07/10/2012 12:47PM

Hollywood Park: Pick six carryover sequence tough puzzle for handicappers


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A tricky pick six Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park begins with a carryover of $111,858, and though most fields are small, the sequence is far from easy. It lacks an obvious single and is filled with potentially vulnerable favorites.

The lowest-level race in the pick six (races 3-8) may include the most probable winner – Three Buttons Down, a $20,000 maiden claimer in race 4. One race later, Antidote is favored in race 5, though he already has lost 10 straight at the first allowance condition.

By the time a large field of 2-year-old maidens races six furlongs on turf in race 8, the final leg, bettors are expected to have wagered another $500,000 into the pool. Below is a look at the sequence.

Race 3 is a $25,000 claimer for nonwinners of two, at a mile on turf. The Unusual One is favored, despite no works since his most recent start June 17.

“He’s been galloping every day, and he’s fit enough to win,” trainer Barry Abrams said.

He also is good enough based on recent close finishes in an unrestricted claimer and statebred allowance races.

The Unusual One was stabled at Hollywood Park with Abrams associate Richard Baltas until two weeks ago, when Abrams brought him to Santa Anita to prepare for a race at Del Mar. However, the first Del Mar condition book did not include a suitable spot for The Unusual One, so he entered Thursday.

“He should beat those horses,” Abrams said.

Skeptical pick six bettors will be tempted to “double” the race by including K Js Maddog. He broke slowly in his most recent start, steadied into the first turn, fell 22 lengths behind, and rallied to fifth, missing by 7 1/2 lengths in the subsequently productive race – the first- and third-place finishers already returned to win.

Race 4, a $30,000 maiden claimer at six furlongs, offers a potential single in Three Buttons Down. He was making the second start of his career last time, got bogged in traffic much of the race, and finished a better-than-looked third. He figures to benefit Thursday from the additional half-furlong.

The possible pacesetter is Et Tu Walker, who set a fast pace last time at seven furlongs, held a three-length lead at the eighth pole, and then tired to fourth. Claimed for $20,000 by Doug O’Neill from John Sadler, Et Tu Walker is a front-running threat turning back to six furlongs.

Race 5 is a first-level allowance at a mile on turf, and Antidote figures for a good trip behind stretch-out sprinter The Whammer.

However, Antidote has lost 10 consecutive first-level allowance races, four times as the favorite, and is tough to trust. Late-runners Robbie’s War, Arraignment, and Tropical Heat will rally.

Race 6 is an inscrutable route for older special-weight maidens at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track. Contenders include Stars and Moons, Fable Haven, Majestic Moment, Anabaa Premium, and Money Talker.

Race 7 is a first-level optional $25,000 claiming turf sprint for California-bred fillies and mares. Ms. G.I. Jane should get a better pace scenario than last out. Church Avenue figures close, along with pace-pressers Tasty Treat and Goldentouch of Gin.

Race 8 is a turf sprint for 2-year-old maidens that Bugsy Losty could upset. He finished strongly in his debut for a $40,000 claim tag and benefits from the longer distance. Miceli has a good third over the turf course, while Londinium is another live 2-year-old first-time starter trained by Peter Miller.