04/03/2017 12:50PM

Pick-six carryovers won't be easily won


ARCADIA, Calif. – Santa Anita Derby week begins Thursday with a challenging pick-six sequence that includes a $133,546 traditional carryover, a single-ticket jackpot carryover of $561,826, and a challenging turf allowance for 3-year-olds.

A field of nine 3-year-olds entered Thursday’s featured seventh race. With the rails at the maximum 30-foot setting, eight will be allowed to start in the 1 1/8-mile race. All are racing beyond one mile for the first time.

Principals in the first-level allowance include the last-out maiden winner Glacier, the dirt-to-turf Sharp Samurai, the class-dropping Ritzy A. P., and the recently gelded Offshore. Small Town Hero, Farley, Double Touch, and Broke Away Grey also were entered, with Saburo the also-eligible.

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The rails-at-30 configuration has been used twice at this meet at 1 1/8 miles. Perhaps by coincidence, both races were won by the pacesetter: Klondike Creek on Feb. 16 and Ebadan on Feb. 24. Both were favored.

Favoritism on Thursday is up for grabs, and so is the role of pacesetter. Small Town Hero and Farley have speed, but Sharp Samurai is perhaps the “best speed.”

Sharp Samurai was gelded prior to his Feb. 10 comeback, a main-track maiden-claiming route he won by daylight. But he bombed next out against winners, finishing sixth behind Santa Anita Derby candidates Battle of Midway and Reach the World.

Sharp Samurai faces easier Thursday and, if he reproduces the speed he showed in his maiden win, could get a comfortable trip forwardly placed.

Glacier blasted home to win a one-mile maiden race going away last out. If he runs two alike, Glacier can win right back. Below is a thumbnail look at the five other legs of the pick six, which covers races 3-8.

◗ Race 3 is a $6,250 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Easter Fever is favored based on her front-running victory last out in an $8,000 claiming sprint. Audra is the best closer.

◗ Race 4 is a $32,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares with three principals. Stealth Drone and Tuscany Beauty won last out; Pico Chick has been freshened for two months and returns to the level of her most recent win.

◗ Race 5 is a starter-allowance turf sprint in which Sly Humor will be tough based on his runner-up finish on the main track last out.

◗ Race 6 is a $20,000 maiden-claiming sprint. The 12-start maiden Awesome Image is a first-time gelding with fast works for his comeback. Gato Dolce and the comebacking dropper Strong Values are secondary contenders.

◗ Race 8 is a $30,000 maiden-claiming race at one mile. Anechoic drops from $100,000 maiden claiming, stretches out to a route, and could be gone. If he falters, the dropper Vow’s Son and closer Sekondi are alternatives.