07/22/2013 3:53PM

Del Mar: Pick-six carryover chase may have two stumbling blocks

Shigeki Kikkawa
Sweet Lulu will try to stay unbeaten in a second-level allowance route.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – The pick-six pool Wednesday at Del Mar is expected to soar well past $1 million when bettors take aim at a single-day carryover of $238,499.

While hitting the pick six never is easy, the degree of difficulty is increased Wednesday because of challenging circumstances facing two top horses in the sequence – Indy Point in race 7 and Sweet Lulu earlier in race 6.

Indy Point is a multiple Group 1 winner from South America and the class of the field the $90,000 Wickerr Stakes. The challenge is that the mile turf race is Indy Point’s first start in North America.

Trainer Richard Mandella is bullish, with caution.

“I would think he would run a big race,” Mandella said. “I expect him to, but some South Americans I have had have not run their best race first time out and then came on later.”

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Indy Point faces an outstanding Wickerr field – 10 of the 11 starters are graded stakes winners including contenders Corporate Jungle, Wilkinson, Tigah, and Chips All In.

In race 6, Sweet Lulu tries to stay unbeaten in a second-level allowance route for fillies and mares. Jerry Hollendorfer trains Sweet Lulu, an impressive sprint winner in her first two starts. Her pedigree – by Mr. Greeley from an Orientate mare – says sprint. Assistant Dan Ward says her physique is long.

“She’s not bred to route, but she is built to route,” Ward said. “She’s big and tall and really long.”

Sweet Lulu faces route-proven Ondine and streaking sprinter Bella Viaggia in race 6 on a terrific card that would have been appealing even without the carryover.

The pick six covers races 3 through 8 and begins with a potential single.

Race 3 is turf route for 2-year-old maidens, and Taelyns Prince stands out for trainer Jeff Mullins. He told jockey Joe Talamo before the gelding’s debut, “I think he’s going to want two turns”

Taelyns Prince finished well at six furlongs, missing by 1 1/4 lengths and galloped out strongly.

“That race didn’t take much out of him,” Mullins said.

Key rivals for Taleyns Prince include second-time starter Sunny Kat and well-regarded firster Station House, trained by Mandella.

“I expect he would run very well first time out,” Mandella said.

Race 4 is the second leg, and a key handicapping component for the $8,000 claiming sprint is unknown – track bias. The Polytrack favored speed opening week – 13 of the 23 sprints were won gate to wire, and every sprint was won from a forward position.

The 13-for-49 veteran Streets of Heaven may be the horse to beat, despite his closing style. If the speed bias persists, he is up against it. Other contenders include front-running dropper Iron Joe T, shipper Jim’s No Preacher, Position A, Blake, and Shediak.

Race 5 is perplexing – slow-working juvenile fillies race 5 1/2 furlongs. First-time starters Wickedly Sassy and Thunder Bonnet entered, with dropper Tom Kha.

Race 6 wil be the first route for Sweet Lulu, who was initially targeted for the Grade 1 Prioress on July 27 at Saratoga. Since jockey Julien Leparoux already planned to be at Saratoga for the Diana, Hollendorfer asked if he would ride Sweet Lulu.

Leparoux worked Sweet Lulu twice, and by the time plans changed to run her at Del Mar, Rafael Bejarano already had given the call to Bob Baffert with Ondine. No matter. Sweet Lulu can win if she stays two turns. Her most recent win was an allowance sprint.

Although Sweet Lulu won with a perfect trip, Ward said, “She proved she could come from off the pace, race inside, and settle. She answered a lot of questions.”

Race 7 is the Wickerr, which marks the anticipated U.S. debut for Indy Point. He won 5 of 12 in Argentina before arriving at Mandella’s barn early this year.

Indy Point initially was to make his U.S. debut in the American Handicap in late May at Betfair Hollywood Park, but got sick.

“He had a little virus, a temperature, no big deal,” Mandella said. Since then, the 4-year-old has trained well.

Mandella has high hopes.

“He trains very straightforward, but he hasn’t run in a while, and sometimes it take a race to get the cobwebs out.”

Corporate Jungle has targeted the Wickerr since scratching from the Firecracker on June 29 at Churchill Downs because of a yielding course. He is trained by Tom Proctor.

Race 8 is a $20,000 maiden claiming route that Tuckers Point can win if he reproduces his most-recent effort, a neck loss at the level while finishing more than 10 lengths clear of third.