ope体育This weekend on “America’s Day at the Races” on FS1, one of the experts said you can get good value for your wagering dollars by betting on a horse who had a bad race the last time out.
That might be right where Rock City Roadhog stands heading into the $50,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes Wednesday at Fonner Park.
ope体育Rock City Roadhog won the Bosselman a year ago for trainer Schuyler Condon. He returned to Fonner just over two weeks ago to run in the Dowd Mile and didn’t fare so well.
ope体育The 10-year-old Arkansas-bred son of Valid Expectations and Hanyah finished last in the Dowd Mile. Condon said the trip up from Arkansas was hard on his horse.
“We ran him two days after the van got here,” Condon said. “He just wasn’t the same horse. He didn’t ship very well and was sick a little bit. We got that cleared up three or four days after the race.”
ope体育If he had to do it over again, Condon probably wouldn’t have run Rock City Roadhog in the Dowd, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time.
“He just wasn’t 100% in the Dowd,” Condon said. “I would think he probably wasn’t even 60%. Me and my brother and my partners talked about scratching him, but we didn’t want to wait five weeks between races. That was one reason we wanted to run him.
ope体育“Hindsight is 20/20 and we probably shouldn’t have run him, but he’ll be a whole different horse come Wednesday.”
ope体育Rock City Roadhog is in his eighth season of racing. He’s won 22 of 82 career races and earned a total of $566,378.
He’s had nine races since winning the Bosselman a year ago with one win. That came in a $75,000 starter optional claiming race at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.
ope体育Rock City Roadhog finished second in a starter allowance race for Arkansas breds Feb. 14 at Oaklawn Park in his first out after a four-month layoff.
ope体育But he finished fifth in both of his next two races at Oaklawn, including the Nodouble Breeders Stake on March 28.
“The hardest part is we couldn’t get him in at Oaklawn,” Condon said. “We had to run him in over his head all the time.”
ope体育And then came the Dowd Mile.
“Two or three days before he ran he hauled 10 or 12 hours and it takes him about a week to recover from hauling,” Condon said. “He’s over it now. We kind of knew it, but we didn’t really think about it. Every time we’ve hauled him he’s run terrible.”
Now Condon thinks Rock City Roadhog just might be ready for a big effort. Jockey Scott Bethke, who will ride him for the first time Wednesday, has worked him out at Fonner.
“We’ve worked him since that race and he worked really good (April 22). That was kind of a sign to go for the Bosselman after that work,” Condon said. “We put a new pilot on him. Scott worked him really well so we’re going to try that.”
For a returning champion, Rock City Roadhog didn’t get a lot of love on the morning line. He’ll be 15-1 heading into Wednesday’s race.
Pendleton, trained by Justin Evans, is the favorite at 3-1 with Fight On, trained by Doug O’Neill, second at 4-1 with Sleepy Eyes Todd, trained by Miguel Angel Silva, at 5-1.
ope体育Taruca, a ship-in from Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma, was 8-1 but was scratched on Monday.
“Some of those have been off since February,” Condon said. “It’s going to be a pretty salty race for them.”
Clean Barn of the Week
ope体育Fonner Park is adding a Clean Barn of the Week award presented by Mid Nebraska Feeds that will be given out weekly through the end of the second live meet that runs through May.
ope体育The winner will receive a $50 voucher to Mid Nebraska Feeds.
ope体育“I always appreciate trainers who take the extra step to maintain a clean, tidy and safe working area in the stable area,” said Chris Kotulak, Fonner Park CEO. “Mid Nebraska Feeds does plenty of business with our Fonner Park horsemen and I’m glad they have responded favorably to my request.”
Trainer John Muckey was the first winner which was announced on Monday.
Scooter’s Boy wins feature
Scooter’s Boy overcame stablemate Ourbestfriend D L to win Monday’s Fonner feature, a 6 ½-furlong allowance race for 3-year-olds and up.
Ourbestfriend D L, ridden by Jake Olesiak, led heading into the stretch and held that lead until the final yards when Scooter’s Boy, ridden by Nathan Haar, got to the wire first in 1:19.4 to win by half a length for trainer David C. Anderson.
It was the fifth win in eight starts this year for Kentucky-bred son of Flatter and Ek Haseena. The win was worth $5,520 for owner Rodney Paden and brought Scooter’s Boy’s career earnings to $45,640.
ope体育Scooter’s Boy paid $8.20, $3.60 and $2.60. Ourbestfriend D L paid $3.00 and $2.40 while Black Ops paid $2.60 to show.
Earlier, Anderson and Haar teamed up to win the sixth race with Lovethatcause. Haar also won the last race on Maximus the Great for trainer Stetson Rushton for his third win of the day.
% The Al Swihart Memorial Stakes on Wednesday also lost one participant Monday when it was announced that One Musical Moment, the early morning-line favorite at 5-2, would not be making the trip to Grand Island.
ope体育% Jockey Scott Bethke had two wins Monday. He won on Lovesaflyin in a Nebraska-bred race for fillies and mares for trainer Terrell Hemmer, then won on Masterpiece Day for trainer Dan Coughlin in the fifth.
ope体育% Jockey Armando Martinez and wife/trainer Kelli Martinez won two more on Monday. They teamed up to win with Banana Pepper in the first and with Warrior’s Lullaby in the fourth.
% Jockey Dakota Wood won on Hyper Drive for trainer Stetson Mitchell in the third and on Spoon Boss for Condon in the seventh.
ope体育% Five of five in the Dinsdale Pick 5 Jackpot paid $7,016. Betters wagered $155,532 on the Pick 5 Monday. The carryover into Tuesday is $119,458.
ope体育% The total handle Monday was $3,377,621.