03/05/2017 9:23AM

Pick-five pool of $2 million possible Sunday at Santa Anita


ARCADIA, Calif. – A pick-five carryover of $335,216 could generate a $2 million pool Sunday at Santa Anita, and the question facing pick five bettors is – how much to wager?

Four of the five races (1-5) drew small fields; one big field includes a potential standout. Under normal circumstances, a bettor might survey the sequence and look elsewhere for value.

But thanks to the carryover and low 14 percent takeout, there is little “normal” about the Sunday pick five. It may offer “positive expectation.” Due to the carryover and low takeout, more money could be paid out Sunday than is actually wagered.

If $2 million is wagered Sunday, $2,055,216 will be returned. (The math: $2 million minus $280,000 takeout, plus $335,216 carryover = $2,055,216).

So, how much to spend? The answer is somewhere between a 50-cent ticket with five “singles” and a $6,300 ticket with five “alls.”

Weather forecasters are calling for an 80 percent chance of rain by noon. As of 6 a.m. Sunday not a drop had fallen. The track is open for training.

The pick five covers races 1-5; first post is 12:30. Here is a look at the sequence.

Race 1
Six entered this $12,500 claiming sprint; four are legit contenders while another has an “angle” in his favor. Program favorite Senator Robert (4), Templar (3) Madelyn’s Wild Max (5) and Royal F J (6) finished in the money last out in low-level claiming races; all four are qualified.

The longshot contender is 8-1 shot My Secret Affair (1), returning from a seven-month layoff while entered “not to be claimed” via CHRB rule 1634.  The no-claim waiver is generally perceived as a sign of confidence. The horse’s connections gave him time to recover from a setback, and prefer not to lose him via claim first start back.

My Secret Affair has speed, and back numbers that figure. 

The only race-1 entrant that would qualify as a surprise is Limited Response (2), who earned an improved figure last out but was never really in the hunt. Back-up only.

Race 2

A full field entered this turf mile for first-level allowance; program favorite Fritz Johansen (8) benefits from a return to turf after finishing fourth in an off-turf allowance run on dirt. He is trained by Peter Miller, whose horses continue to run super.

Fourteen entered, 10 will run. Fritz Johansen, if he reproduces his Jan. 29 turf claiming win, is simply the fastest and best horse in the field. Miller and jockey Norberto Arroyo are 12 for 21 this meet, the meet’s leading trainer-jockey combination.

Race 3

Only five entered the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes for filly-mare sprinters; it looks like a two-horse race between Grade 1 La Brea winner Constellation (5) and comeback speedball Sensitively (3). One could argue Constellation is a single.  She won the Grade 1 La Brea last out.

Pretty N Cool (5) is not fast enough on figures, but the graded winner has run twice off the bench (career debut, layoff) and won them both. She is a backup candidate, at very least. Two others are backups only: Ponder Lea (1) and Watch This Cat (2).

Race 4

Six entered this maiden-75 route; program favorite Competing (4) and co- second choices Hard Arch (5) and Harrrovian (6) have the top figures.

An upset candidate listed at 8-1 in the program is Tally Mo (3). He earned an improved Tom Brohamer pace figure last out in his first start on “fast.” The gelding by Uncle Mo gets in light with a seven-pound apprentice, and looms a potential theft candidate.

Race 5

Seven entered this sprint for 3-year-olds, maiden-50. The program favorite is Caray (6), whose runner-up finish last out was partly due to a slow pace. He seems vulnerable. The 12-1 longshot Raindance Rules (4) exits a highly rated race and will be part of the speed.

Other contenders are up-in-class Magical More (1), in-form Rainbow Squall (3), first-time starter Crafty Cowboy (5) and first-time gelding Tiz Indy (7).

Pick five bottom line: Obvious singles are Fritz Johansen in race 2, and Constellation in race 3. Races 1, 4 and 5 are spreads.

First post Sunday is 12:30. Late changes, scratches, and track-condition updates will be available on DRF Live.

So, are you in?