Trainer David C. Anderson was thrilled a year ago when his 3-year-old colt Ourbestfriend D L won the Baxter Stakes at Fonner Park.
”Tom Baxter, who that race is named after, is a very good friend and is a client of mine,” Anderson said. “He doesn’t have any more horses, but he’s been a prominent fixture in Nebraska racing and Grand Island racing for a lot of years. I was very proud to win that race with this horse for Tom Baxter.”
Now Ourbestfriend D L is back at Fonner and set to run in the $20,000 Budweiser-Tondi Stakes Tuesday at Fonner Park. The Kentucky-bred son of Yes It’s True and Weekend Star is the morning-line favorite at 5-2 and will have Jake Olesiak on board.
Ourbestfriend D L has just that one start in the Baxter Stakes at Fonner Park. He won that race by 5 3/4th lengths.
Ourbestfriend D L arrived at Fonner about 12 days ago.
“We’ve had him around the track a few times, and hopefully he’ll remember how he ran here at the Baxter last year,” Anderson said. “We’ll see if he does the same thing in the Budweiser.”
After Fonner Park last year, Ourbestfriend D L went on to Prairie Meadows where he ran pretty well. In February he was at Oaklawn Park but didn’t fair well there.
“We went on to do some good at Prairie Meadows last year,” Anderson said. “Apparently he didn’t like that race track at Oaklawn very much, but certainly he’s still a nice colt.”
There are some other nice ones in the Budweiser-Tondi too. Ted W, ridden by Dakota Wood and trained by Marissa Black, is 7-2 on the morning line. Ted W is two-for-two on the Fonner Park oval this year.
Holding Fast, trained by Kelli Martinez and ridden by Armando Martinez, is 9-2 after an impressive performance in his 2020 debut at Fonner on March 7.
Awesome Emmit is 6-1, Be My Shadow (the 2018 Budweiser-Tondi winner) 8-1, For the Hustle and Fools Rushin 10-1, Hotfoot 12-1 and Cruz’n Jack 15-1.
“Anytime you get in a race like this, there’s always competition,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t make any difference if you run them for $2,500 and you’re 6-5, or you’re running in the Bosselman. There’s always competition.”
The $20,000 Orphan Kist Stakes was scheduled for March 14 but racing was canceled that day because of the track condition.
Now the six-furlong race for Nebraska-bred fillies and mares is set for Tuesday, but except for the post positions it looks the same. All nine fillies and mares that were scheduled to run March 14 are entered again this time around.
The field is led by Love at Night. The 7-year-old mare dominated the Nebraska racing scene a year ago and opened this year with a win in the Bold Accent Stakes on Feb. 29 at Fonner Park.
Love at Night, trained by Terrell Hemmer and ridden by Chris Fackler, is the morning-line favorite at 6-5.
Trainer Marissa Black has two entered. Judge on the Run with Mike Luark aboard is 7-2 on the morning line while Chamber Doors is 15-1.
Mayzee, riden by Jake Olesiak, has won three of her four starts at Fonner and is 5-1 on the morning line.
Ubetcha Ima Bumper is 8-1. The 9-year-old daughter of Shadow Hawk and Bumperette, won the Orphan Kist in 2016 and 2017.
Chub’s Charmer, the 2018 Orphan Kist winner, is in the field with Nathan Haar aboard. The 8-year-old mare trained by Anderson is 12-1 on the morning line.
“I like her as much as I like Ourbestfriend D L, although she’s getting a little age on her,” Anderson said. “I think there’s a tremendous amount of speed in there. I could see a three-horse duel on the front end, and she does like to come from off the pace. I think the race could set up well for her.”
Wild Blue Kiss (10-1), Let’s Go Places (20-1) and Lost Key (25-1) round out the field.
Anderson is looking at this race just the opposite of the Budweiser-Tondi where he expects Ourbestfriend D L to be close to the front.
“As I look at the two races, in one sense I hope the speed doesn’t hold,” Anderson said. “And then the other sense I hope it does because I do think Ourbestfriend D L will be forwardly placed and will be towards the front end during the whole race.
"There’s really only one other speed horse in D L’s race and he’ll be pushing the pace. And Chub’s Charmer likes to lay back aways and make a big run.”