Horses to single (or not) in Del Mar's $115,547 Pick 6 carryover

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

September 3rd, 2022

Saturday is an action-packed day at Del Mar. Five stakes (four of them graded) worth a combined $2.025 million are on the agenda, and there’s a $115,547 Rainbow Pick 6 carryover slated for mandatory payout.

The sequence for the 20-cent wager spans Races 6-11, a stretch including all four of the graded stakes. With 57 entries and 653,400 possible outcomes before scratches, bettors will have to be sharp to take home a share of the carryover.

The smallest field can be found in Race 10, the Pacific Classic (G1). The 1 1/4-mile “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) drew six entries, and #5 Flightline (1-5) is going to be a single for many bettors. The sensational four-year-old colt is unbeaten and unchallenged in four starts, including runaway victories in the seven-furlong Malibu S. (G1) and one-mile Metropolitan H. (G1).

But here’s the problem: Flightline has never run farther than one mile, or around two turns for that matter. Stretching out over 1 1/4 miles in the Pacific Classic is a meaningful question mark, so singling Flightline might be a risky strategy. Instead, we recommend using #2 Country Grammer (4-1) as backup, since Country Grammer has scored top-level wins in the Dubai World Cup (G1) and Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) racing 1 1/4 miles.

A better opportunity for a single might come in Race 11, the Del Mar H. (G2) taking place over 1 3/8 miles on turf. #9 Master Piece (3-1) produced a big rally to finish second by half a length in this race last year, and he ran even better when returning to Del Mar for the 1 1/8-mile Eddie Read S. (G2) on July 31, surging from far off the pace to trounce his pursuers by 3 1/4 lengths.

Master Piece has only run twice this year, and the Eddie Read was his first turf run of the season, so it’s possible we haven’t seen his best yet. If Master Piece repeats or improves upon his Eddie Read effort, he can deliver victory as a nice-priced single in this 11-horse field.

Good luck!