05/07/2013 2:28PM

Churchill Downs: $303K super high five carryover livens up day's last race


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The customary parting gift left behind by Kentucky Derby tourists is $303,033, a tidy sum for which everyday horseplayers at Churchill Downs are once again grateful.

Thursday will mark the 10th time in the last 12 years that a major carryover has resulted from the Derby. In preceding years, it was the pick six that eluded Derby bettors, but for the second straight year, it is the last-race super high five offering a potential bonanza.

Post time for the ninth and last race Thursday is 4:59 p.m. Eastern.

Last year on Derby Day, the super high five also failed to be hit, and the carryover was $276,914. The following Thursday, another $1,051,585 was added to the pool, with each winning $1 ticket worth $4,325.

There would seem little reason not to expect a similar amount to be bet again in chasing the $1-minimum super high five. And that turns the subject race Thursday from a ho-hum, conditioned-claiming, one-mile turf race into one that will have its field dissected into tiny pieces by bettors throughout North America.

With a field of just nine fillies and mares – plus one main-track-only designee in case the race is rained off – clearly this could have come up more difficult. But Churchill, just days into a 38-day spring meet, obviously is having trouble already with filling entries, and this is the biggest field on the card.

These are the logical contenders:

◗ Starship Gambler (post 9, Rosie Napravnik): The red-hot team of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker join forces with Napravnik, who is scheduled to ride here through the end of the meet June 30. This gray filly just ran second off the Ramsey claim as a favorite at Keeneland and doesn’t face much in this switch back to grass. It would be of little surprise if she is a solid favorite, and only a bit more so if she wins.

◗ Sabouli (post 2, Alan Garcia): Yes, she is a mere 1 for 12, but she has kept fairly solid company first for Mike Puype and now for Graham Motion. She comes well drawn toward the inside and comes realistically spotted after losing her maiden condition last out on the Keeneland Polytrack. She does have considerable turf experience that should prove handy here.

◗ C P Hath a Way (post 3, Francisco Torres): A 6-year-old mare with just one lifetime win would hardly seem a major threat, but she has a number of respectable efforts on her past performances and merits a big chance to finish on the board.

The top prospects to help fill out the ticket are Star of Kitalpha (post 1, Alex Castillo), Moneygrabber (post 6, Miguel Mena), and Here’s Fat (post 8, Victor Lebron). Anything else would qualify as a surprise, with the exception of the main-track-only filly, Daddy Approves (post 9, Robby Albarado), who clearly would be a factor if a surface switch is necessitated.

All-sources handle on the Derby super high five (with no carryover from Friday) was $374,159, with no tickets having the correct combination of 16-4-3-5-6. There is no consolation provision for the super high five, meaning if it goes unhit again Thursday, there will be an even more frantic super high five chase on the last race of the Friday twilight program.