Horses to favor in Aqueduct's $139,360 Empire Pick 6 carryover

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

December 20th, 2020

Did you enjoy playing the mandatory dispersal of Saturday’s $839,335 Rainbow Pick 6 carryover at Gulfstream Park? You certainly did if you cashed a winning ticket. The final pool exceeded $5.3 million, and winning bettors were rewarded with a payoff of $7,363.64. Not bad for a 20-cent wager!

If you’re keen to chase another carryover, the 20-cent Empire Pick 6 on Sunday at Aqueduct boasts a jackpot pool of $139,360. To claim the whole pot, you’ll have to hold the only winning ticket on the day, which is a task much easier said than done. But even when multiple bettors cash winning tickets, the consolation payoffs are still worth pursuing—the Saturday sequence returned $4,043.00.

Sunday’s Empire 6 spans Races 5-10. With 66 horses in the mix before scratches (averaging 11 horses per field), keeping costs reasonable will require finding a couple of races where we can confidently use just one or two horses.

A great place to begin is Race 6, a 6-furlong maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies. On paper, a couple of first-time starters appear to hold the advantage. #8 R Working Girl (3-1), a half-sister to early-maturing juvenile stakes winner Ardmore Bay, looks particularly formidable for high-percentage trainer Wesley Ward. The daughter of Outwork has been cranking out fast workouts at Keeneland, and Ward has gone 4-for-12 (33%) saddling 2-year-old first-time starters at Aqueduct since 2015.

R Working Girl would be a logical single if not for the presence of #5 Elevator Shaft, a Madaket Stables runner conditioned by hot trainer Brittany Russell. Since Russell is always live with first-time starters (winning at a 30% rate), using Elevator Shaft in equal strength with R Working Girl should come close to assuring survival in the Empire 6.

Race 7, a 1 1/8-mile allowance optional claiming race, is another event where we can take a stand. #2 Per Capita (8-5) has crossed the wire first in all three of his runs this season, most recently scoring a tenacious allowance victory racing 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Per Capita is proven over Sunday’s distance and looms among the fastest runners on paper, having posted a 101 Brisnet Speed rating when breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs during the spring. The son of Tapit is progressing in the right direction and figures to sit a perfect trip setting or stalking a modest pace under jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who has gone 7-for-14 (50%) riding for Pletcher over the last two months. What’s not to like? Per Capita looks like a deserving single.

Good luck!