Shapiro: Suggested Wagers for Pick 6 Carryover at Churchill Downs

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TwinSpires Staff

May 9th, 2018


The biggest week of the season may be over at Churchill Downs, but there are still plenty of reasons to be ready to fire when racing continues on Thursday evening. A 20-cent Pick 6 carryover of $385,132 with a mandatory payout tops the list.

There are no “free squares” in the races that make up the Pick 6, so handicapping well and as importantly structuring your ticket(s) strategically will be key if you want to be amongst those to take advantage of the money left over from the Derby Day card.

While it is a tricky six-race sequence to navigate through, it is worth taking a shot even on a smaller budget.

Here is one approach that will require a single in two spots, beating a couple of favorites and getting to the last leg without using more than 3 horses in any other spot. It will cost just $14.40.

The first of the two singles is #5 Catanova in the opening leg, Race 3. Trainer Michael Tomlinson reclaimed the six-year-old gelding out of a start on March 24th at Oaklawn Park for $20,000. The son of Tale of the Cat had a very successful run with Tomlinson before being claimed for $25K at Keeneland last October.

I always love to see a former conditioner dip back in for a runner he used to train and Catanova had a brutal trip last time out in Arkansas when he was inside early, lost momentum more than once and was wrapped up late by apprentice Edgar Morales. With a cleaner voyage under veteran jockey Joe Rocco Jr., he should be able to stalk the early pacesetters and get the best of this group in the lane. At 9-2 I do not expect Catanova to be singled on very many tickets.

After using multiple horses in Races 4, 5 and 6, I will lean on 3-1-morning line favorite #3 Life’s Blessings as my second single in Race 7.

The four-year-old filly burnt a ton of money in Southern California after an impressive maiden breaking score on debut for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. In fact, she lost five consecutive races at 8-to-5 odds or lower. Baffert decided to stretch her out to two turns in her last start in March and she ran very well with the increase in distance stalking early and edging away late under jockey Drayden Van Dyke.

The 2018 Kentucky Derby-winning trainer ships her into Kentucky where she will need to avoid getting involved in what could be a hot early pace. If jockey Florent Geroux can sit just off the pacesetters on the backstretch and make a run when they turn for home, Life’s Blessings should be tough to beat. The one-turn mile should suit her well.

I will use four maidens to close the sequence in a special weight event on the lawn that I lack a strong opinion in. This ticket will cost less than $15. Here is my suggested wager:

Race 3: 5
Race 4: 5+8+9
Race 5: 3+8
Race 6: 3+5+7
Race 7: 3
Race 8: 5+7+8+11

Total Cost: $14.40

For those looking to invest a bit more but not go overboard, I recommend doubling up in Race 3 with #8 Chief of Staff who should get the jump on my top choice. I also think it is worthwhile to add #5 Glitznglamour in Race 5. The bargain basement $5K purchase ran huge on debut at Keeneland for trainer Larry Demeritte. My third addition will be in Race 6 where I will include #1 Splash for Gold on the drop in class and turn back in distance for trainer Troy Wismer.

Here is my suggested wager with those additions:

Race 3: 5+8
Race 4: 5+8+9
Race 5: 3+5+8
Race 6: 1+3+5+7
Race 7: 3
Race 8: 5+7+8+11

Total Cost: $57.60

Good luck on Thursday evening. Hopefully we can get the fresh week started with a nice score.

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