09/30/2009 11:00PM

Pick six: Peacenik a not-so-obvious single


ARCADIA, Calf. - Pick six bettors attacking the $87,781 carryover into the Thursday card at Santa Anita may need a singleton somewhere in the sequence to keep the cost of the ticket manageable.

The obvious options include race 5 favorite Hot Summer Breeze, the shortest price of the day at 6-5; or the favorite in race 8, Annie's Loaded at 7-2. The field Annie's Loaded faces is dismal. She drops in class and enters as the fastest filly in the field.

Those are the obvious favorites.

However, anyone paying attention to Del Mar this summer may already have race 6 contender Peacenik on their horses-to-watch list. His former California trainer Wesley Ward relocated to Florida in 2008, and occasionally ships horses to the West Coast to longtime assistant Blake Heap.

Peacenik was one of those. Off a romping debut at Calder, the 2-year-old gelding was hammered to 9-5 in a maiden-40 starter at Del Mar. He broke from the rail and was never able to establish position under Mike Smith.

Peacenik was shuffled back at the three-eighths, stuck behind horses through the turn, and blocked with nowhere to go. It was enough to get him beat, and provide a legitimate alibi.

But it was what the gelding did late, after the race already was lost, that stamped him as a possible next-out winner. Peacenik finished with run, and galloped out super past the wire. Although he finished sixth in a field of nine, he tried to overcome the adversity even while not abused through the lane.

Thursday in race 6, Peacenik is the 5-2 favorite, a price that seems rather short. But in a maiden-40 starter allowance that seems wide open, many bettors might opt to single the "not-so-obvious" single switching jockeys to David Flores.

Three good works since raced include two over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. Although the two Walsh-trained maiden-claimers in races 5 and 8 (Hot Summer Breeze, Annie's Loaded) are obvious, so is Peacenik in race 6.