10/07/2009 12:00AM

Pick six: Sequence may hinge on Baffert


ARCADIA, Calf. - The hottest trainer at Oak Tree holds the key to the Thursday pick six, which starts with a $66,402 carryover.

Bob Baffert won again Wednesday; the $10.20 victory by comebacker Spaniard in race 6 brings his meet total to 6-for-12. In the pick six on Thursday, all three Baffert runners are favored on the morning line - Miss Heather Lee in race 3, Freedom Star in race 7, and Tee Off in race 8.

Miss Heather Lee was purchased privately after winning a $100,000 maiden-claimer.

"We bought her to have some fun with," Baffert said.

Although Miss Heather Lee will make her first start Thursday for owner Arnold Zetcher, she already paid her way.

"We worked her with Richard's Kid before the Pacific Classic, to get him ready," Baffert said. The plan was a success. Richard's Kid, owned by Zetcher, won the Pacific Classic, but the workout left 2-year-old filly Miss Heather Lee tuckered out. She did not record another work for 18 days.

Baffert offered a mild push on Miss Heather Lee, and is extremely confident in Garrett Gomez, who rides all three Baffert starters Thursday. Gomez "is back in the swing. He's Mr. October," Baffert said.

Gomez won two races Wednesday to climb to the top of the jockey standings (6-for-27).

Baffert and Gomez team in race 7 on Freedom Star, and though she is favored at 3-1, Baffert recognizes it is not an easy spot. He was not entirely bullish on her chances.

In race 8, the $25,000 maiden-claimer Tee Off returns from a layoff of eight months.

"She needed a lot of time off, and we gave it to her," Baffert said.

A 5-year-old maiden, her career has been peppered with layoffs. The main issue is getting her to the gate.

After analyzing Tee Off's competition, Baffert summed it up: "It's a good fit for her."