Saratoga: Horses to single in the $257,811 Pick 6 carryover

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

July 25th, 2021

Exciting times are ahead at Saratoga! The first Pick 6 carryover of the meet is up for grabs on Sunday, when the $1 wager will disperse a hefty $257,811 bonus pool among all winning bettors.

The sequence kicks off in Race 5 (post time 3:21 p.m. ET), and it looks like a tough one with 64 horses in the entries before scratches. But here’s the problem—there’s rain in the forecast for Sunday, which could have a major impact on the Pick 6 sequence. Don’t be surprised if the turf races are transferred to the main track, which in turn could wind up sloppy if there isn’t enough drying time.

The questionable weather conditions make it difficult to handicap the Pick 6 in advance. Race 5 and Race 8 are both scheduled for turf, but until we find out if the races will remain on the grass, it’s hard to plot our wagering strategy.

At least the dirt races are a little easier. Race 6, for example, is a six-furlong maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies. #2 Four Dawn (5-2), a daughter of champion juvenile Nyquist, has been breezing fast at Keeneland and looms as a popular choice for ultra-hot trainer Brad Cox. The fact Nyquist sires a lofty 23% winners on wet tracks is appealing.

But Cox has gone just 1-for-11 (9%) debuting juveniles over the Saratoga main track since 2016, and his 17% win rate with all first-time starters ranks well below his overall 28% win rate. In case Four Dawn needs to get a race under her belt before hitting peak form, #1 Shared Future (7-2) and #6 Gal in a Rush (4-1) are worth including as backup.

If there’s a single in the Pick 6 sequence, it’s probably #8 Mubarmaj (8-5) in Race 10, a $20,000 claimer. As a son of Curlin (known for his prowess siring mud runners), Mubarmaj shouldn’t have any trouble handling a wet track. Three starts back, he won a $50,000 claimer over sloppy footing at Keeneland.

Mubarmaj brings tactical speed to the equation and enters off a dominant 5 1/2-length triumph in a $25,000 claimer at Belmont Park. He appears well-spotted to win at a short price while dropping down the class ladder on Sunday. There’s hardly any speed in this field, so Mubarmaj figures to sit a perfect trip setting or stalking a modest pace.

I can also see some appeal to singling #4 Dunbar Road (2-1) in Race 9, the Shuvee S. (G3). True, the five-year-old mare struggled in her 2021 debut, finishing fifth in the La Troienne S. (G1) at Churchill Downs. But Dunbar Road is eligible to improve in her second run of the season, and she’s already proven at Saratoga, having romped by 2 3/4 lengths over a sloppy track in the 2019 Alabama S. (G1). She’s certainly the most accomplished runner in the Shuvee field and will be tough to deny if she brings her A-game.

Good luck!