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Good thing he followed through
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The pick six score of a lifetime - a payoff of $1.3 million at Hollywood Park on Wednesday - nearly did not happen for Ohio horse owner Brad Anderson.
Betting from Beulah Park, near his home in Arlington, Ohio, Anderson had one of two winning tickets on a day when the payoff reached record levels at Hollywood Park.
For Anderson, 43, the success was a matter of perseverance and overcoming a late bout with self-doubt.
Anderson, the owner of a construction company, also owns the 2003 Ohio-bred Horse of the Year, Devil Time. He is a regular pick six player who has been chasing lucrative carryovers throughout the nation in recent months.
But when Anderson put together two Hollywood pick six tickets for $7,056 - a $5,760 main ticket and a $1,296 backup - it far exceeded his typical budget of $1,500 to $2,000, and he nearly canceled.
It was only when he was on his way back to the windows to cancel and thought of how close he had come to hitting the pick six in early March at Santa Anita, when the carryover surpassed $1 million, that he decided to keep his tickets.
"I normally wouldn't bet that much money," he said in a telephone interview Thursday. "I got halfway to canceling and said, 'Don't do this.' We almost hit that previous one."
Anderson sometimes buys pick six tickets with partners but said he was alone on Wednesday's winnings.
Anderson said his winning ticket came on his main ticket, which did not include any singles and went four-deep in the final leg. When Chickster won the last race at 9-1, Anderson was watching at home on TVG with his 7-year-old daughter, Julia.
"I finally hit on a day that mattered," he said.
Anderson arrived at Beulah Park early Wednesday with a $3,800 ticket in mind. He decided to go deeper in the final race, a maiden claimer, after thinking that the entry of Global Empire and Uptown Parade were vulnerable favorites at 9-10.
"I had that in my mind to single the last race," he said. "I kind of changed my ticket."
The entry finished fifth and sixth in a field of 10.
Anderson has already decided what he will do with the winnings.
"The bulk will go into my construction company," he said. "Over the years, I've probably taken about $1.4 million out of my company for horses. A while ago, my accountant and bank manager asked me, 'When will you pay that back?' I told them, 'I think this will be the year.' "
Viral disease keeps shippers away
An outbreak of vesicular stomatitis in Texas is leading some California trainers to cancel plans to ship stakes horses to Lone Star Park next weekend and leading others to question whether they will make the trip.
Trainer Mike Mitchell said the status of Kela, the winner of the Texas Mile at Lone Star Park on April 24, was undetermined Friday, pending further information from agriculture officials. Kela is a top contender for the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 31, but could run in the $250,000 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 12.
"I'm not shipping if there is any question about the horses being quarantined," he said. "I'm not taking any chances."
Trainer Jim Cassidy said Katdogawn, the winner of the Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita in late March, will be rerouted from the $200,000 WinStar Distaff at Lone Star to the $350,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 31.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that occurs in animals such as horses, cattle, and pigs. It can cause blisters on an animal's mouth, excessive salivation, and lameness.
Thursday, Dr. Ron Jensen, the equine medical director of the California Horse Racing Board, sent a one-page memo to racing officials, advising racing and track officials that any horse sent to Texas must return to California with a health certificate that states the horse shows no signs of vesicular stomatitis.
In addition, the CHRB is requiring that all horses traveling from Texas to California have a negative blood test for vesicular stomatitis.
Mitchell said Pocketfullofpesos, who was a candidate for the $100,000 Valid Expectations Stakes at Lone Star Park on May 31, could start instead in the $100,000 Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 5.
Trainer Craig Lewis said he "was still investigating" the situation before making a decision regarding Valentine Dancer, a candidate for the WinStar Distaff.
Smarty Jones rematch not in cards
Imperialism and Borrego, who finished fifth and seventh behind Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes on May 15, will not race against Smarty Jones in the near future.
Imperialism has been turned out at Rancho Paseana training center in Del Mar until the end of the month, trainer Kristin Mulhall said. Third in the Kentucky Derby, Imperialism may return on turf, although Mulhall has not ruled out a start in the $400,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds on dirt on July 10.
"I think he'll be a nicer horse on the grass," Mulhall said.
Mulhall also said the decision on Imperialism's next start hinges on how Cheiron, the winner of the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes on April 24, fares in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap on June 19, a prep to the Swaps.
Ideally, Cheiron would race on dirt, and Imperialism would be tried on turf later this year, Mulhall said.
Borrego is walking at trainer Beau Greely's barn and will resume galloping in coming days. The Swaps is a possibility, but Greely is not interested in trying the Belmont Stakes on June 5.
"I don't want to see that horse again for awhile," Greely said of Smarty Jones.
Special Ring prepares for return
Special Ring, who has been sidelined since finishing a troubled eighth in the Breeders' Cup Mile last October at Santa Anita, had his first workout of the year Thursday, going three furlongs in 35.80 seconds.
Trained by Julio Canani, Special Ring suffered a pulled leg muscle in the BC Mile. He was forced to take up sharply when racing in traffic in the stretch of that race.
Canani is hoping that Special Ring, who won the Eddie Read Handicap last summer at Del Mar, can be ready for the second half of the year and a tilt at the BC Mile at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.