10/31/2013 8:10PM

Santa Anita pick six pays $244K after Majestic City upsets Big Bear

Tom Keyser
Edwin Maldonado celebrates aboard Majestic City, who edged Rousing Sermon to his outside and Drill to his inside to win the Big Bear Stakes on Thursday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Breeders’ Cup week at Santa Anita began on Thursday with a rich pick six that paid $244,604.
Bettors added $1,901,413 to the pool in pursuit of a carryover of $439,664 from last Sunday.

The winners of Thursday’s pick six races were Sinfully ($7.40), Kristo ($3.20), Koast ($8.40), Majestic City ($32.40), Heat du Jour ($18.60) and Bright Town ($18.80). Kristo was the only winning favorite.

The Breeders’ Cup races will be held at Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the closing day of the Santa Anita autumn meeting. If the pick six is not hit on Saturday, the carryover will be forwarded to Sunday’s program.

Majestic City won his first stakes since July 2011 in the $77,560 Big Bear Stakes over a mile.

Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Majestic City led throughout and held off a stubborn threat from Rousing Sermon to win by neck in 1:35.20. Rousing Sermon, the 8-5 favorite, finished a half-length in front of Drill, who was followed by Soi Phet and Rail Trip in the small field. Summer Hit was scratched on Thursday morning.

Owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Majestic City, 4, won two sprint stakes for 2-year-olds in 2011 – the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes and Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship in consecutive starts when trained by Peter Miller.

Ron Ellis began training Majestic City at the beginning of the colt’s current campaign in May. Majestic City was fifth in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien Stakes over seven furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 25 and last of 12 in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes on the hillside turf course here on Sept. 27 in his two starts before the Big Bear.

“I’ve wanted to go a mile,” Ellis said.

“The mile is what he wants to do. The middle distance may work for him.”

The win in the Big Bear Stakes could lead to a start in the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 29, Ellis said.