01/29/2016 10:50PM

Pick six pool likely to pass $1 million after two-day carryover

Benoit & Associates
Smokey Image will likely be a popular single in Saturday's pick six at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The pick six pool at Santa Anita on Saturday will soar past the seven-figure mark as bettors focus on six races for California-breds in an attempt to solve a puzzle that proved to be elusive Thursday and Friday.

Saturday’s pick six will begin with a two-day carryover of $176,971. Predictions of new money can be tricky at times, but an additional $1 million is likely.

The bet covers the fifth through 10th races on a program that begins at noon Pacific. The fifth race has a scheduled post time of 2:01 p.m. The sequence includes four stakes, an optional claimer, and a maiden race.

Many bettors will look upon the first two legs as having runners with potential single selections.

Smokey Image, unbeaten in five starts at 2 in 2015, is the 4-5 favorite on the morning line in a field of seven in the $250,000 California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles. This will be Smokey Image’s first start beyond seven furlongs and first start for trainer Carla Gaines.

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He will face a test from Glory Bound, who was second in the one-mile King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos last month.

The gelding San Onofre and the mare Sunday Rules are likely to dominate the sixth race, the $150,000 California Cup Sprint. San Onofre, the 4-5 favorite on the morning line, won the Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes on Jan. 2. Sunday Rules, who will face males for the first time, won the Kalookan Queen Stakes on Dec. 30. She missed a scheduled start in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes on Jan. 23 because of an inflamed hock detected earlier that week.

There is not a clear selection in the seventh race, the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint. The race drew a field of 11, with several capable of winning the race on the hillside turf course. Stakes winners Chati’s On Top and Velvet Mesquite deserve support, but Qiaona has run well on the hillside in the past and is 8-1 on the morning line.

The eighth race is an optional claimer at six furlongs with nine runners. Pray Hard, who drew the outside, is quick and has won at this level. W. Giles, who drew the rail, is remarkably quick and showed it by winning Jan. 3. If they duel, One More Roll, second to W. Giles on Jan. 3, could be well placed in early stretch.

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There are many contenders in the $250,000 Cal Cup Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Alert Bay is back after winning the race last year. He’ll be a lukewarm favorite over G.G. Ryder, who will race near the front and must be patient to have any chance of staying the distance.

Poshsky has appeal. He was fourth in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes on Jan. 2 and has an asset in jockey Flavien Prat.

The final race, for California-bred maiden fillies at six furlongs, has a field of 10. Desperate Chick and Who Said Lucky, second in similar races in the last six weeks, should both be a factor. Shy Carmelita cannot be ignored. A first-time starter, she comes from a stable that does well with first-time starters – trainer Phil D’Amato – and has a pedigree of winners.