Updated on 09/17/2011 11:48AM

Carryover heating things up


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For the second time at the Churchill Downs spring meet, the pick six pool has grown sufficiently large so as to attract the keen interest of horseplayers throughout North America.

By going un-hit Sunday for the sixth straight day, the wager has a carryover into the Wednesday card of $329,989, meaning the pool easily could surpass $1 million after all bets are in. The Wednesday carryover is seventh-largest in track history.

None of the pick six races (races 5 through 10) on Wednesday appears to be a particularly easy one for handicappers - and if the bet happens to elude bettors again, it most likely will lead to the largest carryover in track history on Thursday. The record carryover is $750,068 on June 12, 1993.

When attempting to land the pick six, a $2 minimum wager, most bettors prefer to isolate a horse or two they can "single," with the obvious intent being to pare down the cost of the ticket. At face value, however, there does not appear to be a clear-cut standout in any of the pick six races here Wednesday. The favorites figure lukewarm at best in maybe four or five of the races, and even in the 10th race, which appears to boil down to three major contenders - Steady Streak, Adreamisborn, and Rowans Park - the prospect of using just one of them seems quite risky.

But even before that sixth and final leg of the pick six rolls around, the chances of a bettor still holding onto a live ticket are remote. Full fields of 12 are entered in the first two legs of the wager, and as many as 11 betting interests will contest the third and fifth legs. The only apparent weak links are the fourth leg (race 8), in which a field of just seven is likely to start, and the last leg, in which the three favorites appear superior at the rarely run distance of 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Among that last-race trio, Adreamisborn, entered off a strong runner-up finish over this course, may be slightly favored, although Steady Streak and Rowans Park both have merit.

This is the second time in a month that pick six mania has engulfed Churchill. A carryover of $342,497 ballooned to a total pool of $1,376,935 on May 26, when nine winning tickets, each worth $107,879, were sold.

First post Wednesday is 1:15 p.m. Eastern. The fifth race is scheduled for 3:25.