04/25/2008 12:00AM

Last pick six proves unhittable


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland concluded its 16-day spring meet Friday without a single winning favorite in any of the pick six races that closed out the program, as Dancing Forever surged to victory under Rene Douglas in the feature race, the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes.

Dancing Forever returned $10.60 as third choice in a field of 11 turf marathoners in the $200,000 Elkhorn. One race later, in the final race of the meet, three tickets were alive for a payoff of nearly $1.3 million, but Society's Chairman ($9.60) rolled to victory, making 5 of 6 the best that anyone had. Because of a compulsory payout mandated by the end of a race meet in Kentucky, those 5 of 6 tickets returned $25,970 each.

Dancing Forever had been in good form since finishing second in back-to-back turf allowances last fall at Keeneland. A 5-year-old horse by Rahy, bred and owned by the Phipps Stable, Dancing Forever "kind of turned the corner here last fall," said trainer Shug McGaughey. "Every one of his races since then have been good. We've had this race marked on our calendar. Rene rode a great race, and the horse was good enough to win."

On a warm and windy afternoon that drew 18,058, longshot Bee Charmer led to the third and final turn, where Drilling for Oil took over. Meanwhile, after saving ground on the last turn, Dancing Forever angled out with his winning run, finishing 1 1/2 miles in 2:29.79 over a firm course.

"I had a perfect trip," said Douglas.

Drilling for Oil held second, a length behind the winner, with Brass Hat getting up in the final stride to nip Stream of Gold, the 2-1 favorite, for third.

The afternoon began with a track-record pick-six carryover of $375,412. After another $1,366,063 was bet into the pick six, the first four winners were Alluring Tune ($6.80), Bullara ($8.40), Anewday ($21.80), and Tazarine ($42). Then, after the Elkhorn, one perfect ticket would have hit if Glee Club, Compromise, or Pacific Gulf had won, but Society's Chairman, ridden by Edgar Prado, drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths. The winning numbers were 11-9-12-4-5-1.

* Keeneland business figures were incomplete early Friday evening, but going into the final day, all-sources handle was expected to be down about 12 percent. Likewise, ontrack handle was expected down, although not as severely, while average ontrack attendance was on pace to be up marginally.

* On the racetrack, Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux won his first Keeneland title by riding 22 winners. Todd Pletcher was the leading trainer with 14 wins, while Overbrook Farm tied for leading owner with G. Watts Humphrey and partners with four wins each.