11/07/2007 12:48PM

Too Tough

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How much is a 6x3x5x3x4x6 pick-six play at Aqueduct Wednesday? Way too much ($12,960, to be exact), and it would still feel least 6-5 against getting me through a devlishly tricky card with a two-day $154,615 carryover.

So I think I'll pass and, nothing personal if you're playing, root for a giant triple-carryover pool into Thursday's slightly more manageable card. Just for fun, here's how I'd spend that almost 13 grand on a caveman ticket:

Race 4: 1,5,6,7,8,10
Race 5: 1a,5,8
Race 6: 1,3,4,6,8
Race 7: 3,6,9
Race 8: 1,2,4,5
Race 9: 4,5,7,8,9,11

--Today began the Aqueduct Fall Showdown contest at NYRA, and let's play that one too -- again just for fun, not because I can't scare up the $10 entry fee but because I'm ineligible. I'll again increase the degree of difficulty by excluding all morning-line favorites from consideration.

For opening day let's go with Sherine in the 8th race. I realize she's probably better on grass than dirt but she's turning back in distance and going turf to dirt against a small and weak field, and her recent workouts suggest she'll be fine on the surface. If were playing without the ML fave exclusion, I might instead go for Going Day in the 5th. She's lost all four of her U.S. starts as the favorite and may have some character flaws, but should still hit the board against this group.

Any improvement on our Belmont Fall Showdown results, where we were knocked out on Day Two (2), will be considered a moral victory.

Update 3:05 pm: Phew, saved $12,960. Managed to smoke out an 8-5 and a 9-5 in races where I went 5 and 6 deep on the mythical ticket, but couldn't have used Love Cove at 11-1 in the second leg on a $129,600 play. As for the Showdown, good thing I set that extra hurdle since ML favorite Going Day was off the board in the Love Cove race. Funnily enough, my non-ML-fave Showdown pick, Sherine in the 8th, turned out to be the second most-used selection of the day -- right behind Sibley, the ML favorite in the same race. Five of the day's top 10 picks by contest players have already finished off the board.