02/25/2014 1:45PM

Santa Anita: Rain could complicate Thursday's $198,609 pick six carryover

Shigeki Kikkawa
Batti Man, 0 for 5 on turf, is expected to start in race 7 on Thursday if the race is moved from the turf course to the main track.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The pick six pool will be huge Thursday at Santa Anita – more than $1 million in new wagers is expected, chasing a $198,609 single-day carryover.

It requires skill, luck, and, on Thursday, cooperation from Mother Nature to hit the pick six (races 3-8). The sequence is complicated by a forecast for inclement weather.

The season’s first significant rainstorm was expected to arrive midweek, and while rain is welcome in drought-stricken California, it makes the pick six Thursday problematic. The sequence includes three races scheduled to be run on turf: races 3, 5, and 7.

Could rain force those races to the main track?

“It’s a matter of when it falls, and how much,” said Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita’s racing secretary. “If it rains Wednesday and is sunny Thursday, or if it’s only a quarter-inch, I would have no problem [staying on turf].

“The pick six is on the radar – it’s a big deal,” Hammerle added, recognizing the challenge facing pick six players. The turf rails are out at 24 feet, which protects the inner lanes. A decision regarding the surface will be made Thursday.

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Hammerle obviously prefers that races remain on turf, but the decision ultimately will be based on weather.

“If [the storm] is a quick in-and-out, that is the best,” he said. “You play it all by ear. The pick six is out there; it’s part of our culture. We’ll do what we can to protect it.”

A switch to the main track would trigger numerous scratches.

Below is a preview of the pick six.

Race 3 is a maiden race for California-bred 3-year-olds at a mile on grass. Six entered, including the third- and fourth-place finishers from a similar maiden race early this month – Zackos My Man and Arctic Code. Sudden Rumor and This Cat’s Awesome stretch out from sprints.

Race 4 is a $10,000 claiming race at a mile on dirt. Anabaa Premium, a runner-up twice against similar opposition, should get a comfortable trip positioned behind the speed and in front of closer Londinium. The sprinter Change of Plan is likely to set the pace while stretching out.

Race 5 is a $25,000 turf claiming race for fillies and mares at one mile. Love Tale and Lilly’s Perfect are the principals on grass. Born Lucky would prefer a switch to dirt.

Race 6 is a maiden special weight race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Thisonesforricky, an even-paced fourth in her comeback, makes her second start back for trainer Marty Jones, who has won eight races from his last 24 starters. Her main rival is Dreamy Blues, who finished third in the same race.

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Race 7 is a one-mile turf race at the seldom-used $75,000 claiming level. The pace scenario will change depending on the surface. Front-runner Batti Man is expected to start if the race is moved to dirt. On turf, class dropper El Commodore would be the controlling speed. Stoney Fleece, American Act, and shipper County Lineman also entered.

Race 8 is a $30,000 maiden-claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies. Steep dropper Divine Way is likely to be favored in her first try on dirt and her first at the low level. New Nature, third with a wide trip in her comeback, faces less speed in her second start back.