03/14/2009 10:52AM

Saturday Lineups


It's a brutally busy Saturday, with 13 graded stakes at six tracks, including four Derby preps, and fat carryovers in the Magna 5 and Santa Anita Pick-6:

My plan is to play the first four of those multirace pools. That seems like more than enough action and besides, the last leg of the Magna 5 is also the first leg of the Santa Anita Pick-6, and I'd rather subject myself to the overlapping race -- a monstrously difficult full-field turf sprint -- just once.

The Magna 5 is the first of the year with a carryover, and in previous years that has roughly doubled the usual pool. The lone carryover in 2007 attracted $1.28 million, up from $645k the previous week, and last year's drew $981k after a $454k week.

Most people will play it as a virtual pick-4, taking a free bingo square with 2-5 Pioneerof the Nile in the San Felipe. The Golden Gate race, a sprint for maidens, also features a heavy favorite in Undeniable Truth, likely to be well under his ML price of 2-1 given that his last two Beyers of 73 and 74 are by far the fastest in a field where no one else exceeded a 59 last time out.

Even with the new $1 minimum, the Magna 5 can often be too daunting for smaller bankrolls, but it might be worth a look from those players today given the carryover and the two heavy favorites. A caveman ticket singling Pioneerof the Nile and Undeniable Truth makes it an affordable Pick-3 even if you spread out in that difficult final leg, and a fairly logical result could also be an overlaid one.