-to-wire scores in Boise and at the aforementioned Tillamook Fair. After a two-month break, he heads down here with some fast workouts and is the one to catch. He might be good enough in this wide-open field. Either way, he’ll be winging on the front end and give his backers a thrill at big odds. He’ll have to contend on the front end with No. 1 High Alert (9-2), who lost by a brutal nose the last time out in Stockton. Big-time contender if he can figure out how to rate off the 7. No. 6 Guyfromtheskyfive (5-2) has burned a ton of money this year as a losing favorite, and here he is again at a low price. He’ll get a good trip and a good pace setup here, but I can’t use on top at low odds. Use him in exotics, possibly keying him in second if you’re brave enough. Legendary jockey Russell Baze joins the party in Fresno on Saturday, and he’s not down here for the cinnamon rolls, folks. He’s here to win races, as always, and he’s on No. 3 Perfect Manners (3-1), who was bred at Old English Rancho. This 6-year-old debuted at Stockton and crushed at short odds with Baze aboard. He sticks with this one and jumps off Guyfromtheskyfive. With two workouts here on the surface, it should be all systems go as the likely post-time favorite.
▪ The plays: I like what High Alert, with just five races under his belt, has shown. Price is right here. $4 to win/place on No. 1 ($8); 10-cent superfecta box ($12) 1/3/6/7/8.
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The Big Fresno Fair horse racing
▪ Saturday’s first post: 12:15 p.m. (nine races)
▪ Schedule: Live racing continues through Oct. 18. Racing will be dark on Tuesday and Wednesday.