05/16/2004 11:00PM

Carryover signals pick six gold rush


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It's a great time for exuberance in racing. The largest two-day pick six carryover in track history - $708,235 - is up for grabs Wednesday at Hollywood Park, where at least $3 million more is expected to be wagered on the bet. Racing may be two-thirds of the way to a Triple Crown, but fans face a more immediate drama on Wednesday - stringing together six straight winners.

The two-day carryover is the highest at Hollywood since May 19, 1999, when $2.3 million was wagered in pursuit of a $638,713 carryover.

Pick six enthusiasm has since mushroomed, particularly when a carryover follows non-racing days.

A $1.4 million carryover into March 3 at Santa Anita - a Wednesday - generated additional wagers of $5.8 million.

The timing of this carryover is good for horsemen. The takeout rate for exotic wagers increases Wednesday from 20.18 percent to 20.68 percent. The additional half-percent will be used to offset the cost of workers' compensation insurance paid by horsemen. Based on a pick six pool of $3 million, the new tax will raise an immediate $150,000.

The sequence (races 3-8) is not the most difficult ever fashioned and includes at least two solid favorites - Jewel of the Year in race 6, and Royal Place in race 7. Assuming a victory by at least one of those potential singletons, and the pick six is almost sure to go down.

Race 3 is a turf sprint for fillies and mares, non-winners of one other-than. was the 2.30-1 favorite three weeks ago under identical conditions but finished fourth with no alibi. Trainer Sandy Shulman hopes she wakes up while switching to leading rider Pat Valenzuela. "He's the best out there. He might be the best in the country," Shulman said. The jockey cannot make it happen without the horse, of course, and pick six bettors may need to spread the race.

New Zealand import Tracktalk makes her U.S. debut for trainer Adam Kitchingman, who said, "I expect her to run a huge race. She's got a lot of quality." Bred in Australia, Tracktalk tailed off last fall, but her 2003 spring form includes a second-place finish to Katana, who subsequently won a Group 1. Kitchingman already is considering future stakes for Tracktalk, whose up-front-running style should lead to a good trip. Other contenders in race 3 include Mango Escapade, Stop the Talking, and Aclevershadeofjade.

Race 4 is a 4 1/2-furlong sprint for California-bred 2-year-old maiden fillies. , a half to stakes winner Cheiron, debuts for trainer Kristin Mulhall. "I think she's going to be a real nice filly," Mulhall said. "She should be right there with those." Fortunate Event is so well regarded that she was entered in the $75,000 Nursery Stakes on Sunday, but did not draw in.

Shulman starts a half-sister to speedball Precious Bag. Citing the Gottahavemilk's most recent bullet workout of 35 seconds for three furlongs from the gate, Shulman said, "She'll be competitive." Other contenders in race 4 include second-time starter Western Blondy, and Princess Godiva.

Race 5 is on turf at a 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies, nonwinners of one other-than. It is not a strong field, and European import makes her U.S. debut for trainer Jim Cassidy. She arrived in November, but illness delayed her campaign. Cassidy expects a big effort Wednesday and said she "acts like she has some speed."

She's the General, unraced on turf, will be starting for the first time since disappointing in the Sunland Park Oaks in late March. "It's a good shot to see if she'll like [turf]," said trainer Rafael Becerra. "She is training as good as she can be." Other contenders include Lovely Rafaela, Sweet Lips, Church Editor, Dawn's Angel, and Broad Minded.

Race 6 is a maiden starter allowance, restricted to fillies and mares who won a maiden-claiming race for $40,000 or less and have not won two races. The race offers a potential single. Jewel of the Year finished second under identical circumstances April 21 in just her second career start. Leading trainer Mike Mitchell (13 wins) expects an improved effort Wednesday.

"She just gets better as I train her," he said, adding that her most recent team work was particularly impressive.

must catch Spring Festival, claimed off a maiden sprint win April 8 to be a broodmare. According to trainer Julio Canani, Spring Festival's owner-breeders said that if she was sound to continue to race her.

Race 7 is on turf at 1 1/16 miles, for nonwinners three other-than. Royal Place returns to turf after a big second-place finish behind Buddy Gil in a dirt race at Santa Anita. Trained by Becerra, could have run May 31 in the 7 1/2-furlong Ack Ack. But, Becerra said, "He ran good on this turf latest last year, and I don't want to shorten him up.

I want to get his confidence back."

Royal Place is the lone speed and high-figure horse in the race, which also includes Wixoe Express, Anzari, Studio Time, and Tronare.

Race 8, the final leg, is a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for $40,000 maiden-claiming California-breds. The Golden Eagle Farm entry of and Global Empire may be favored. Uptown Parade is dropping in for a claiming price. Global Empire makes his first start since transferring to Mullins. Other contenders include Yodelin Two, My Onomatopoeia, and Chickster.