06/02/2008 11:00PM

Maiden races key to pick six


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The pick six Thursday at Hollywood Park begins and ends with a potentially lucrative sprint for 2-year-old maidens. Beyond strategic placement, races 3 and 8 also happen to be the most appealing on the card.

A potential trap awaits bettors in race 3, a five-furlong sprint for California-bred fillies. Streamin Heat drops in class after finishing third a fast, productive open race; the second-time starter will be favored despite suspicions she is less formidable than she appears.

In race 8, a deep field of males race five furlongs in the best wagering contest on the card. Seven of the 10 entrants are first-time starters, and Nochangenweather holds the edge after a better-than-looked fifth-place debut.

But the race also includes Del Conte, a fast-working Point Given colt who is the first foal out of speedball stakes filly Dirty Diana; well-regarded rookie Kelly Leak, who has outworked older company; Let'spickupthepace, third in a live race first out, and Fu Peg He Rat, a Fusaichi Pegasus colt out of a dam who already has produced two debut winners.

"I think this will be a productive race," said Fu Peg He Rat's trainer, Cliff Sise. "They may not win first time out, but some of these could be nice horses."

Sise admits that Fu Peg He Rat must overcome a lack of experience.

"He could be green, and five furlongs could be too short, but he can fly the last part," Sise said.

Fu Peg He Rat is a half to Sise-trained debut winners Houseofroyalhearts and Royal Siphon.

Kelly Leak debuts for trainer Mike Machowsky, who expects big things from the Runaway Groom colt.

"He's quick, but he'll sit," Machowsky said. "His last three works, he worked with older horses."

Victor Espinoza worked Kelly Leak five furlongs May 22, and said he "loved him."

Asked if Kelly Leak could win first out, Machowsky said "Yes, he's very precocious."

So is Del Conte, a Bob Baffert-trained son of Point Given. Del Conte is the first foal out of stakes-winning 2-year-old Dirty Diana, who won her debut by seven lengths in a 4 1/2-furlong race. Del Conte inherited his dam's speed, and has been working once a week since the middle of March. He is live first out.

But the horse to fear is Nochangenweather, beaten only three lengths in his May 8 debut despite missing several days of training beforehand.

"I missed all those days and he still ran good," trainer Eric Guillot said.

Eight days after his debut, Nochangenweather posted a best-of-the-morning workout in 59 seconds. He has woken up.

In the first race of the pick six, Streamin Heat will be favored after a third-place debut in a productive race won by Cosmic Queen. The runner-up, Trifecta King, returned to win the Cinderella Stakes; last-place finisher Meetyouatyogi's also won next out.

Streamin Heat, who lugged out through the turn, will be pressured Thursday by speedball firster Bajan Kitty. That would leave second-timer Wendoffer well-positioned for an upset from just off the pace.