Updated on 09/17/2011 6:52PM

Pick six proves too tough for bettors


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - There were no perfect tickets sold on the Breeders' Cup pick six Saturday, although tickets with five of six winners returned $59,149.60. Breeders' Cup officials said at press time they did not have information on the number of cashable tickets sold; total handle on the pick six was $4,566,837.

This is the second time since the Breeders' Cup switched from a pick seven to a pick six in 1997 that nobody correctly selected all of the winners. The other time was in 2002, the year of the pick six scandal, when the only winning tickets were rigged.

Overall, the Breeders' Cup results were pretty much feast or famine for horseplayers: Five of the eight winners were heavily backed, while the other three - all part of the pick six - paid big prices, with precious little middle ground between the extremes.

The disparity in prices on the Breeders' Cup winners ranged from Ouija Board, who returned $3.80 for her win in the Filly and Mare Turf, to Wilko, the second-longest shot in the Juvenile, who returned $58.60.

The other well-backed winners were Ashado ($6), the favorite in the Distaff; Sweet Catomine ($6.60), favorite in the Juvenile Fillies; Speightstown ($9.40), the second choice in the Sprint; and Ghostzapper ($7), the second choice in the Classic.

The other longshot winners were Singletary ($35), the eighth choice among 14 in the Mile, and Better Talk Now ($57.60), the longest shot of eight in the Turf.

The Mile, with its 14-horse field and longshot in-the-money finishers behind Singletary, held most of the top exotic prices of the day. On $2 bets, those were: exacta, $1,495.60; trifecta, $12,435.20; and superfecta, $107,388.

The longest pick four ($46,791.20) and pick three ($9,884.20) payoffs both ended with the Classic and included the Wilko and Better Talk Now upsets.

There is no carryover provision for the pick six on Breeders' Cup Day.

Cup Day ushers in track record crowd

The crowd on hand for the Breeders' Cup was by far the largest in the history of Lone Star Park, with more than 50,000 patrons on hand, many of them seated in temporary stadium-style seats constructed around the circumference of the track.

The crowd admitted to the 12,000-seat grandstand was limited to those who had purchased tickets in advance, and although it was busy, it was not uncomfortable to move about.

Patrons lined the paddock about six deep to see horses, and betting lines were long but moving. The weather was pleasant with clear skies and the temperature about 80 degrees.

Lone Star's east gate began admitting patrons at 7:30 a.m., and the first official person through the east gate was Connie Morton. Morton was in from Austin, Texas, and said she arrived at Lone Star at 6:30 a.m.

There were two lines, each about 10 deep, admitting people when the gates opened at 7:30, about a half-hour later than scheduled. Eight security lines were set up at the east entrance, and six were set up on the west entrance.

Good night's rest for Romans

Dale Romans said he slept as well as ever the night before the Breeders' Cup, despite knowing that he would awaken to the most important day of his training career.

"I slept great because I knew we'd done everything we could," said Romans.

Romans went to his barn at Lone Star Park early Saturday before leaving to get his daughter, Bailey, and son, Jake, at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Tammy Fox, the children's mother and Romans's longtime partner, arrived here several days earlier.

"I'm anxious about everything, but not worried," said Romans. "Hopefully it'll be a great day."

Romans's horses finished second in the Turf (Kitten's Joy) and second in the Classic (Roses in May).

Mandella eyes move to Kentucky

Richard Mandella credits his success in recent years to scaling back from 70 horses at two barns to 40 under one shedrow in California. But he said he is considering expanding his stable by adding a string in Kentucky, the sole reason for his enthusiasm for the new synthetic surface on Keeneland's training track.

"It's the greatest thing I've seen as a trainer to improving the care of the horses," he said. "I want to train on it. I'm considering putting a barn there because I believe in it so much."

- additional reporting by Jay Privman and Mary Rampellini