10/08/2013 2:38PM

Santa Anita: $575,000 pick six carryover could become $3.5 million

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Benoit & Associates
Holladay Road is a top contender in the seventh race, an optional claimer.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The pick six carryover is $575,466. The pool of new money could exceed $3 million.

All eyes will be on Santa Anita on Thursday when an otherwise routine eight-race program becomes the focus for jackpot bettors. First post time is 1 p.m. Pacific, with race 3, the first pick six race, due off at 2 p.m.

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While the card may lack quality – four races are for claimers, with a maiden special weight and an optional claimer in the sequence – there is no shortage of runners. The races have fields of 8, 8, 11, 9, 8, and 12.

The bet opens with a $25,000 claimer over a mile on turf, the first of three grass races in the pick six.

The distance should work in favor of Danderek, a front-runner trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Danderek was sixth in an optional claimer over 1  3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar in July, and later first in a $32,000 claimer and second in a $25,000 claimer in August at Del Mar over shorter distances.

Danderek, who will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, lost the $25,000 claimer on Aug. 31 to Husband’s Folly, who is part of Thursday’s field.

Bejarano has excellent chances in the fourth, fifth and sixth races.

He rides Gracie Ragazza in the fourth, a maiden claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs for 2-year-old fillies. Gracie Ragazza was second in a $62,500 claimer for maidens at Del Mar on Aug. 30, closing well in that race over 5  1/2 furlongs.

The race has an open feel with the first-time starters Lady of the Nile (trained by Bob Baffert), Strollin Home (Tom Proctor), and For Emma (Peter Miller) likely to attract action. So will Goodhumorgirl, who was beaten a nose at the Los Angeles County Fair on Sept. 20.

In the fifth, Bejarano rides Lilly’s Perfect in a $32,000 claimer over a mile on turf for fillies and mares.

A seven-time winner, Lilly’s Perfect has been claimed in her last three starts. She was claimed for $25,000 by Doug O’Neill at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 14 and won her next start in a $12,500 claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 30. In that race, she was claimed back by Kretz Racing and trainer Kristin Mulhall, who had claimed her for the June 14 start.

Lilly’s Perfect is effective when stalking the pace, and drew well in post 8. She has quick mares to follow in Smarty Corn, a four-time winner unraced since last October, and Pink Blossom, a winner at Hollywood Park in June. Miss Well Molded is a threat from the back of the field.

In the sixth, for maidens over 1 1/16 miles, Bejarano rides the likely favorite in Crucero, who was second and third in similar fields at Del Mar.

There will be support for Wicked Finance, fifth behind Crucero on Aug. 24; Bornatthetrack, unraced since a third-place finish in March; and Cat Burglar, a $410,000 weanling purchase who was fifth as the favorite in a sprint for maidens at Del Mar in his debut on Aug.  24.

Holladay Road, fourth in the 2012 Santa Anita Handicap, is one of five runners in the seventh race entered to be claimed for $40,000. The optional-claiming race will be run over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Holladay Road was a troubled eighth in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 17, racing in traffic in the final furlong. Sharp turf jockey Julien Leparoux has the mount.

Trained by Julio Canani, Holladay Road must beat Shadow Runner, third in the Ralph Hinds Handicap at the Los Angeles County Fair on Sept. 22; Segway, unraced since a fourth in an allowance race last November; and Vibrato Jazz, who was first in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 15 but was disqualified for causing interference in the final furlong.

The day’s final race may come down to Make More Money and Truly Beautiful.

Truly Beautiful, who starts from the rail, has not raced since last November, but trainer Marty Jones has a strong record with horses returning from layoffs.

Make More Money, trained by Jeff Mullins, was second in a $20,000 claimer for maidens at Del Mar on Aug. 28 in her first start in California. The form of that race was flattered when race winner J K’s Mischief returned to win a starter allowance at the Los Angeles County Fair last month.

Mullins said that Make More Money has been schooled at the gate to avoid a repeat of the Aug.  28 race when she was off slowly.

“We’ve got her breaking from the gate now,” he said. “If she breaks, I think she has a very good shot.”