The weekend’s finally arrived, and it’s time to let loose and have some fun. There’s no better setting around town Saturday than a beautiful day outdoors at the track, watching live racing. Be sure to take the opportunity to catch this once-a-year spectacle in Fresno before it’s gone.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere and head home with a heavier wallet, too.
▪ Value play: The eighth is the strongest on the nine-race card, a starter allowance feature with a six-horse field. As expected, there’s a good amount of speed signed on, so let’s turn to No. 1 Bet the Harbor (9-2), who cuts back from a route in his second start off a long layoff. Should be fit and ready, and has enough speed that he won’t have too much to overcome in the lane if the speed backs up. $10 win-place ($20).
▪ Long shot of the day: Let’s hit up the first thoroughbred race on the card, the fourth. A low-level claiming battle of six is begging for a price, so let’s take a huge flier on No. 4 Many Investments (15-1). After starting his career with two wins, his form has really tailed off. But, he has three things going for him: He’s taking off the blinkers and showed a solid workout last week, he’s in the second race of his form cycle and one of his aforementioned wins came last fall in Fresno. Let’s take a shot that all this adds up to a trip to the winner’s circle in a race where we’re not fond of any of the logical contenders. $6 win-place-show ($18).
▪ Best bet: No. 4 Compratore (8-5) lands in a perfect spot in race 5, coming off a vacation since June. Expect perennial winning trainer John Martin to heat up over the weekend. Take even money here and run to the windows. $25 win.
▪ Long overdue: In Race 6, a bottom-level maiden claiming event, No. 7 Shez a Griller (5-1) gets a shot at redemption after losing all chance here in last week’s race after a sluggish start. Should be much more active on the front end and gets a nice shift to the outside post. Young jockey Kevin Orozco is riding lights out at the ’No and gets his shot to take this one to the winner’s circle. It’s now or never for this one at this level, but 5-1 is an excellent price. $20 win. Key the 7 on top of a $3 exacta: 7 over 3-4-5 ($9).
The Big Fresno Fair horse racing
Saturday’s first post: 12:15 p.m. (nine races)
Schedule: Live racing continues through Sunday