08/27/2009 12:00AM

Two-day carryover reaches $777,352


DEL MAR, Calif. - Irish Gypsy had trainer Bob Baffert fooled for the first year of her career.

After Irish Gypsy was bought as a yearling for $120,000 in 2007, Baffert thought she was a sprinter with ample speed. He had the sprinting aspect correct, but Irish Gypsy is more effective as a late-closing sprinter.

In Thursday's sixth race at Del Mar, part of a pick-six sequence with a huge two-day carryover of $777,352, she will attempt to win her second consecutive start in an optional claimer at six furlongs.

Thursday's eight-race program begins at 2 p.m. Pacific, with the pick six beginning with the third race at approximately 3:02 p.m.

The early scratches are Backstroke and Catch Candy in the fourth, and Tribal Witch in the eighth race. Meggie's Legacy, a longshot in race 5, was a late scratch.

Irish Gypsy, by Hennessy, has won 2 of 6 starts for Mike Pegram and Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings. On July 24, she rallied from sixth in a field of seven to win a first-condition allowance race by a head. The six-furlong race was Irish Gypsy's second win of the year. She won a six-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita in March in her 2009 debut.

"She's improving," Baffert said. "She seems like she's coming around. She should have a lot of speed, but she hasn't shown that."

At 2, Irish Gypsy did not impress in two starts, finishing fifth and fourth at Hollywood Park and Del Mar.

"She got real light and went through some changes," Baffert said of Irish Gypsy's 2-year-old season.

Irish Gypsy has not been worse than third in four starts this year, but she faces a stern test Thursday. The race features a formidable pair of 4-year-old fillies trained by Bruce Headley - Free Flying Soul and Supermodel.

Free Flying Soul, who is capable of setting the pace, was fifth in the Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 14 in her stakes debut. Earlier this year, Free Flying Soul won a maiden race and an optional claimer at Santa Anita, performances that would be good enough to win Thursday.

Supermodel has won 2 of her last 3 starts, including an allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs here Aug. 8 in which she overcame a bumping incident at the start to post a 7-1 upset. She will be a shorter price Thursday.

The field of eight features one undefeated filly, the 3-year-old Bonifacio. Trained by Craig Dollase, Bonifacio won an $80,000 claiming race for maidens at Hollywood Park on June 28 on the main track and returned to win an optional claimer at five furlongs on turf. Her stalking style could be effective if a quick pace develops.