12/23/2004 12:00AM

Chasing pick 6 carryover with a $96 play


ALBANY, Calif. - Hitting Sunday's pick six at Golden Gate Fields with a five-day, $233,306 carryover will be hard.

But it can't be any harder than it was Monday when every ticket had been eliminated within the first three legs after the winners paid $143, $80.40, and $82.60. Even when sanity returned with winners at odds of 5-2, 7-2, and 9-2 in the final three legs, it was a day in which no favorite won.

The pool, which should be worth at least $500,000 Sunday, began with a $7,445 carryover into Friday, Dec. 17, when no one hit all six that Thursday. The pool reached $19,448 into last Saturday and $43,299 into last Sunday. After no one hit all six last Sunday, Monday's pick six began with a carryover of $94,951.

Sunday's pick six consists of 52 runners in races ranging from the bottom level of $8,000 maiden claimers to a Cal-bred turf stakes.

The ticket structure depends on each individual's comfort level. You can buy the pick six for a mere $776,160 by playing "all" in each race. Beyond that, a reasonable ticket could be played for as little as $96.

Race 4 ($20,000 claimer, one mile)

There is good speed in this race, which could signal bettors to look for a horse coming from off the pace. Dixie Thrill, whose 10 wins are nearly twice as many as the next best win total and $343,941 in lifetime earnings are more than three times higher than anyone else's, should get a good trip, tucked in behind the leaders. He was just claimed from the hot Art Sherman barn by the even hotter John F. Martin. Jumpingjupiter has the speed to lead, but could be comfortable sitting just off the pace. Always Remember, Igor, and Cayerless and Bold are others for those who want to spread.

Play: Jumpingjupiter, Dixie Thrill.

Race 5 ($6,250 claimer, one mile)

This is a race to spread at least four deep. Father Thames appears the logical choice, dropping to the bottom turf level. Huka's Diamond can't be overlooked, given the way the turf course has played to speed, especially if the rail is placed far out. Tiryns was third to the sharp Sixty Two Lincoln in his last turf try. Bright Big Star was just claimed by Daniel Franko, whose return on investment dirt-to-turf is $9.92 and turf ROI is $5.68. He unleashes some real bombers on the turf and might be a key to a big score here.

Play: Father Thames, Huka's Diamond, Tiryns, Bright Big Star.

Race 6 ($8,000 maiden, six furlongs)

Riverruns Thruit will have to catch Mud Flat. Riverruns Thruit was third in his debut at this level behind a runner who won his next start. He was boosted up to twice this price for his next start and ran second despite being pinched back at the break. Last time, he broke slowly again, rushed up while wide, and gave way badly behind an odds-on winner. If he breaks, he will win. Mud Flat has slowed to a crawl in both starts, and looks like a vulnerable favorite.

Play: Riverruns Thruit.

Race 7 ($4,000 claimer, 1 1/16 miles)

Picnic Point P S had some trouble last time when he was bumped and then grew rank into the first turn. He moved up on the winner before fading in the lane, but he still held second by four lengths.

Isle of Wind is a dropper, but this is a realistic drop not a wholesale freefall. He won at the bottom maiden claiming level, then was boosted up the claiming ladder and was a distant third. Although he faded in his last start, he faces weaker here and should be able to make the lead.

Plays: Isle of Wind, Picnic Point P S.

Race 8 (Work the Crowd Handicap)

I will use two local horses in this one-mile turf race for fillies and mares, Tricky Surf and Almond Blossom, and the 3-year-old Alphabet Kisses, who could end up vying for favoritism. Alphabet Kisses is game and improving and had an excuse in the only bad race in her career, which came going down the hill at Santa Anita. She freaked out and made a right-hand turn when the turf course went across the dirt.

Tricky Surf has climbed the ladder from $6,250 claimer to allowance winner. She tried a stakes two back and was never a factor, but she had a much worse trip than appears on paper. There's good speed in this race to set up her closing kick. Almond Blossom looked as if she would be a factor into the lane in the Cal Cup Distaff, but the 1 1/4-mile distance got to her. Shalini, Tucked Away, and Scrofa also have a shot.

Plays: Alphabet Kisses, Tricky Surf, Almond Blossom.

Race 9 (starter allowance, one mile)

Here's Carrie did nothing on the turf last time, but the race was better than it looks. She angled in to make her move in the stretch and was forced to steady. By the time she got clear, the race was over, but she did finish strongly. She closed well in the mud two back. Those were her first two starts in more than a year around two turns, and she now should be set for her best. Her breeding suggests that turf is not her game, so the return to the main track is another plus. Luke's Finest will be a very big price and could be a huge overlay here as she returns to the main track for the first time since winning her maiden. But to keep the ticket in double-digits, a single is required in this race.

Play: Here's Carrie.