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Jul 05, 2013

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD-PICK SIX PLAY

By: JOE GIRARDI


Since the advent of the pick four and pick five wagers, which at most tracks are now available in a 50 cent increment the pick six has lost its luster. Some tracks have even moved to a 10 cent jackpot pick six which only pays out the whole pool to one sole winner. The days of the huge win by betting the pick six doesn’t have the same allure that it used too. However, with that being said, the pick six with carryover is always a bet that I take a look into. On Sunday, June 30th that opportunity presented itself at Belmont Park. They had a $74,382 carryover heading into that Sunday card which made it a must play for me.

               The pick six started in race 5 on that 10 race card. The first leg was a five horse field after one scratch earlier in the day, it was a NW2X statebred allowance field with an optional claiming price of $25k run over seven furlongs. When looking over the race, I felt there were three horses that would win, I would hate to use all three horses especially in a five horse field but it was a race you could cover by using all three horses so that’s how I played it. The 1,2,5, were the three favorites in the race but I was hoping to beat the even money choice, #2, Stonely The Lonely. As the gates sprung open, Stonely The Lonely, the stretchout sprinter was sent right to the lead while under pressure from the longest shot in the race, Indy Tune, all this while #5 Groomedforvictory sat just off them. As they moved into the lane Groomedforvictory took over the lead and drew off to an easy score as the 5-2 second choice. Mission accomplished, we survived the first leg and beat the favorite.

               In the 6th race, leg 2 it was an eight horse field of $20k maiden claimers, #4 Tulita, was the 8-5 morning line favorite coming off a nose defeat in his last start. She looked like an all or nothing type horse, if she didn’t win today she would probably never win, we singled her as she was clearly the best horse in the race on paper. She got a perfect trip from third, moved out into the lane and rolled on by for an easy win at even money. We are moving on to the next leg.

               The 7th race was a New York Stallion series race run over seven furlongs on the turf. A field of 10 went postward but there was no clear cut choice. It looked like an open race and that’s how we played it in the pick six. We used six of the 10 horses, 1,3,6,8,9,10. The 10 was sent to the lead in her first turf try when sent off at 9-1; she lead to the top of the lane but just couldn’t finish it off. At the time the closers took over into the lane #8 Frosty Bay and Javier Castellano held the lead to deep stretch over #3 Image of Noon who was sent off as the lukewarm favorite. Frosty Bay held on and paid a nice price at $18.80.

               The 8th race was the $100k Shy Groom stakes for New York breds. Saratoga Snacks was returning from a December layoff. On paper he was clearly the best horse but could he overcome the layoff, we took a chance and hoped that he would and got another single home at 4-5. We were now 4 for 4 and had a 2 x 4 to close out the pick six.

               Race 9 was another stallion series race over the turf going seven furlongs. We only used two horses. West Hills Giant who ran in some open company stakes races over the winter and fall was back on the turf after a failed effort in the Mike Lee. Taking the blinkers off, West Hills Giant made a wide move on the turn, took over a clear lead into the lane and held on for a 2 ½ length win as the slight 5-2 favorite, our other horse Captain Gaughen ran on well for second. We were now alive into the last leg with five horses.

               In race 10 we had the 5,7,8,9. Our best result was first time turfer, #5 All Mine Tonight. Making her first start since October, she got away in third early on behind solid early splits, moved inside into the lane to take over the lead and then gamed it out over the slight favorite in the 8 to score by a nose. She paid $15.80 to win but more importantly closed out a $12,071 pick six. Our play was 3x1x6x1x2x4=$288. Not a bad return on our investment. The parlay of all six races came to just under $7,500 so you can see how the carryover helps your cause when playing the pick six. Each pick six or pick four or pick five, presents a different challenge. Sometimes you have to single two low priced horses and hope you can grab a price or two in you spread races. Sometimes it calls for an all out spread, or sometimes multiple tickets need to be played. Either way, always look for the value and take it. Good luck!



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