03/03/2004 12:00AM

Pick 6 pays $1.5 million

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Only three tickets correctly selected all six winners in the pick six Wednesday at Santa Anita, leading to a huge payoff of $1,567,984.60 for each ticket.

A record pick six pool was recorded Wednesday at Santa Anita. There was a carryover of $1.4 million entering the day, since no one had hit the pick six on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. With several days to replenish their bankrolls, horseplayers sent it in Wednesday. They pumped another $5,889,712 into the pick six, and bet $15,252,590 on the eight-race card.

Three longshots, two trained by Paddy Gallagher, knocked out most pick six players. The toughest one to have, though, was last race winner Houston Astro, who paid $66.20.

The three tickets were purchased at Viejas Casino in Southern California, through the Kentucky hub, and through New York OTB.

Extreme misfortune cost one player from having a single payout of $4.7 million. In the final race, 75-1 shot Flying Kegan took the lead with 150 yards to go, and appeared headed to victory. But he broke down with 100 yards to go. Had he won, according to track officials, there would have been just one ticket with the winning pick six combination.

Track officials could not determine, as of Wednesday night, whether one of the three winning tickets had Flying Kegan, or whether it was another ticket.

If it was another ticket, the cost was extreme. Five winners paid $3,169.20.

The winning combination was 2-2-6-1/2/3/5/6/7-2-1.