11/01/2004 12:00AM

Nice profit for pick six pooled assets

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Better Talk Now won the BC Turf, but rival trainer Dale Romans says the Eclipse for champion male turf horse should go to Kitten's Joy.

Although no one had all six winners on the Breeders' Cup pick six, five of the 61 consolation tickets were purchased by one massive group, the customers of the online wagering service America Tab.

America Tab allowed its customers to bet a minimum of $10 for a piece of a huge Breeders' Cup pick six play that ultimately cost $44,280. The play returned five consolation tickets with a total payoff of $280,745 - $210,563 after taxes - giving players a return of 4.76-1.

The America Tab pick six bet, which was modeled on the "Mutuel Fun" wager that debuted at Keeneland this fall, was the first of its kind to be formally offered by an account-wagering service. The concept behind the bet, however, has been around since the inception of pick six wagers. For decades, bettors have put together pools with friends and other handicappers to increase the depth of pick six plays, with any proceeds typically split along the lines of each player's investment. The difference in the America Tab bet, however, is that it was able to match players from around the country on one ticket.

The $44,280 play by America Tab easily put the bet's players on the same playing field as the most well-heeled syndicates. The primary ticket, which was put together by a team of three handicappers, Brad Anderson, Rich Nilsen, and Ron Rutchie, was structured 9 x 6 x 5 x 5 x 4 x 4, for $43,200, but it did not include the winner of the Juvenile, Wilko, among the five horses used in that race. The play also included a backup ticket for $1,060.

Mike Weiss, the executive vice president for America Tab, said the response to the bet has been "overwhelming," and he said that the company would offer other pooled pick-six bets on other events.

"I had a bunch of people come up to me after the Breeders' Cup to tell me that they feel like they have no chance when they bet $100 on their own on days like that," Weiss said. "We gave them a chance to compete with the big guys."

Route racing for Cajun Beat

Cajun Beat and Midas Eyes, two Grade 1-winning sprinters trained by Bobby Frankel, will part ways after running a respective fifth and 10th in the $1,060,000 Breeders' Cup Sprint on Saturday.

"I'm going to send Cajun Beat to California," said Frankel. "I think he'll do good out there."

Frankel also said he plans to stretch Cajun Beat out in distance, to races in the range of one mile to 1 1/16 miles. The last time Cajun Beat raced around two turns was March 2003, when he was a close sixth to Region of Merit in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby. Later in the year, Cajun Beat won the Breeders' Cup Sprint at 22-1. At the time, he was trained by Steve Margolis.

Midas Eyes, meanwhile, is headed back to New York. He was the favorite in the Sprint and Frankel noted the horse had an eventful trip from post 13. He said he a made a "right turn" at the break. From there, Midas Eyes was hung wide. Frankel said the horse, who won the Grade 1 Forego in September, will be rested and return next spring in New York.

Cuvee retired after bleeding

Cuvee, who finished 13th in the Sprint, was found to have bled internally after the race and has been retired to stand stud at Spendthrift Farm, said his trainer, Steve Asmussen. The trainer said Cuvee was scheduled to leave for Kentucky on Monday.

Cuvee's best season came at 2, when he won three graded stakes, highlighted by an 8 1/4-length win in the Grade 1 Futurity at Belmont. He is a son of Carson City and won 4 of 9 starts and $402,044. Cuvee raced for the partnership of Winchell Thoroughbreds and Spendthrift.

Romans still thinks Kitten's Joy best

Trainer Graham Motion said he first realized on his plane ride home Sunday that the Breeders' Cup Turf victory by Better Talk Now gives his stable star a chance to be voted an Eclipse Award for top turf horse.

"If you think about it, he's done enough," said Motion, alluding to Grade 1 victories in the BC Turf and Sword Dancer.

But Dale Romans, who trains BC Turf runner-up Kitten's Joy, said there is "no way" that any horse besides his is deserving of the turf Eclipse.

Romans said Monday "there's absolutely no doubt" Kitten's Joy deserves the Eclipse. "His record speaks for itself."

Romans said Kitten's Joy appeared to labor the entire trip over the yielding Lone Star turf, "but he tried the whole way. He showed the heart of a champion."

Romans said Kitten's Joy would race next year at 4, with starts in the Arc de Triomphe and BC Turf the ultimate goals.

What's wrong with this picture?

On a Sunday morning flight from Texas to New York, jockey Edgar Prado, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and owner Sanford Goldfarb - a combined 0 for 11 in the Breeders' Cup - were sitting in first class.

Meanwhile, among those sitting in coach were jockey John Velazquez, who won two Breeders' Cup races, and jockey Javier Castellano, who won the Classic aboard Ghostzapper and another supporting stakes.

McLaughlin, who went 0 for 2 on the card, joked that he would auction his seat to the highest bidder.

Prado went 0 for 8 on the card and is now 0 for 41 in the Breeders' Cup.

- additional reporting by David Grening, Marty McGee, and Mary Rampellini