The horses to bet in Turfway's Single 6 and Super Hi 5 carryovers

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 25th, 2021

There isn’t just one carryover up for grabs on Thursday night at Turfway Park—there are actually two. But both will require correctly handicapping the evening finale in order to cash a ticket.

The Single 6, with $87,115 in the jackpot carryover pool, begins as usual in Race 3 and concludes in Race 8, a one-mile, $5,000 claiming race for non-winners of two races lifetime. Race 8 is also the event in which a $1,436 Super Hi 5 carryover will be dispersed, so correctly deciphering the race will be critical for any bettor hoping to cash winning tickets in the carryovers.

But here’s the problem—Single 6 and Super Hi 5 wagers bear little resemblance to each other, and handicapping one provides little more than a starting point for handicapping the other.

Let’s say you’re handicapping the Single 6, debating which horses to include in the final leg of your ticket. After reviewing the field, you might conclude (as I have) that #2 Christians City (3-1) and #9 Dragster (8-1) are the runners worth using. Christians City has front-running speed and finished second in two starts against open $8,000 claiming company at Turfway in December, suggesting he has the form to vie for victory at the $5,000 level. Meanwhile, Dragster has posted three consecutive 86 Brisnet Speed ratings (the best recent figures in the field) and looms as a late-running threat if he handles transitioning from dirt to Tapeta.

If you’re convinced either Christians City or Dragster will prevail, you won’t think twice about including them both to conclude a 20-cent Single 6. But this opinion doesn’t offer much value when you’re betting a $1 Super Hi 5. With the Single 6, all you care about is picking the winner—if Christians City wins, you don’t care whether Dragster finishes second, third, fourth, or dead last.

But playing the Super Hi 5 requires picking the top five finishers in order, and with a $1 base bet, costs can quickly accumulate. A horse like Dragster becomes tricky to play, because his form on dirt is strong, but he’s been competing in low-level $4,000 starter allowance races and hasn’t run over a synthetic track in two years. He could win, or he could finish in the middle of the pack, and it’s hard to predict which is more likely.

My advice? Take a stand one way or the other and don’t try to cover too many options. Since pacesetters win just 10% of one-mile races at Turfway, I’m optimistic Dragster will find the track profile more favorable than Christians City, setting the stage for a winning rally. So I’m inclined to bet Dragster on top in the Super Hi 5 while keying Christians City for second and third place. Emphasize runners like #3 Easy Doer (8-1), #5 Cacahuete (5-1), and #12 Ice Street (6-1) underneath, and we can assemble a couple of solid tickets on a reasonable budget:

$1 Super Hi 5: 9 with 2 with 3,5,12 with 3,5,12 with 1,2,3,5,6,7,11,12 ($36)
$1 Super Hi 5: 9 with 3,5,12 with 2 with 3,5,12 with 1,2,3,5,6,7,11,12 ($36)
Total: $72

Good luck!