10/12/2003 11:00PM

Pick six carryover of $90K


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Picking winners must have been a particularly tough chore at Keeneland last week, at least as the afternoons wore on. The pick six jackpot was barren last Wednesday, but after five straight days of going unhit, the carryover following the Sunday card had crept up to $90,030, a fair amount for a track that typically attracts minimal action on the pick six.

Partly because fans have plenty of advance warning, and partly because the two-day break leading into a nine-race program will allow Keeneland horseplayers to rejuvenate and reload, the pick six figures to be the talk of the track Wednesday. Conducted on the final six races of the day, the pick six is no easy target Wednesday, so it would not be much of a surprise if the bet carried over for a sixth straight day and gave Keeneland officials an unscheduled bonus for Thursday and perhaps beyond.

Nonetheless, plenty of customers will be taking their best shots Wednesday. The first two races in the pick six (races 4 and 5) are for relatively untested 2-year-olds, and it doesn't get much easier from there. The final four races are allowance races worth an eye-popping total of $224,000, and as might be expected when that kind of money is up for grabs, each one drew a field of commendable depth.

The sixth appears to represent a ripe opportunity for trainer Nick Zito to continue his recent hot streak. Zito will send out Gulch Approval, one of the logical choices.

The seventh gets most of its starters from recent stakes races, with Maliziosa a possible lukewarm favorite in a well-matched group.

The nominal feature is the eighth, a $60,000 sprint in which Deer Lake figures as the favorite under Pat Day. Deer Lake most recently finished a strong second at Turfway Park in the Marfa Stakes, a race won by Private Horde, who is headed to the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

The ninth is one of those typical grass races at Keeneland that drew contenders from all over the map, including Delaware (City Academy), Canada (Destiny Red), and Chicago (Skiperoo). Barometric, with Day riding for Elliott Walden, could be the favorite, having finished a close second for the same entry-level condition in his last start at Arlington Park.

The card is one of just three at the 17-day fall meet without a stakes race.