10/20/2008 11:00PM

More than $1M up for grabs at Belmont


ELMONT, N.Y. - It's Breeders' Cup Week, but first there is the little matter of just more than $1 million - $1,019,102 to be exact - that's been sitting around doing nothing since Sunday.

The pick six eluded bettors for four days straight last week, resulting in New York's first seven-figure carryover since June 11, when $1,186,625 was up for grabs after no one hit the $1 million guaranteed pool on Belmont Stakes Day. That tidy sum attracted an additional $3,217,655, which made for a non-Breeders' Cup record pool in New York of just more than $4.4 million and resulted in 29 winning tickets at $103,754 a copy.

Wednesday's forecast calls for a blustery autumn day on Long Island, but did not include a significant threat of rain. That is good news, because the first five races in the sequence are scheduled for the grass, including four turf sprints. The only dirt race is the final leg, race 9, a full field of New York-bred maiden claiming sprinters with several well-connected first-time starters.

Here is an overview of the fields, which are full of not-so-household names:

Race 4(approximate post 2:36 p.m. Eastern): Six of the 12 in the main body of this seven-furlong sprint are first-time starters, so savvy bettors won't finalize their equine options until seeing the opening odds and perhaps catching a glimpse of these 2-year-olds in the paddock and post parade.

The logical experienced runners are Master, who has trained well since a tough-trip turf sprint closing week at Saratoga; Distant Strike, the lone entrant turning back off routes; and Winthrop House, a More Than Ready colt who showed ability on dirt before recording several grass works for adept first-turf trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Ducduc, Cellar Dweller, Caffe D' Oro and Cross the Divide are first-time starters with suitable pedigrees.

Race 5: A dozen entered this six-furlong turf sprint for $75,000 maiden claimers, including the Gary Contessa-trained entry of Southern Princess and Amber's Edge, who figure to be a lukewarm favorite. Jimmy Ryerson named Alan Garcia on both Got That Money and Fancy Asset, so only one will start.

Among the newcomers to be evaluated on the blind: Private Citizen is a half-sister to Wait It Out, an overnight stakes winner on turf in New York; Split Second is a half to stablemate Riptide, a maiden winner on turf at Aqueduct in April; and Kaleidoscope Sky tops the field with a 355 Tomlinson rating for the grass.

Race 6: Pace is a key issue in this seven-furlong turf sprint for restricted claiming fillies, because Tempest Storm's top-figure triumph going a mile on the Widener course was accomplished with a clear early lead, but she faces pressure from Classic Love, a filly with speed who stretches past six furlongs for the first time.

The most logical beneficiaries from a meltdown are One in a Romp, who makes her first start in a claiming race, and Smart Gabrielle, who steps up a notch 19 days after beating a softer group in her first start of the year.

Race 7: Early position could be important in this pick six's only route, a 1 1/16-mile bottom-level claimer on the inner turf that begins on the clubhouse turn.

Leadwithyourchin used to put up Beyer Speed Figures in the 90s in his sleep on local turf for Mike Hushion and should benefit from his rail draw after a four-wide trip in his return from California.

Other contenders in a competitive race are T Harry, whose trainer, Tony Dutrow, has a 6-for-10 record on turf here this fall; Hawkinsville, freshened second time off a Bruce Brown claim; and The Shaughraun, a deep closer.

Race 8: None of these 11 turf-meant New York-bred fillies has tried seven furlongs on turf, but it seems like a good fit for Who Is Lady, a potential single whose three best races were on firm turf at Belmont. All she has to do is overcome the outside post.

Upscale tickets may also look to include Mesa Girl, Doree Daze, and John's Jean.

Race 9: Four of these low-end maiden sprinters have managed to produce Beyers in the 40s, and bettors are likely to gravitate to Angel Aly, the lone dropdown from maiden special weights, and Larcenous Lady, who has trained well since running a clear second to favored Brockly Rob five weeks ago.

Rick Dutrow named leading rider Edgar Prado on first-time starters Beauty by George and My Cruiser, so whichever runs could easily cap a memorable score for anyone prescient enough to get through the first five legs.