Looking for longshots in Mahoning Valley's $283,577 Pick 6 carryover

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 23rd, 2021

Sometimes, it seems as though only two types of horses are capable of winning races at Mahoning Valley—horses starting at 6-1or less, and horses starting at 20-1 or higher.

There isn’t much middle ground at the Ohio racetrack, where short prices dominate and huge longshots aren’t that much less likely to prevail than mid-range longshots. Consider Monday’s card, where five winners started at less than 5-1 while the other three shocked the world at 27-1, 42-1, and 28-1.

The latter two winners came at the end of the Buckeye Pick 6 sequence, and they were nearly sufficient to trigger a unique winning ticket. But in the end, two separate tickets managed to assemble the winning combination, each returning $5,754.96 to leave a carryover of $283,577 for Tuesday’s card.

If chasing longshot winners (and sweeping the whole Pick 6 jackpot) sounds appealing, we’ve highlighted a couple of races on Tuesday that seem more likely than others to produce major upsets:

Race 3: Maiden Special Weight (one mile and 70 yards, 1:40 p.m. ET)

The kickoff leg of the Buckeye Pick 6 is a maiden route for Ohio-breds. The par winning Brisnet Speed rating for this class level and distance is a 61, but none of the eight entrants have earned better than 59, suggesting this isn’t the toughest field.

#5 I’m Jac’d (8-5) is the morning line favorite after hitting the board in each of her first six starts, but the Ivan Vazquez trainee has never run farther than six furlongs, and Vazquez strikes at just a 2% rate with horses tackling a route for the first time.

If you’re going to play a sprinter stretching out, you might as well ponder #2 Volume by Daisy (15-1), who finished just four lengths behind I’m Jac’d in a six-furlong sprint on Feb. 27. Or, you could oppose the sprinters entirely and play #1 Aflaxendream (20-1), who has already cracked the trifecta a couple of times over this track, distance, and class level.

Race 8: $10,000 Claiming (six furlongs, 4:02 p.m. ET)

In contrast to Race 3, the finale of the Buckeye Pick 6 sequence features an above-average field. The par winning Brisnet Speed rating is an 85, a figure eight of the nine entrants have already matched or exceeded. The takeaway? On their best day, virtually any horse could win this claimer for Ohio-breds.

#9 Little Blaker (9-5) is the morning line choice, but the veteran of 63 starts doesn’t appear unstoppable. He’s lost his last five starts and was beaten to third place in an open $8,000 claiming race on Feb. 8. Tuesday’s conditions are easier in some respects (this race is restricted to horses that haven’t won two races since Sept. 23), but Little Blaker is marooned in the outside post and actually finished behind #8 Cant Buy Cool (5-2) in his last run, so victory is far from a certainty.

If you want to get creative, why not try #7 Galactic (10-1)? Speed is dangerous at Mahoning Valley, and Galactic recently wired a six-furlong, $5,000 claiming race at Mahoning. The son of Gemologist is eligible to improve in his second start off a layoff and his first start since being claimed by trainer Alejandro Murillo Rodriguez, who strikes at a solid 18% rate with new claiming acquisitions.

Good luck!