05/04/2010 11:00PM

Carryovers give Churchill card big allure


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Churchill Downs offers two "get out" races after the Kentucky Derby every year, but fans who were looking to atone for their horseplaying sins by plunging into either of those Saturday races surely would have been better off waiting a few extra days.

That's because the pick six has carried over from Derby Day, when a string of longer-priced winners Saturday resulted in a carryover of $947,641 for the next day of live racing at Churchill. That next day is Thursday, when far greater mutuel activity than what otherwise could have been expected will ensue in the chase of a jackpot that ultimately could surge into the $3 million range.

This is the fifth time in seven years that the pick six went unhit on Derby Day, and this is the largest carryover of those five, surpassing the previous high of $781,146 set last year. As an added bonus, the super high five offered on the Derby also was not hit, leaving a $147,055 in the jackpot for the last race Thursday.

The $2-minimum pick six usually is held on the last six races every day at Churchill, which on Thursday means the bet is set for races 5 through 10. The $1-minimum super high five is on race 10. Predictably, the race with the biggest field of the day - 12 main-body runners, plus two also-eligibles - has been strategically carded as the 10th, a bottom-level maiden-claiming sprint.

Here is a brief rundown on each of the Thursday pick six races:

Race 5: A mix of subtle class-droppers and last-out winners makes this first leg a fairly tough one to gauge, with perhaps six of the nine starters looking quite logical. Badger Barry, with two wins over the Churchill main track and Garrett Gomez taking the call, might be a lukewarm favorite.

Race 6: Spiritus is the most playable of these conditioned-claiming routers, assuming he can revert to his better Fair Grounds races when dropping in class following a seven-week layoff for Dallas Stewart. Otherwise, Dabossman, Liquid Fire, and Speedy Solution will be on plenty of tickets.

Race 7: Maiden claimers on the grass? Churchill doesn't card this type of race often, but apparently in an attempt to get a decent-sized field, they got a race that appears to boil down to Ludacia or Quiet by Seven as the most probable winner, with Pat Pat, Refined Silk, and Bharat the fringe plays.

Race 8: This filly-mare sprint with a full field of $5,000 claimers seems to have "Be Careful!" written all over it. Classic Emily might come favored, but she hasn't raced in more than eight weeks, rarely a good sign for this level; beyond her, good luck. Yikes is a five-time winner at Churchill but hasn't been in particularly good recent form, while Gerivello also has fared well here but lacks recency. Karacuda, back from River Downs for Mike Maker, and Sun Valley Storm, from the Indiana Downs string of Tom Amoss, also figure in the mix.

Race 9: If you went down with the Lookin At Lucky ship in the Derby, maybe Bob Baffert will help you out here by sending out Kimmyv as a winner. She hasn't raced since Feb. 10, but Beyer-wise and otherwise, including those three workouts since shipping into Churchill, she sure looks like a potential single for many pick six players. Quick Breeze and Missippi Martini are plausible alternatives.

Race 10: As the last leg of the pick six, and with the super high five jackpot also riding on it, clearly this race will carry exponentially more meaning to fans than what a mere $10,000 maiden claimer normally implies. Amoss could have the favorite in Lode of Gold, second at 1-5 at Indiana Downs in his last start, while several horses turning back in distance - Groundwork, All West, and Ghost Chapel - should draw attention.

First post Thursday is 12:45 p.m. Eastern, with the fifth race going at 2:53.