10/20/2002 11:00PM

Two-day carryover on tough card


ARCADIA, Calif. - The country's horseplayers will forsake Breeders' Cup handicapping on Wednesday, to focus instead on potentially lucrative gambling decisions on the West Coast.

A two-day carryover in the pick six has generated widespread interest in Wednesday's card here, where $520,536.71 is already in the pick six pool. Bettors are expected to wager close to $2 million more on Wednesday's pick six races (3-8) in which there are 560,000 possible combinations, before scratches, if any.

Without the carryover, the card would pass by unnoticed, even the Cal-bred allowance that goes as the race 7 feature. With the carryover however, it is a card that handicappers are required to analyze. Here is a look at the six most important races Wednesday.

Race 3: Seven entered the six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old claimers, but only three can win: Give Away Joe, Obermeister, and A Pizza for Nick. Although Give Away Joe comes off a fourth-place finish at Fairplex Park and is stuck on the rail, trainer Mike Machowsky believes he is the one to beat.

Give Away Joe didn't handle the turns on the five-eighths-mile Fairplex oval, Machowsky said. He added that Give Away Joe's owner, Frank Bertilino, "likes to win races.

"I was going to wait for a $40,000 claimer, but Bertilino would rather run a horse that can win for $25,000 than run [at a higher level] and finish second."

The horse to catch is A Pizza for Nick. "He's been in the one-hole" - in his last two starts - "and it's cost him," trainer Bill Spawr said. "The only time he won, he was on the outside."

A Pizza for Nick is on the outside Wednesday, and the speed of the field.

Obermeister comes off a highly rated maiden claiming win, fits perfectly on speed figures, and makes it a three-horse race.

Race 4: This is the worst race in the sequence. The $32,000 maiden claiming race for 2-year-olds features eight starters, all slow. Time to Please is the speed, though 6 1/2 furlongs will stretch his stamina. Second-time starter Briteman has worked well and is better than his debut indicates. It's a bad race in which anything goes.

How bad? One horseman with a runner said: "If my horse wins, I'd hate to own any of the horses behind him." Pick six bettors may have to "buy" the race, with eight entrants.

Race 5: This is a good-old fashioned claiming route with a full field. Fourteen runners entered the $12,500 claimer at one mile; 10 will start. Class-dropper Sky Strider may catch a favorable pace scenario if also-eligible front-runner Prime Candidate does not draw in. Ben Saw San has won eight of his last 26, and overcame a pronounced speed bias to win his last. Pool Music drops for his second start back. Argentine import Manicomio Tom has worked well for his first start in North America.

This is another wide-open race in which pick six bettors must either spread or gamble on dropper Sky Strider.

Race 6: More chaos. This mile turf race for 2-year-old maiden fillies is headed by Alashir's World. She finished second in a similar race at Del Mar on Sept. 4, and will be the key on many tickets. She does not have to win.

A Shortt Tour and Go for Glamour are bred-for-grass fillies stretching out for the first time. English import Xocolata is well-meant for her U.S. debut.

Regarding Xocolata, trainer Bob Hess said: "She's at least as good as Forty On Line was last fall." Forty On Line won a 2-year-old filly maiden turf race in her U.S. debut, then scored a 20-1 upset in the Grade 3 Miesque. Hess suggested Xocolata will give a good account, and that a workout gap from Oct. 7 to Oct. 19 is not an issue. He said clockers missed her in the fog when she worked between those two recorded drills.

A Shortt Tour is a full sister to Touring England, 2 of 9 on grass. Trainer Vladimir Cerin said: "She will improve from her last race" - a comeback sprint in which she finished third - "and she's a full sister to a pretty good grass horse."

On the other hand, Cerin warned, "I'm coming back in 13 days, which I prefer not to do."

Economy-minded pick six tickets will single Alashir's World; others will go at least four deep.

Race 7: It is obvious that Golden Bonus has improved in the afternoon. Runner-up in successive fast Cal-bred allowances, he is the favorite in another statebred route at 1 1/16 miles. The difference in Golden Bonus? "He's doing better mentally," Spawr said. "He was a handful in the paddock, but we've worked with him and he's much better. Those are things you can't see in the form. Mentally, he's doing better."

The race is filled with heat - Good Ol' Uncle Joe, Sombrio, J.T.'s Song, and Juan all have speed. The race sets up for a stretch-runner such as Golden Bonus. Is he a single? Spawr stops short of that: "He's going to have to come from far back, and he can get in trouble. But there's going to be pace in there."

Race 8: Ten fillies and mares race for a $10,000 claiming tag in the seven-furlong sprint. The favorite? Either runaway Fairplex winner Saboya or lone speed First Class Code. First Class Code has made three starts for owner-trainer Mark Glatt. Two times she finished last, the other time next-to-last.

"It looks like she'll make the lead, but she hasn't gotten out of a gallop for me yet," Glatt said. "She can win for $20,000 when she makes the lead, but she won't win for $4,000 at Sacramento if she doesn't make the lead."

First Class Code is racing for the first time in six weeks, and could be long gone in the final race of what could be a memorable pick six.