04/21/2005 11:00PM

Restricted races make pick six even tougher


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - To conquer Sunday's pick six at Hollywood Park, which features a guaranteed pool of $1 million, bettors must sort through two tricky restricted stakes that have drawn large fields.

Six of the 10 races on Sunday's California Gold Rush program for statebreds are worth $150,000 or more, while the other four are for maidens or allowance-class horses. Those four races have drawn 12 to 14 entrants each.

The two restricted stakes in the pick six are the sixth race, the $70,000 Barretts Stakes over seven furlongs for non-winners of one "other than," and the 10th race, the $60,000 NTRA Stakes for maiden fillies and mares over 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Barretts Stakes drew a field of 14 and features several contenders.

Roman Jake and Trail Mix, who are coupled, are coming off layoffs after winning maiden races last year. Tizmanian Devil, 3, was third in the California Cup Juvenile last fall. Mr. Ching and Ice Lemon and Rum finished second in allowance races at Santa Anita in the last month.

The NTRA Stakes is the final race of the program, and the final leg of the pick six. The field of 13 is led by Champagne Fairy, who finished second by eight lengths in a maiden race against open company at Santa Anita on April 2. The first-time starter Arousing is the best-bred filly in the race. Arousing is by Cee's Tizzy out of the multiple stakes winner Soviet Problem.

Earlier on the program, before the pick six, there are strong favorites in the $70,000 Warren's Thoroughbred Stakes and the $60,000 Pepper Oaks Farm Stakes.

The seven-furlong Warren's Thoroughbred Stakes, restricted to fillies and mares that are non-winners of one "other than," features Del Mar Miss, a nine-length maiden race winner in her debut at Santa Anita on April 2.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Del Mar Miss has drawn post 11, which should give jockey Victor Espinoza an advantageous spot to stalk the front-runners down the backstretch.

The Pepper Oaks Farm Stakes for maiden colts and geldings over 6 1/2 furlongs, has drawn a more open field. Bargain Basket, Exclusive, and Johnny Ice have placed in maiden races and are capable of winning.

Johnny Ice is the likely favorite. He was second by seven lengths in a maiden race for California-breds over 5 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on March 19.