06/26/2013 12:41PM

Belmont June 26th: $248k Pick-6 carry


1:40 pm: It's been a while since we've had a tempting pick-6 carryover at Belmont Park, but today's card begins with $248,140 in the kitty for an unusual and intriguing sequence.

The six races are four dirt sprints -- three of them at the sometimes tricky 6 1/2-furlong distance --one turf sprint and a turf mile:

I'll be narrowing early and spreading late and so will everyone else, but when can you do when you start out with a couple of legit and imposing favorites you think are likely winners?

Cay to Pomeroy in the 4th and Crackerjack Jones in the 5th are both coming off strong-figure second-place finishes last time out and both strongly figure to improve: Cay to Pomeroy was making his second start off a long layoff, and Crackerjack Jones was making his career debut. The negatives: Cay to Pomeroy's vastly improved effort came on a muddy track, and Crackerjack Jones has passed several opportunities since that good May 4 debut.

The sequence is scheduled to begin at 2:38 pm; I'll be back with my tickets before then.

2:15 pm: About 22 minutes to post for the carryover. Here's the play:


A little surprised that Crushin Rock (#6, 7-2 ML) has opened as the 3-2 favorite over Cay to Pomeroy and Longfor Thecity, who are both 2-1. All of my "C" tickets depend on Cay to Pomeroy's winning the opener, so here's hoping.

2:45 pm: Ugh. Cay to Pomeroy, who I expected to blast from the gate and open a clear early lead,stumbled at the start and trailed the field, passing only one horse late. Longfor Thecity, slammed from 2-1 to to even-money in the last two minutes, wore down longshot Silent Thunder in midstretch ande drew away by five lengths with Crushin Rock up late for an unthreatening second. All the C tickets are dead and I'm alive with two or three a race for the duration without any goofy longshots left. Beats being dead, I suppose.

3:15 pm: Crackerjack Jones an easy winner at $2.90, disposing of Greeley Pack after dueling outside him to the top of the stretch with 5-1 second choice Thnxtomyuncle up for second. The whole world is alive,much of it in much stronger position than mine. In retrospect I probably should have started every ticket 1,3,6/8 instead of getting all cute with leans and backups, but it's always a much easier game in retrospect. The double of the first two winners in the sequence paid a whopping $8.50 for $2.

3:55 pm: Not my day. Wholelottashakin a deserving winner in her first start since November and I leaned away from her because of Tom Bush's 0-for-15 record off 180+-daylayoffs. I call her deserving because she was bothered repeatedly by the riderless Downtown Hottie, who dumped Luis Saez out of the gate and ran outside Wholelottashakin on the lead. It looked in midstretch as if Wholelottashakin was getting weary from the constant company, and Lady's Lunar Luck was making a bid at her down the center of the track, but couldn't get there.

Lots of live tickets after 1-1, 2-5 and 3-1 winners, who combined for a $41.20-for-$2 pick-3, but none of them mine.

5:05 pm: Back-to-back winners off the claim for Jacobson, with 9-2 Strapping Groom winning the $100k Lion Cavern after being haltered for $35k last time out. The winner was in front box to wire under a masterful ride from Velazquez, who slowed things down so much that Strapping Groom was able to finish strongly-- the fractions were 23.48, 46.40 and 1:09.52 en route to final time of 1:15.46.

Hardened Wildcat, who seems to have spent much of his career being compromised by slow paces,wasmuch closer to the front than usual, his connections probably seeing the lack of speed in the race on paper. They had to stay close to have any chance, and at the top of the stretch he appeared in perfect position. Strapping Groom, however, was able to run his third quarter in 23.12 (faster than his opening quarter) and then run his final sixteenth in just under six seconds.

Here are the multirace probable into the finale. Everyone's covered in the pick-6, at payoffs ranging from $3,156 to $469,149.


5:30 pm: Antone Suavey ($8.90) outbobbed Slim Shadey at the wire to win the nightcap and complete a $6,152 pick-6. Whoever bet dropper Poppys Watching down to 3-2 might have been counting his money when the gelding runner stormed to the lead in midstretch, but he seemed to lose momentum as soon as he opened daylight, was passed by the top two, and settled for third.

Only 23 days till Saratoga.