Fonner Park will join Will Rogers Downs on Monday as the only racetracks in the US in operation. Of course, you’re not going to be able to find any fans at the track, but the horses likely don’t mind. It had to be weird at first racing in front of no spectators, and then when they do finally come back, whenever that is, the horses are going to be confused where the people came from.
There are some horses that definitely prefer to race in front of an emptyless crowd. Earplugs for horses are made for instances like that. One of the Kentucky Derby favorites, Charlatan, is expected to race the Derby with earplugs. He doesn’t care for the noise in the homestretch and it will be canceled out by the earplugs, if in fact there are actually fans in September.
When they made the choice to postpone the event to Labor Day Weekend, there was probably some confidence that fans would be able to go then. However, I’m not so sure about that, and postponing it any further likely isn’t possible. It would at least give them some time to be creative, and figure out how to go ahead with a broadcast without fans. We’ll have a live feed of the races at Fonner Park today, though, and that’s all I need. Head below for our free Fonner Park selections for April 27, 2020.
Post Time: 4:00 p.m. CST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
The racecard at Fonner Park will begin early Monday evening at 4:00 p.m. CST. The first event will feature seven horses racing for a win at 6 furlongs. No one in Race 1 is a massive underdog, with Whatatrip checking in as the longest shot in the race at +1000 on the morning-line. I think that goes up at post time, and there’s a couple of other horses in this even that are likely priced way too low here.
Whatatrip is winless in four career races and never came close in any of them. He finished 10th in his debut on September 20, 2019, and then followed it up with 8th and 8th in his next two outings. Whatatrip will have to improve tenfold to have a crack at the winner’s circle.
Mr. Witt and Kido’s Sling Shot stand to be bigger underdogs at post time. Mr. Witt finished 8th twice as well, but showed improvement in his last outing on March 11. It’s not much improvement, though, as Mr. Witt went from 8th to 6th. That’s good for last to second-last. Don’t expect a monumental leap for Mr. Witt on Monday.
The same goes for Kido’s Sling Shot, who will be making the second start of his career today. He had his debut race on March 31 and was severely overmatched. Kido’s Sling Shot finished 9th against nine other horses, finishing ahead of only R Deja Voo by 7 ¾ lengths. That was the only redeeming feature of his first race. Banana Pepper, Shattered Dreams, and Run for Matty should be in the fold here.
Run for Matty finished 3rd and 4th in the first two races of his career. Those were both recent outings on March 31 and April 14, so rust won’t be a problem for him. Shattered Dreams has finished 7th, 6th, 6th, 4th, 2nd, and 4th most recently on April 8. He placed on April 1 for the best finish in his career. Shattered Dreams just didn’t have the extra gear in the homestretch to catch Auctioneer, though, who ended up winning by 1 length.
Banana Pepper is the only horse that has placed twice in his career in this race. He finished 2nd in his most recent outing on March 9 and 2nd on January 3 to place in two out of his last four outings. Banana Pepper will struggle against stronger competition, but this isn’t one of those races. He enters in the best form and it should show on Monday at Fonner Park.
Post Time: 7:09 p.m. CST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
Seven horses will be called to the gate for the feature race on Monday at Fonner Park. 6 ½ furlongs will be run for a purse of $9,200. Yup, at Fonner Park less than a $10,000 purse is considered the biggest purse of the day. The off-track betting handle is extremely important to stay alive.
In any event, it will be a nice day for one of these seven ponies. Hotfoot and Golden Bullet will battle it out as the two bottom horses on the totem pole according to the morning lines. Hotfoot has 8 wins but that’s in 40 races, and success hasn’t been following him around recently.
Hotfoot has gone winless in 12 straight races, and has been unable to show in three straight races. Those weren’t impressive by any means, as Hotfoot finished 7th, 4th 7th. He was 7th in his most recent outing and didn’t show much fight in that one. Hotfoot managed to move up to 7th from 10 in the homestretch, but it wasn’t a factor at all.
Golden Bullet has finished 5th, 5th, 4th, 4th in his last four outings. That’s consistent, but not exactly the kind of consistency his team is looking for. He’s a winner in 3 of 21 races, with his last trip to the winner’s circle taking place on August 28, 2019. Golden Bullet has failed to show in nine out of his last nine races.
The No. 7, 1, 5 horses are going to be in the thick of this race. Black Ops gets the inside rail out of the gate as he searches for a win for his new stable today. He has been successful in 5 out of 26 races, with a recent victory on January 10. Black Ops was 2nd throughout the race before waiting to pounce in the homestretch. He took over 1st from Flashaway and got the win by 1 ¼ lengths.
Ourbestfriend D L is coming off two impressive efforts on March 24 and April 14. He placed 2nd just barely losing by ¾ lengths against Ted W. That really really could have gone either way, with Ted W and Ourbestfriend D L trading spots for 6 furlongs. Ourbestfriend D L was on the winning side the next trip out, as he won by 2 lengths after taking over at the ¼ pole.
He ultimately beat Bandwidth by 2 lengths in impressive form. Scooter’s Boy has been even hotter with three straight wins, but is facing tougher company today. I give the slight nod to Ourbestfriend D L to get the win in what should be a duel between Scooter’s Boy and Black Ops.