11/08/2004 12:00AM

Carryover puts pick six in six figures


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Here's something to cure what ails the horseplayer who feels like his favorite jockey has forsaken him during the ongoing insurance controversy at Churchill Downs: a pick six pool worth taking a shot at.

After seven days of failing to be hit, the pick six pool heading into the 10-race Wednesday program at Churchill stood at a robust $140,074. Although the pick six jackpot in Kentucky tends to build far slower than on other major circuits, surpassing the six-figure mark usually means the wager will start taking on a life of its own, and that means the jackpot could reach $350,000 to $400,000 Wednesday.

Of course, an extra variable to the Wednesday card involves how handicappers will deal with the absence of several of Churchill's leading riders. With or without that additional factor, the pick six, as usual, looks elusive. Here is a very brief rundown of the six races:

Race 5: A full and unwieldy group of bottom-rung maiden-claiming routers may have as the favorite, even though he is 0 for 15 and drew post 12.

Race 6: figures to pose a major dilemma for players because of the way she is plunging in class following a layoff for the high-percentage team of Ken Ramsey and Dale Romans. Otherwise, In Case of Wind and Beach Plum look okay.

Race 7: has superior Beyer Speed Figures but makes his first start on turf, giving those with grass experience (Cat Patrol, Standoutinacrowd, and Graded by Results) greater hope.

Race 8: represents another enigmatic placement by Ramsey and Romans. If he runs poorly, then virtually all the others are in with a decent shot.

Race 9: If for no other reason than Pat Day is riding him, looks like the one to beat in this second-level turf allowance that serves as the feature race of the day. Quite a few others are capable with best efforts, however.

Race 10: There are all kinds of unknown quantities in this mid-range maiden claiming sprint for fillies - including dangerous-looking first-time starters (Windiva, Holy Holly, and Self Seeker), droppers from the maiden-special ranks (Mother Superior, Genuity, and Yes Its You) - and the usual assortment of potential pratfalls in trying to narrow down a field such as this.

Besides the pick six, horseplayers also have the weekly handicapping contest to play in the Silks room in the new clubhouse.