10/16/2012 1:41PM

Santa Anita: $66,000 pick six carryover a challenge for bettors


ARCADIA, Calif. – The only thing plain and simple about the pick six Thursday at Santa Anita is its size – the one-day carryover is a modest $66,088.

The challenging sequence includes six claiming-caliber or maiden races, and a pair of potential singles that fall short of reliability. Race-6 favorite Striking Spirit has never started at Santa Anita; race-8 favorite Disarm is dropping in class following a good race.

The pick six begins in race 3, and bettors are expected to wager at least $250,000 chasing the carryover. Below is a glance at the sequence.

Race 3 is a dirt race at one mile. A simple strategy is to identify the speed – five of the six one-mile dirt races this meet have been won wire to wire. Jones Destiny can set the pace in the $30,000 maiden claimer for 2-year-olds, but Kentucky Kid figures off a troubled trip at Fairplex Park. Pick Six Joe and first-time gelding Last Equity also have a look.

Race 4, a sprint for 2-year-old claiming fillies, includes Cat’sdoubledaygirl. She won a maiden race at Fairplex despite difficulty negotiating the tight turns of that five-furlong track. The lightly raced filly meets two-time winner Hyena and dropper Gloryandprayer.

Race 5, a sprint for 2-year-old maiden claimers, is tailored for a first-time starter such as Havoc. He debuts with sharp works while facing modest competition including second-start dropper Doubledeesonthetee, four-time runner-up Primed and Ready, and second-time starter our Smokin Hero.

Race 6 is a $10,000 claiming race at seven furlongs in which Striking Spirit is expected to be favored. The gelding snapped a three-year losing streak July 6, winning a similar claiming sprint at Betfair Hollywood Park, and maintained form through summer by winning three times and finishing second twice.

Striking Spirit has never raced at Santa Anita, but two wins at Fairplex established his credentials on dirt footing. A seven-furlong specialist, Striking Spirit’s main rival is comeback dropper Back At You.

Race 7 is a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares that have started for a $40,000 tag and not won two races. Although the rails are at 24 feet, three turf races at the setting early this meet were won by closers.

Chimi Dee appears to be the best closer; she finished second under similar conditions two starts back. Her chief rivals include Suances Vixen, Always a Chance, and Primal Desire.

Race 8, for $30,000 maiden-claiming 2-year-olds, is a split of the fifth. Disarm finished second in a $50,000 maiden claimer Aug. 30 and drops in class for his first start since. He is the fastest horse and is dropping in class off a good race. Special-weight dropper Greeley Awesome and first-time starter Salah Champ are main rivals.