05/23/2012 3:52PM

Emerald Downs: No clear single in $21K pick-five carryover


AUBURN, Wash. – A two-day pick-five carryover of $21,055 is likely to attract a crowd of interested horseplayers when racing resumes Friday evening at Emerald Downs. The pick-five sequence – races 3 through 7 – begins shortly before 7 p.m. Pacific.

Barring scratches, a total of 43 horses will start in the five races, an average of 8.6 per race, and the great challenge for handicappers will be narrowing down the 42,240 possible outcomes into a manageable number. There are no standout singles in the sequence.

In the first leg, a $7,500 claimer for statebred maidens, the three leading contenders were separated by a length when they last met two weeks ago. Kick the Vet, who had an eventful trip, might be the most likely of them to muster an improved effort. The wild card is Popular Pick, a first-time starter who has been training forwardly for Bob Meeking.

Winorbegone tops an eight-horse field in the fourth race, a bottom-level claimer for nonwinners of three races. He might be a step quicker than his pace rivals, and trainer Jose Navarro has been hot, hitting the board with 11 of 16 starters at the meeting. Recent winner Adriatic Princ will have a say in the outcome as will late-runners Fastnfoxy and Mutiny Bay.

The fifth race features the smallest field – six horses – but there is no low-hanging fruit. Epic Cast will be a popular single following a narrow loss in his last start. His effort earned a nifty Beyer Speed Figure, but the front-running Epic Cast could have his hands full with a couple of other speedsters, Summer Snow and Marquetching. Summer Snow carved fast fractions at Turf Paradise over the winter and picks up defending riding champion Leslie Mawing for his Emerald debut.

The featured sixth race attracted 10 runners. It might be the toughest race on the card. Mattalie, dropping in class after chasing a dominating winner in his last start, could be formidable against $7,500 claimers who’ve never won twice. But with speed up and down the lineup, a closer such as Mo’em Down, Lit’l in Din Boy, or Davidaaronnathanne could be the one when the smoke clears.

In the nightcap, a $2,500 claimer for fillies and mares, Bottled Lightning and Cee the Lady are likely to be quickest from the gate, a potential advantage in a bulky field of 11. Bottled Lightning won 3 of 6 starts at Emerald last summer and chased better in her first two starts of 2012.