01/18/2007 12:00AM

Against Goliath, does anybody have a shot?


ARCADIA, Calif. - If you play the pick six, you should know the type of player you are betting against. David, meet Goliath.

Remember the San Francisco player who bet $20,736 into the Santa Anita pick six on Jan. 10, hit the bet, and lost money? The pick six that day paid only $18,992. Snickers all around. Real funny.

Well, the same pick six bettor returned Jan. 14 for a $178,390 carryover and played another whopper ticket. This one cost $22,500 with "safety" in every leg. Using multiple horses all the way through, the ticket was structured 5 x 5 x 6 x 5 x 3 x 5.

"I'm playing to win, and I'm having fun," the bettor explained. And he did. This time, favorites were less successful, the dinosaur ticket hit, and the pick six returned $147,355.80. After subtracting 25 percent withholding and adding 23 consolation payoffs, the player's return was $133,912.45.

This is the type of pick six bettor you are playing against. The question now is do you run away, or run to the window?

Opinions are never in short supply at Santa Anita. Here are a few others:

* Time for the graded stakes committee to reevaluate the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap on Saturday. The $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint next weekend kept Cal-breds Bordonaro, Proud Tower Too, and Areyoutalkintome out of the Palos Verdes, which drew just four starters. Prediction: The 2008 Palos Verdes will be downgraded to Grade 3.

* Are 5 1/2-furlong races phony? If not, then first-time starter Texas Voyager is already a sprint division leader after ripping home in 1:02.64 and winning his debut by 7 1/4 lengths last Saturday. The 3-year-old, trained by Bob Baffert, earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure. Gut feeling? - Texas Voyager will come down to earth when he "stretches out" to six furlongs.

By the way, 5 1/2-furlong races are unchallenging monotony. Finding the winner usually is a simple matter of finding the pacesetter. Already this meet, there have been 13 races at 5o1/2 furlongs. During the entire seven-week fall meet on Cushion Track, Hollywood Park held only four races at 5 1/2 furlongs.

* Derby-trail disciples can add Air Commander to the list of potential stars. A colt by Point Given making his second start Jan. 12, Air Commander raced greenly in the mile race, pulled himself up after making the lead late, then re-rallied to miss by a head. Point Given offspring often are slow learners; Air Commander, who earned an 83 Beyer, could be the real deal.

* An informal survey revealed unanimous consensus about trainer Barry Abrams, one of racing's true characters and an all-around good guy. Abrams will be happy to learn that everybody at the track is rooting for him snap the 0-for-41 drought that dates to his last winner, on Oct. 20.

* ,em>Daily Racing Form's database uncovered a gem from the department of statistical anomalies. During the 17-day fall meet on the new Polytrack surface at Keeneland, horses sired by A.P. Indy went 0 for 18; horses sired by Storm Cat went 0 for 16. Yikes.

* Sign of the times: A veteran trainer with a squeaky-clean medication record asked a favor the other day. "I want you to start a rumor that I had a bad test," the trainer said. Why? "I need some new owners," he said.

* The 3-year-old filly division is coming to life. Jump On In scored a visually impressive win Monday in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes, winning by almost four with a 91 Beyer. When she stretches out to a mile in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes, she may face Cash Included (93 Beyer in Oak Leaf Stakes); Baroness Thatcher (89 Beyer in Santa Ysabel); and Romance Is Diane (85 Beyer in Hollywood Starlet).

* First there was Bordonaro, who became a Grade 1-winning sprinter after he was gelded. Then came full brother Furioso Star, who won a fast (1:09.40) six-furlong maiden race Jan. 10 after being gelded. Now comes word from trainer Bill Spawr that owner-breeders Fred Carrillo and Daniel Casella have another full brother. Fedrico, sired by Memo and produced by Miss Excitement, worked three furlongs Jan. 16. The unraced 3-year-old is a colt. For now.

* Ravel would have been a good fit Friday in a 3-year-old allowance race. But the son of Fusaichi Pegasus, a sharp maiden winner Dec. 3 at Hollywood Park for Todd Pletcher, skipped the race. It is great that Pletcher shipped a string to California for winter. And it is interesting that since the Hollywood fall meet began Nov. 1, the outfit has won all of four races on the circuit - every one of them maiden races.

* The only thing impressive about Passified on Monday was the 3-year-old filly's payoff. She returned a fat $12.40 going route to sprint in a downhill allowance race, and trainer Jim Cassidy will stretch her out to a mile. But in early March, Cassidy will unveil a 3-year-old European filly he says is even better. Princess Iris, a Group 3 winner in Europe, is gearing up for her U.S. debut March 4 in the $100,000 La Habra Stakes.