08/01/2006 11:00PM

Free's Del Mar plays for Thursday, August 3


Just when the Del Mar chalk was beginning to look invincible, a host of longshot winners landed on Wednesday, and a pick six carryover of $134,339 is for grabs on Thursday.

The first bomb Wednesday was race 5, a $25,000 maiden claimer won by comeback dropper Smoke N Wagers at 47-1. A half-hour later in race 6, a $10,000 claiming sprint, Return of the King dropped two floors and scored at $72.

Only one favorite won. He was odds-on dropper Jack the Duffer in race 1. After two weeks of 44 percent winning favorites, the law of averages is beginning to level things out. Good deal. It means there is hope for longshot bettors.

The two suggested plays Wednesday lost, but because of the minimum odds requirement, only one was a losing bet. Quinton Strikes started at 12-1 in race 6, was caught four-wide and finished last for a $25 loss.

Trouble-prone horse Bahri's Gold and trouble-prone jockey Alex Bisono had more bad luck in race 8. The gelding stumbled and unseated Bisono at the start of the race. But the scratch of favorite City Swagger made Bahri's Gold too short to back at 3-1. No bet.

There are at least two overlay possibilities on Thursday. One is a dirt sprint, the other is a turf route.

Race 6

This $10,000 claiming sprint for California-bred fillies and mares came up surprisingly short on speed. While favorites Kouri Jill and Kreeker are the most consistent, 6-1 shot Halo Ms Lion might have the most speed.

Halo Ms Lion was overmatched twice after a romp at Hollywood Park, but she returns to a realistic level Thursday, and her only apparent pace rival (Pearls n Satin) is in sorry form. Drawn outside, Halo Ms Lion can win the race if she puts away her early rival and opens up. She is 6-1 on the program, but likely to be bet down. She can be played at 3-1.

The bet: $25 win Halo Ms Lion (minimum odds 3-1).

Race 7

It is another race for California-bred fillies and mares, a first-level allowance route on grass. Program favorites Jazzerin and Burst of Light are logical contenders, but Sip One for Mom is back doing what she does best (turf route) and could be overlooked in the betting.

The last time Sip One for Mom ran under similar conditions, she chased subsequent graded stakes winners Dancing Edie and Memorette, while earning speed figures that make her a perfect fit at the first allowance condition. After three futile tries on dirt, Sip One for Mom returns to turf and is listed at 12-1. She is worth a play at 9-1.

The bet: $25 win Sip One for Mom (minimum odds 9-1).

Back on Friday.

Total wagers previous day: $25.
Total return previous day: $0.
Total win/loss Saturday: minus $25.

Total wagers for meet: $510.
Total return for meet: $0.
Total win/loss for meet: minus $510.