06/05/2012 3:07PM

Hollywood Park: Two logical singles for pick six players chasing $107,000 carryover


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Before sporting interest turns to a particular win streak by a colt racing Saturday at Belmont Park, the wagering challenge Thursday is to win six straight races at Betfair Hollywood Park.

A one-day pick six carryover of $107,825 is up for grabs on races 3-8, and bettors are expected to add at least $500,000 while chasing the first Sunday-to-Thursday carryover of the spring meet.

The sequence is interesting, and seemingly manageable. Smaller bettors will consider singling Low Gear Power, the 2-1 favorite in race 3, and Megaride, the 7-5 favorite in race 6. Four other races are considerably tougher in a pick six with five route races and a challenging turf sprint that is race 5. Below is a look at the sequence.

Race 3 is a $12,500 main-track claimer in which Low Gear Power is the favorite moving up after a crushing $10,000 claiming win first off the claim by Jeff Mullins. Low Gear Power won from behind a swift pace, but also has won from behind the type slow pace expected Thursday in the 1 1/16-mile race.

When Mullins claimers get sharp and win, they often win again. It really is that simple, sometimes. The past five years, Mullins is 12 for 23 with claiming-route favorites that won last out. Martin Garcia rides Low Gear Power, whose chief rivals include Royal Import and the likely pacesetter, Capture the Call. Although the speed-friendly track profile recently has dissipated, Capture the Call remains a legitimate front-end threat.

Race 4 is a $30,000 maiden-claimer for fillies and mares in which Pardon My Excess will try to stretch her speed to 1 1/16 miles.

She dueled on a fast pace and held second in her debut at 6 1/2 furlongs, and stretches out as potential lone speed. Rivals include six-time runner-up Wildakceleration, I’m Always Hopeful, Briteyednbushytail, and Unusual Darling.

Race 5, an entry-level optional $25,000 claimer for California-bred turf sprinters, is the deepest race on the card. A case can be made for all nine entrants, including an attractive longshot comebacker at 12-1 on the morning line.

Thunder of Zion was claimed for $16,000 three months ago by Bill Spawr with the idea of using him as a rabbit for Amazombie in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande on April 7. There was no need. Amazombie won without Thunder of Zion, whom Spawr scratched to point for a more realistic spot in race 5 on Thursday.

Thunder of Zion has improved in his training since he was claimed by Spawr, and if he follows the long history of Spawr claims he should run the race of his career at a big price. Thunder of Zion, admittedly, is a reach. He is not fast enough on figures, and not proven against allowance competition. On paper, he is an overmatched claimer. But at every least, Thunder of Zion figures to outrun his odds.

Conventional handicapping points to main contenders, including dropper Red Defense, back-class My Summer Slew, front-runner Nofty, late-runner Blue Jay Attack, and comebacker Warren’s Dr. Yang.

Race 6 is a $16,000 claimer for nonwinners of two with an apparent standout in Megaride, who finished more than five clear of third last out vs. similar. Trainer Pete Eurton was traveling this week, but said word from the stable is Megaride “seems to be training well … they say he looks good.” Megaride blew out three furlongs Sunday, and looks tough to beat. It is an aberration jockey Kevin Krigger is 1 for 10 on favorites at the meet.

Race 7 is a first-level allowance for fillies and mares, with three logical contenders. Endless Fancy stretches out for the first time, Starlight Magic faces older for the first time, and Last Sting will pick them up late.

Race 8 is a turf route for California-bred maidens, and stretch-out Sizzlin’ Joe should relish two turns. Sired by Unusual Heat, he wheels back two weeks after an even-paced fourth in a sprint. His rivals include Turn On the Pumps, Jolly Joseph, Surely Swift, and Dr. Nip.