Updated on 09/15/2011 2:33PM

$159,000 carryover spices card


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - When no one hit the pick six on Sunday, producing a carryover of $159,391.79, it made Wednesday's Hollywood Park card more interesting.

There are only 61 horses are entered in the day's eight races, an average of fewer than eight per race. The starting fields might be shorter than that because showers are predicted here for the early part of week, and two of the races - both in the pick six - are scheduled for the turf. But short fields make the pick six easier to hit for budget-conscious players, who should not have to go very deep to put a hammerlock on many of the races.

The day's feature, the $50,000 Free House Stakes, for 2-year-old California-breds, drew seven horses, led by Debonair Joe, who finished fourth last time in the California Cup Juvenile after pressing the pace. He now shortens up from 1 1/16 miles to 6 1/2 furlongs, and faces competition considerably easier than he faced in Yougottawanna and Officer last time.

"He's pretty versatile. He's pretty handy. I'm not overly concerned about him shortening up," Craig Lewis, who trains Debonair Joe, said Monday morning. "He's a horse who just tries every time. He's an overachiever.

"In the Cal Cup, I thought he ran very well. Officer's form speaks for itself, and the other two horses who beat him are nice horses. He beat the rest, and he tried his best."

With two wins in seven starts, including a minor stakes victory, Debonair Joe is the most accomplished horse in the race. But he has never raced on an off track, and he has never raced at Hollywood Park. He trains at Santa Anita.

"The issue is whether he handles the track and the weather," Lewis acknowledged. "But he does seem to handle everything we've tried. He's very competitive."

Three top contenders - Main Player, Ima Mile High Guy, and Glittering Stone - all come off victories at Hollywood Park and train regularly here, giving them the home-field advantage. Main Player won his last two starts and seems to be improving for trainer Paul Aguirre, who is having his usual solid showing at Hollywood.

In the fifth race, Excessively Hot and Princess Ti, who finished first and second in a similar turf sprint here on Nov. 17, meet again. But give consideration to Always the Lady, who was fried on a hot pace in the California Cup Distaff Handicap and figures to face less pace pressure here.

In the sixth, the consistent Window B. must hold off class droppers Shining Nuggets and Flylikethewind.

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