Horses to favor in the Presidents' Day Pick 6 carryovers at Santa Anita and Turf Paradise

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 15th, 2021

Monday is usually a quiet day for horse racing, but Presidents’ Day is a notable exception. An impressive array of holiday racing action is on the agenda, including a pair of lucrative jackpot-style Pick 6 carryovers at Santa Anita and Turf Paradise.

Let’s review the sequences and highlight a few horses worth playing:

Santa Anita: Rainbow Pick 6

Carryover amount: $165,383
Base bet: 20 cents
Sequence starts: Race 3, 4:36 p.m. ET
Number of entries: 49 (8.2 per race)

With just 49 horses in the sequence (including three also-eligibles), constructing a unique winning ticket will be difficult—there are only 229,320 possible outcomes before scratches. But on the bright side, this means cashing a consolation payoff should be well within reach for players betting on small budgets.

The key to a winning day might be deciphering two small fields in the second half of the sequence. Race 6, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight, drew the Bob Baffert trainees #2 Hozier (5-2) and #4 Fenway (2-1). You can bet they’ll attract plenty of support, but both were soundly beaten in their sprint debuts and seem tough to trust while stretching out at short prices.

The best strategy might be to oppose the Baffert runners with #5 Star Sailor (9-5) and #6 Chasing Fame (4-1), who finished second and fourth behind future Robert B. Lewis (G3) runner-up Roman Centurian in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on Jan. 3 at Santa Anita. Chasing Fame in particular is appealing while adding blinkers off a tough-luck trip.

Race 7, the 6 1/2-furlong Wishing Well S., is also difficult to decipher. #7 Oleksandra (9-5) beat males in the Jaipur (G1) at Belmont last summer, but she’s only run twice since then, finishing ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) before clipping heels and losing her rider in the Las Cienegas (G3).

The fact Oleksandra hasn’t run a representative race since June makes her a bit tough to trust as the 9-5 favorite. Rather than single Oleksandra at a short price, it might be wise to toss in the improving four-year-old #3 Lighthouse (5-2), a pace-tracking type who crossed the wire third in the Las Cienegas.

Turf Paradise: Grand Canyon Pick 6

Carryover amount: $236,546
Base bet: 20 cents
Sequence starts: Race 4, 4:18 p.m. ET
Number of entries: 50 (8.3 per race)

The Grand Canyon Pick 6 carryover is growing rapidly, with a unique winning ticket continuing to prove elusive. Perhaps Monday is the day the jackpot will be won, and perhaps you’ll be the bettor to pull it off.

Doing so will require uncovering a few longshot winners, with #3 Daddy What If (10-1) in Race 8 looming as one possible candidate. The five-year-old gelding flashed solid speed in his local debut on Feb. 1, tracking quick fractions of :22.19 and :44.72 before edging away to win by one length in a $3,500 claiming event for non-winners of three races lifetime.

The 79 Brisnet Speed rating Daddy What If earned fits well in Monday’s $3.500 claimer for non-winners of four races lifetime, and the fact Daddy What If achieved his figure honestly—by tracking a quick pace—is appealing. Ignore this 10-1 shot at your own risk, because he appears capable of vying for victory even while facing slightly tougher company.

Good luck!