Each day of the fair, Bee handicapper Exacta Kenny will break down one race on the card with a betting plan for $20. For Sunday, he’s attacking race 8, the $100,000 Harris Farm Stakes for Cal-breds:
▪ Analysis: The signature race of the meet so far greets us with a field of seven talented colts and geldings battling over the sprint distance of 6 furlongs. A nice purse of 100 big ones has lured some of California’s top trainers from the north and south. No. 1 Wake Up Nick (3-1) was a rising star last summer, starting his career 5 for 5 before suffering his first loss on the Breeders’ Cup Saturday program against the talented Cal-bred Acceptance. He then had a rough go of it in the Delta Downs Jackpot and has been sidelined since. Trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez have been en fuego the past few months, and it’s an interesting spot to target off the 11-month vacation. Major contender. No. 6 Tamarando (4-1) was highly regarded after his 2-year-old campaign and was actually the post-time favorite and finished second to California Chrome in the Valley-bred star’s coming-out race last January, the Cal Cup Derby. Tamarando won his next race before going 0 for his next 8 and has been off since March. He shifts barns from Jerry Hollendorfer to Jeff Bonde, and with his late closing style, I don’t expect him to be involved on the win end off the break. But it’s nice to see a quality horse like this show up in Fresno. I’m siding with No. 7 Richard’s Boy (5-1), a versatile 3-year-old that is 5 for 8 lifetime with two wins on dirt and three on turf. He’s flashed big speed in races and won wire to wire, but he’s also shown the ability to come from off the pace to win. I love adaptable horses, ones that can adjust to how the race shape develops. Renowned SoCal trainer Peter Miller has freshened up this one since August and gets the comfy outside post. There’s only one other true speed horse here – No. 5 Cartoonist (15-1) – so it will be up to jockey Ricardo Gonzalez to dictate how the race will flow. He’s a talented young jockey, and I have complete faith in him to get Richard’s Boy home first. Best race of the meet – be there!
▪ The plays: $10 win on No. 7. $2 trifecta ($10) 7-1-ALL
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The Big Fresno Fair horse racing
▪ Sunday’s first post: 12:15 p.m. (10 races)
▪ Schedule: Live racing continues through Oct. 18. Racing will be dark on Tuesday and Wednesday.