06/25/2013 3:21PM

Hollywood Park: Bettors chasing pick six carryover may use Horizon Sky as key horse

Barbara D. Livingston
Horizon Sky may appreciate the stretch-out to 1 1/16 miles on turf for Thursday's allowance race for 3-year-olds.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – When Horizon Sky starts in an allowance over 1 1/16 miles on turf in Thursday’s seventh race at Betfair Hollywood Park, he may finally race at his ideal distance.

The allowance could lead to appearances in stakes at Del Mar later this summer. For bettors, Horizon Sky could be a key runner on pick six tickets on a day when the bet starts with a carryover of $94,896.

The pool of new money could exceed $650,000.

Horizon Sky is part of a field of six 3-year-olds in Thursday’s seventh race, the smallest field in the pick six sequence.

Owned by Michael House and Sam Britt, Horizon Sky has been third in his first four starts in this country, racing over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita and at a mile at Hollywood Park.

“He wants to run farther and we haven’t been able to get anything to go past a mile,” trainer Jeff Mullins said on Tuesday. “We were going to run him a mile and an eighth against older horses.”

Horizon Sky is part of a field that includes two formidable rivals in Little Jerry, who was second in the La Puente Stakes on turf at Santa Anita in April; and Unbridled Giant, who won a maiden race on turf here on April 28 and was second in front of Horizon Sky in an optional claimer on May 30.

The pick six begins with the third race, which has a post time of approximately 2 p.m., Pacific. In the sequence, there are four races for claimers, including one for maiden claimers; a race for maidens, and the allowance race for 3-year-olds.

The third race is a $16,000 claimer for fillies and mares over seven furlongs. Many tickets will focus on Full’s Figurehead, who won a $30,000 claimer for maidens on April 28, and was second in a starter allowance over six furlongs on turf on June 1.

In the fourth race, eight maidens start in a six-furlong turf race. Mullins runs the first-time starter Blame It On Tekela, who will be ridden by Gary Stevens.

“Gary’s opinion is that he wants to run farther than that,” Mullins said.

A.C. Avila runs Cacau, who is winless in four starts, including a second at Santa Anita in April. Cacau ran three times in April and Avila said that may have been too much. The key for Cacau is for the colt to stay calm in the 20 minutes before the race.

“I think he had too many races back-to-back,” Avila said. “Hopefully, he’ll calm down in the paddock. He’s full of energy and working good.”

Mullins runs Rock This Way in the fifth race, a $16,000 claimer over 1 1/16 miles. A 6-year-old gelding who is winless in five starts this year, Rock This Way could be tough on the lead from the inside post in a field of 10.

“Normally I don’t like the rail,” Mullins said. “Considering there is no speed in the race, it might be a good place to be.”

Mullins considers Big Wags, claimed for $12,500 from a win on June 6, to be a leading threat.

Trainer Jack Carava’s only runner on Thursday is Woebegon in the sixth race, a $32,000 claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs. A four-time winner, Woebegon has been claimed in her last three starts. She has drawn the outside post of eight, and will be near the front chasing Nihilist, who is dropping from an allowance race into claimers for the first time.

Carava said he is concerned about the distance, noting that Woebegon was caught in three races on Santa Anita’s hillside turf course over about 6 1/2 furlongs.

“It’s hard to differentiate whether it’s the turf or the 6 1/2,” he said. “We probably won’t have to push her too much with the post compared if she had drawn inside.”

The last race is a $20,000 claimer for maidens over six furlongs. J Man, winless in 10 starts but third in his last two races; and Mr. Fitzramathorn, who is dropping in class from a sixth-place finish in a maiden special weight, head an untalented field.