Are there any singles in Turfway Park's March 27 all-stakes Pick 6?

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March 26th, 2021

The winter meet at Turfway Park will conclude with a bang Saturday.

The Kentucky racetrack has scheduled a half-dozen stakes, led by the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) and the Bourbonette Oaks, which serve as qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Fans of multi-race wagers will be excited to hear the stakes are arranged consecutively, which sets the stage for an all-stakes Single 6 (Pick 6).

Of course, constructing a winning ticket for the 20-cent wager will be difficult. The sequence contains 66 entries and 1,528,800 possible outcomes before scratches, so ticket costs will quickly accumulate, unless we can find a reliable single to reduce expenses.

At first glance, it seems like the Rushaway S. is the perfect spot to search for a single. Only seven horses have been entered in the 1 1/16-mile race for three-year-olds, but upon closer examination, they appear difficult to split.

Do you favor the stakes-experienced runners #6 Cave Hill (7-2) and #3 Donegal Bay (3-1), who have never run on Tapeta? The local maiden winners #5 Editor in Chief (7-2) and #7 Be Here (4-1), who have never faced winners? Or the British shipper #1 Shady McGee (5-1), who has never run in the United States? All are logical players, and taking a stand with just one seems risky.

A more trustworthy single can be found in the Kentucky Cup Classic. High-percentage trainer Brad Cox will send out #2 Set Piece (8-5), who boasts two wins from two starts over the Turfway Tapeta. After he finished fast, behind slow fractions, to win a one-mile allowance, Set Piece dominated the 1 1/16-mile Prairie Bayou S., when he surged  powerfully down the homestretch to trounce graded stakes winner Signalman and next-out allowance victor Visitant by 3 1/4 lengths.

Set Piece didn’t run badly when he switched to turf for the 1 1/8-mile Fair Grounds (G3) last month, when he charged late to finish fourth, just two lengths behind the winner.

A return to Tapeta should trigger a rebound under hot jockey Florent Geroux, a 27% winner when he teams up with Cox. Set Piece will face 11 rivals in the Kentucky Cup Classic, but any way you slice it, he looks tough to beat.

Good luck!