Churchill Downs: Racing returns Nov. 25 with Single 6 carryover
The final week of racing at the Churchill Downs fall meet begins Wednesday, with two enticing carryovers in the mix.
The Single 6 jackpot has climbed to $171,010, with just five days of racing left on the agenda. The Super Hi-5 boasts a carryover of $6,386, after a pair of longshots cracked the top five in Sunday’s finale.
Nothing especially unpredictable happened during Sunday’s Single 6 sequence, at least as far as winners were concerned. Three favorites prevailed, and the highest-priced winner of the sequence started at less than 9-2, so in theory, the Single 6 should have been straightforward to hit.
But the three beaten favorites all started at 9-5 or less, so any tickets singling short-priced betting favorites failed. As a result, 20-cent Single 6 returned a hefty $4,139.72, which is substantially higher than the $1,511.90 generated by a theoretical $2 win parlay.
Wednesday’s Single 6 sequence kicks off in Race 4, a $20,000 maiden claiming race for fillies and mares sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs.
#6 Tizso Awesome (5-2), a runner-up for a $30,000 tag at Churchill Downs last month, is a logical favorite for trainer Chris Hartman, but the biggest threat might be #5 Microcap (3-1).
Microcap suffered a poor start when she finished fourth in a $50,000 maiden claiming sprint at Keeneland last month, so she is eligible to improve Wednesday. She will also retain the services of jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who has won with 12 of his last 24 mounts.
Four-time champion trainer Chad Brown doesn’t plunge horses down the claiming ranks often, but when he does, they’re practically unstoppable. In recent years, Brown has compiled a five-for-five record with horses who drop two or more classes down the claiming ladder.
From a betting perspective, the most important event of the day is Race 9, a $50,000 maiden claiming race for 2-year-olds. The 1-mile test serves as the finale of the Single 6, bu it is also the race where the Hi-5 carryover is up for grabs.
With 12 runners in the main body of the field, plus three also-eligibles, Race 9 looks like a beast to handicap. If you’re playing both carryovers, it makes sense to emphasize #10 Bird Ruler (2-1) and #4 Southern Passage (4-1). The former finished fourth in his debut for a $150,000 claiming tag and will keep Gaffalione in the saddle, while the latter was beaten just a nose at this class level Sept. 19.
Bird Ruler and Southern Passage both seem like good fits for the Wednesday finale, but #13 Mountain King (5-2) — who has hit the board three times against maiden special weight company at Indiana Grand — is also worth including, if he draws in off the also-eligible list for trainer Steve Asmussen.