10/11/2011 3:38PM

Santa Anita: Bluegrass Reward a logical single in $76,835 pick-six carryover


ARCADIA, Calif. – Officials at Santa Anita estimate the pick-six pool will soar beyond $500,000 on Thursday as bettors chase a $76,835 carryover on races 3-8.

The sequence is not particularly difficult, nor is the overall program compelling. The card includes two maiden special weight turf races, one maiden-claiming sprint, two sprints for claiming winners, and a main-track allowance route with a potential pick-six single.

In the seventh-race feature, Bluegrass Reward will start at low odds, for good reason. An improving Mike Mitchell trainee, Bluegrass Reward makes his first start since Aug. 27 at Del Mar, where he finished third in one of summer’s most productive allowance races.

Bluegrass Reward missed by a length against a field that included four next-out winners. The winner, Mega Heat, subsequently won an open allowance; four-five-nine finishers Holladay Road, Romeo Royale, and Roaring Times returned to win statebred allowances.

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Freshened seven weeks, Bluegrass Reward returns at the same level with blinkers and a surface switch to dirt. Joe Talamo rides Bluegrass Reward, whose recent form, proven ability at the class level, appropriate speed figures, and pressing style make him a solid choice in the 1 1/16-mile race.

His two main rivals are Lodi Red, a consistent gelding who has lost eight times at the level, and stretch-out Caper’s Edge making his first start for Jeff Mullins.

Pick-six bettors can root Bluegrass Reward home as a single only if the first four races in the sequence are successfully navigated. Win or lose, they are relatively simple to interpret.

Race 3, a turf sprint for special weight maiden fillies and mares, includes a logical favorite. Lofty Ambition finished a close third in her Sept. 5 comeback on the main track at Del Mar. She switches to turf second start back for trainer Humberto Ascanio.

Lofty Ambition is bred for the Santa Anita turf course. Owned and bred by Harris Farms, she is the first foal out of Blind Ambition, whose two downhill starts include a 2003 win in the California Cup Distaff and a runner-up finish in the 2005 Irish O’Brien Stakes.

Harris Farms also owns and bred first-time starter Kissable, a Bernardini filly out of Grade 1 winner Alphabet Kisses. Kissable is trained by Sean McCarthy. The fillies race as separate wagering interests.

Race 4 is a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old claiming fillies running for a $20,000 tag. The principals include For You My Heart, dropping and shortening in distance, along with Jack Carava-trained Lily Amore and March Mary.

Race 5 is a six-furlong sprint for $25,000 claimers, nonwinners of two. Bruce Headley-trained Cragmont is making his first at the low class level. He is the fastest horse in the field and an obvious favorite.

Race 6 is one-mile turf race for California-bred maidens in which Cranky Jack, Unusual Beam, and Amoracchius are the main contenders.

Race 8 is a $20,000 maiden-claimer for older in which second-start class dropper King of Swing looks like the right horse. His chief rivals include Danceswiththewind and Top Torero.