Fonner Park will enjoy one last hurrah in the spotlight this week in Nebraska. It’s been a crazy ride for Fonner Park, but they managed to keep racing alive during the pandemic. They will cut their meet short by one day after intending on racing one more day originally. However, there will be just four more days left on the calendar.
With horses moving to more lucrative tracks as they open, they just don’t have the numbers to fill out a race card. The past two weeks has been difficult on Fonner, as they’ve tried to scrape by with eight races per day. Ideally they were hoping for nine races, but are working with what they have. Given the situation, they just have to be glad that there was enough from the mutuel handle to provide for the horsemen at Fonner Park.
With a cut of just 3%, the track wasn’t getting rich off record betting handles. They thrive on people betting in-person, so even with the increased handle, Fonner has been able to do just enough to provide for the horsemen at the track. What they’re hoping for is that there will be some carryover effect for when the doors are open to the public again. Stealing even a small percentage of bettors that are new to horse racing because of the shutdown would be a big win.
We were a horse away from hitting the Pick 5 at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, and a horse away from hitting the Pick 4 at Golden Gate Fields yesterday. Coming that close and not hitting can be frustrating, but it’s still a nice day if you bet them in straight wagers. We have a couple of selections at Fonner Park for Monday.
If your racebook allows you to play the Daily Double, then this will be perfect because they’re back-to-back events. Feel free to do what you’re comfortable with, though. Bankroll management is always of the utmost importance. Head below for our free Fonner Park selections for May 18, 2020.
Post Time: 4:27 p.m. CST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
It’s evident from the purse sizes at Fonner Park that they don’t bring in the same as some of the other well-known racetracks. This race will feature a $7,040 purse with eight horses eligible for the top prize. Zibby Too and Miss Justice are expecting to present bold bids in this event, with Wildfire Sis likely lurking.
Princess B is the most unlikely winner in Race 2, though she would net a nice return in this one. She has raced in five races in her career and has yet to finish better than 6th and that was her debut on April 20. Since then, Princess B has gone 10th, 8th, 9th, 10th. She will need more than a couple of breaks along the way to find the winner’s circle.
Wildfire Sis showed for the first time in her seven-race career in his most recent performance on May 4. After going 8th, 9th, 5th, 10th, 6th, 7th to open his career, Wildfire Sis was finally able to improve and show for the first time. Will further improvements be made today? Wildfire Sis will be running against a similar field, so if she comes to the party in similar form, then it’s within reason that Wildfire Sis is going to compete in this race.
Improved form and Wildfire Sis could be right there at the wire. Having to deal with Sizzy Too and Miss Justice will present the biggest challenge. Miss Justice heads into Monday after slipping down a class. She can’t seem to get away from 4th, with five straight races having finished 4th. How’s that for consistency? I don’t think that’s the kind of consistency that her trainer is looking for, though. If you can’t beat ‘em, well, drop a class and try an easier race. She has not shown in a race since May 31, 2019 at Horsemen’s Park.
Zibby Too enters Monday with plenty of momentum after showing in back-to-back races, and then placing in back-to-back races. In five races, Zibby Too has finished 6th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd. In her previous two races, Zibby Too lost by 1 ¾ lengths against P R Gold Money and then a 2 length loss against Sweet Cowgirl. A similar performance will be enough against this competition on Monday. She gets No. 2 post position, but should be No. 1 at the wire.
Post Time: 4:54 p.m. CST
A small purse of $4,100 will be on offer at Fonner Park for Race 3. 6 furlongs will be raced by to decide a winner in this event. There are a couple of pretty sizable underdogs in this race, with R Deja Voo and Wild Paint likely going to struggle to keep up with the rest of this group. Deja Voo has failed to show in ten races in his career.
In fact, he’s finished in the top-5 just twice during that span. The ROI hasn’t been the best for her owners with just $2,897 in earnings in ten races. He is owned and trained by the same person, Tricia Rickert. Don’t expect him to be much of a factor in this spot.
Wild Paint might have a slightly better chance of winning this race, and is the better upset selection, but don’t expect much. In nine races, Wild Paint has shown and placed once. After showing on April 1, Wild Paint looked tired in her previous two outings. He finished 6th and 8th for rather discouraging performances. A couple of promising performances in his career, but he’s likely going to be unable to keep up with this competition on Monday.
If you’re looking for an upset pick, the best option from this field is Classy Magic at +1200. Those are decent enough odds to keep her in mind. Classy Magic showcased some improvements after finishing 8th in her first outing on March 25. His form was better the next race out, as Classy Magic was able to finish 5th. If he can improve even more from April 8, then Classy Magic might be able to make this race interesting.
Awesome Max and Talk Big Money will be on a lot of shortlists. Talk Big Money is coming off two solid performances after finishing 3rd and 2nd on April 21 and May 4. However, while placing sounds great and all, and he’ll take it, though he wasn’t close to the winner. Sleepy Turtle won on a blowout with a win by 9 ½ lengths over Heza Fortune. Having said that, Talk Big Money beat some good horses to notch 2nd. He has yet to win a race, but has finished in the top-3 in 5 of 13 races in her career.
Awesome Max is going to threaten and a solid effort is likely in this event. After struggling to find a groove in the first five races of her career, Awesome Max has been on a roll to finish in the top-3 in four straight races. In three of those races, he placed in 2nd. Awesome Max was coming off a lengthy layoff on April 14, but didn’t look that far off in his return to the track. He showed in 3rd after getting stuck in traffic with nowhere to go around the ½ pole. Awesome Max was sitting in 6th then, but was able to rally in the stretch to jump up into the top-3 to show. He should be one to watch here.