12/13/2005 1:00AM

Hines holds key to pick six


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Andrew Beyer likes to say that wild, raucous cheering is allowed by a bettor only if you are going for a payoff that exceeds 10 percent of your annual income. Trainer Nick Hines violates that rule every time he wins a race, with over-the-top outbursts punctuated by yelling, military-style salutes, and bear hugs that overwhelm his employees and threaten to crush the jockey who rode his winner.

On Thursday at Hollywood Park, however, pick six bettors might be able to join Hines in a celebration that would be wholly understandable. Because no one hit the pick six on Sunday, there is a carryover of $135,696 heading into Thursday's races. And Hines plays a key role in the day's featured seventh race, sending out two runners, including one of the race's top contenders, the speedy , whom Hines calls "the best horse in my barn."

For Hines, the race could offer a windfall. Not only will he be shooting for a winner as a trainer, but with a large pick six carryover, he'll be involved at the windows, too.

"Hey, I'm from Vegas," he said.

Rattlesnake Joe, 2, is from Florida, where he was plucked by Hines and a partnership following a second-place finish in his debut in a maiden-claiming race. He won his first start on this circuit at Del Mar, had a rough trip in a starter allowance at Golden Gate, and then was a sharp second in an optional claiming race at Hollywood on Nov. 17. Rattlesnake Joe is back at the same condition on Thursday, but will now try to stretch his speed an additional 110 yards to 6 1/2 furlongs.

Rattlesnake Joe lost by a neck to Funky Friends, one of his rivals on Thursday. Funky Friends subsequently disappointed in a minor stakes race at Golden Gate, but he was coming back on just nine days' rest and was caught wide. He looks like a formidable challenger again on Thursday.

Hines's other runner is Lead the Launch, who finished well back of Funky Friends and Rattlesnake Joe here on Nov. 17.

"We'll take a hold of him and make one run and hope the speed collapses," Hines said.

The pick six begins on the day's third race. Field size ranges from 13 horses in the sixth race to eight entrants in four of the races.