12/08/2008 12:00AM

Pick six no easy pickings


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The pick- six sequence on Wednesday at Hollywood Park (races 3-8) will not rank as the most challenging in the history of the wager.

The problem is the sequence is not particularly easy either, because of the lack of an obvious single. Bettors chasing the $146,155 carryover will be hard-pressed to find a key horse, even though the series is peppered with short fields in which the competition is not deep.

That includes a six-horse field that starts the sequence.

Race 3 is a $32,000 claiming sprint in which 12-for-33 Exceeding is likely to go favored as he drops from a second-level allowance/optional $62,500 claimer. The 8-year-old gelding faces two quick rivals - comebacker Reality Now and Rogue Scholar, recent runner-up at this level. Do you single Exceeding, or go three deep in the six-horse field?

Race 4 is a five-horse allowance sprint for 2-year-old fillies. Candilejas and Pride faced better company, but maiden-claiming refugee Joe'sgirlisgolden is the clear speed, and she has a race over the track. Do you go three deep in a five-horse field? You might have to.

Race 5, a maiden sprint for 2-year-old fillies on grass, looks easy. The favorites are in posts 1 and 2. Magic Roberta shortens to a sprint and drops from stakes, while Fastongrass finished second under identical conditions one month ago. Two deep.

Race 6 is a $8,000 two-turn claimer. Silver Vista and Bodacat each won over the track this meet, Twin Turbo stretches out for leading trainer John Sadler and leading rider Rafael Bejarano, and One Shot drops to a new low. Have to go four deep, at least.

Race 7 offers a potential single in Hewitts. Five entered the turf sprint, a third-level allowance with a $100,000 claiming option, and Hewitts is the lone speed. But can you single a 3-for-9 gelding trying grass for the first time, or do you double the race and include dropper Delta Storm? It's either single Hewitts, or go two deep.

Race 8, a $25,000 maiden-claiming route, is another race that looks easy. Stretch-out sprinter Clever Caitlyn could shake loose over the speed-friendly Cushion Track, while Dixieland Pop drops from special-weight to maiden-25. Two deep might be all you need.

If you used every horse mentioned above, you'll be playing the same $576 ticket as the guys on the Geico commercial. But sometimes, the pick six is so easy even a caveman could win it.