05/05/2002 11:00PM

Derby Day carryover alert: It's $348,152


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The regulars at Churchill Downs don't need any more salt rubbed into their wounds by all those glowing reminders of how the Kentucky Derby pumps tens of millions of dollars into the regional economy.

No, the local horseplayer is keenly aware that by the Wednesday after Derby, the vast majority of those tourism dollars are in someone else's cash register or pocket - while he is basically starting over from scratch.

Ah, but not this year.

Derby visitors left behind more than their hotel and restaurant dollars this time. They also happened to leave behind $348,152 in the pick 6 kitty at Churchill, a windfall that gives the regulars a chance to have some big money pumped not into any local economy but into their own pockets.

The carryover from Saturday resulted largely from the Derby upset by War Emblem, but also by a string of beaten favorites in the Derby Day pick 6. Only one favorite - Beat Hollow in the Woodford Reserve - was a winner on the Derby Day pick 6 ticket, leading to the fifth highest carryover in track history and the largest since May 10, 1995.

Whether Churchill officials foresaw a huge carryover for the first post-Derby program of the 52-day spring meet appears doubtful, but, coincidence or not, the fact is that the six Wednesday races that comprise the wager are challenging, indeed.

Here is a rundown of each pick 6 race:

Race 3: Three of the six starters exit an April 18 Keeneland race won by heavily favored Secret Caller, who is not in here. Hit Em Low may have been unduly hustled when maintaining an inside position April 20 at Keeneland; he is a deserving favorite on this drop from $15,000 to $10,000.

Race 4: Handicapping this race would require some major reconsideration if Pleasantly Mine draws in off the also-eligibles for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Pat Day. If she doesn't, then Loosecannonondeck might be a slight favorite, dropping in for a claiming tag for Randy Morse. Charge and Send has never run for a tag and is in racing shape for Carl Nafzger.

Race 5: The wild card here is Tawa Run, who was scratched from a similar spot on opening day by Joe Woodard. Tawa Run last raced for $45,000 and now goes for only $13,500. The most plausible scenario in a fairly paceless race might be Gala Bear, dropping in class for Lynn Whiting, stalking in great position from his outside post.

Race 6: Assuming it stays on the grass, this race most likely will have the Mott colt, Cumulus, as the favorite, especially considering the addition of blinkers and Lasix after some respectable efforts at Gulfstream. Also-eligibles Super X One and M B Sea would alter the complexion if they drawn in.

Race 7: The huge upset by Camara Cat at Keeneland must be translated into whether she is worth the $30,000 here. Jo Dinah and Bee Line Genius both ran creditably in the key race from opening day. Overcrowded has shown some ability. Grinadine probably needed her last start for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Race 8: If it stays on grass, then a solid pace could develop among An Oscar for Bert, Mr. Kody, and possibly Screenplay, with Silver On Silver and Glick ready to pounce. Treat Me Doc, a former Kentucky Cup Mile winner, hasn't won since 2000, but he clearly has the class to compete for a $50,000 tag. The pick 6 is a $1 minimum wager.

Twilight first post for the 10-race card is 3:10 p.m. Eastern, meaning the first pick 6 race will be run at about 4:15.