09/10/2006 11:00PM

Lady luck shines on big pick six bettor


POMONA, Calif. - It took a big ticket and a lot of luck for one Fairplex Park horseplayer to bag the $202,064.40 pick six on the first Sunday of the Los Angeles County Fair meet.

Bill Lyons, 41, does not mess around when it comes to the pick six.

"I usually spend quite a bit," the effervescent handicapper admitted.

Lyons, a horse owner and bettor who lives in San Mateo and manages commercial real estate, played one pick ticket that cost $6,048 and covered much unexpected chaos.

Although Lyons's ticket included multiple horses in each leg (7 x 3 x 2 x 4 x 6 x 3), Lyons also had fortune on his side. Lyons owns horses with trainer Brian Koriner, and used the race-8 winner Flashy Boy ($21.60) as one of seven horses in the first leg partly because Koriner used to train him.

In the second leg, race 9, Lyons did not plan on using Chief Constable, who was 30-1 on the morning line. But Lyons's mother, Janet, suggested the inside post was advantageous in the 1 1/16-mile maiden race. Lyons changed his ticket, added No. 1 Chief Constable, and a pace meltdown enabled Chief Constable ($50.60) to rally from last.

Lyons caught his biggest break in race 10. He had two horses - the favorite Delivering Speed and second choice Return of the King. Smokin Forest won by a nose, but was disqualified after bumping Return of the King into the lane. Return of the King ($7.20) was moved up.

Lyons learned to handicap from his father, Richard, who died this summer, and after three pick six races, one of Lyons's friends turned to him and said, "Your dad is looking out for you."

Among his four horses in race 11, Lyons included winner Sabalucious ($14.60).

"After the first four races, it was pretty much a lock that if I hit I would have the only ticket. I couldn't imagine anybody else as crazy to have those horses," Lyons said.

Lyons was six-deep in race 12; favorite Weekend Tiger ($4.80) ripped gate to wire. Lyons had all three favorites in race 13, won by favorite C.C.'s Deelite ($4). Lyons signed the paperwork at the Fairplex mutuels office, and left the track with a check and cash that totaled $164,737.80 after taxes.

"I've had my best scores on Sundays," Lyons said. He said he once had a $161,000 superfecta at Santa Anita and a $214,000 pick six that he had twice. Those also were on Sunday.

Monday morning, "I can't get the smile off my face," Lyons said. And he was on his way to Fairplex to watch his horse, Rockin Rizzin, run for a $25,000 claiming tag in race 5.

Allswellthatnswell allowed to loaf

Allswellthatnswell did not follow plans that called for her to sit second in the $61,750 E.B. Johnston Stakes on Sunday.

"It's taken us a year to get her to relax," trainer Don Warren said.

Problem was, Allswellthatnswell was stretching out to 1 1/16 miles from a Grade 3 sprint, and jockey Isaias Enriquez figured there was no way to take her back.

"Going this distance, I was thinking definitely she'll be breaking on top," Enriquez said.

She did, and when she cleared on a slow opening half (48.09 seconds), the race was over. Allswellthatnswell ($3.20) won the E.B. Johnston by a length, her first victory in a route, and a prep race for the $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap on Sept. 22.

But the slow fractions and diminishing margin suggest Allswell- thatnswell is vulnerable next time. Her three-length lead at the top of the lane was only one length at the wire. While the Las Madrinas is still a week and a half away, owner-breeder Buddy Johnston will savor the E.B. Johnston victory Sunday.

The race was named after his father, California breeding legend Ellwood Johnston, the founder of Old English Rancho. Allswellthatnswell, a 5-year-old sired by Perfect Mandate, has won 4 of 25 and $290,392.

Pedroza quickly dominates

The jockey colony this meet at Fairplex may be one of the deepest in recent years, but Martin Pedroza turned it to shambles opening weekend. Pedroza won 10 of the first 27 races he rode (through Sunday), winning seven more than David Flores. Other jockeys riding regularly this meet include Aaron Gryder, Agapito Delgadillo, Tyler Baze, David Cohen, Michael Baze, and Clinton Potts.

Favorites won 18 of the 32 Thoroughbred races through Sunday, a 56-percent clip. The field sizes have been strong. Average field size the first 32 races was 8.13 starters per race.

A couple options for Great Hunter

Hollywood Park opens its artificial racing surface for training this week, and Great Hunter's adaptation over it will determine the location of his prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile - dirt at Santa Anita, or the new artificial track at Keeneland.

Trainer Doug O'Neill said Great Hunter, runner-up in three graded stakes, including the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity, will run in either the Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 8, or the Lanes' End Breeders Futurity at Keeneland. O'Neill also said that BC Classic hopeful Lava Man would stay at Hollywood rather than train at Santa Anita as originally expected.

"We called an audible," O'Neill said. "Trainers are always worrying about something; [Lava Man] will train at Hollywood."