Three Pick 6 jackpots worth pursuing on Feb. 27

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 27th, 2021

Jackpot-style Pick 6 wagers are becoming increasingly common in U.S. racing. Case in point? Bettors will have no fewer than seven different Pick 6 jackpots to choose from on Saturday.

For various reasons, three Pick 6 jackpots in particular stand out as enticing sequences well worth pursuing. Let’s dig in and examine the value offered by each one:

Biggest carryover: Santa Anita

By far the biggest pool up for grabs on Saturday is the $460,345 pot at Santa Anita—it’s significantly larger than all of the other Pick 6 carryovers combined ($402,425). But constructing a unique winning ticket could be difficult with just 47 horses entered across the six races.

Even some of the larger fields look pretty straightforward to handicap. For example, Race 7 drew nine entries, but #6 Handr’sdream (6-5) looks like a potential single. The son of Palace Malice was super green in his Dec. 18 debut, but he was only beaten four lengths after carving out the pace. Claimed for $30,000 by Peter Miller (who wins at a 26% rate with new claiming acquisitions), Handr’sdream has since been gelded and will add Lasix for his second start, setting the stage for a winning effort under hot jockey Flavien Prat.

Classiest carryover: Gulfstream Park

The $213,850 carryover at Gulfstream is less than half as large as the pot available at Santa Anita, but you won’t find a classier Pick 6 anywhere in the country this week. Five of the six races are graded stakes, led by the Fountain of Youth (G2) for Kentucky Derby contenders.

There are several short-priced favorites in the sequence, but they’re not guaranteed to win. For example, the multiple Grade 1-winning miler #2 Got Stormy (7-5) will be a popular choice in the Honey Fox (G3, Race 11), but the six-year-old mare seems more effective sprinting these days. In contrast, #6 Zofelle (7-2) romped in the one-mile Marshua’s River (G3) at Gulfstream last month and should be dangerous while sticking to the same course and distance.

One can also make a case for opposing #3 Vequist (7-5) in the Davona Dale (G2, Race 12). The champion two-year-old filly of 2020 is a class standout off a ground-saving victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), but she’s returning from a layoff and has recorded only four workouts this year. Trainer Robert Reid wins at just a 6% rate with runners returning from breaks of 90 days or more, so Vequist might need to get a race under her belt before returning to peak form.

Suncoast S. winner #4 Curlin’s Catch (8-1) and Demoiselle (G2) runner-up #5 Millefeuille (5-1) are logical alternatives to Vequist.

Toughest carryover: Turfway Park

Although the Pick 6 carryover at Turfway sits at just $17,788, the sequence is still appealing because there’s a very real chance someone will construct a unique winning ticket. With 73 horses in the entries before scratches, there are 3,104,640 possible outcomes to consider, far exceeding the 189,000 ways Santa Anita’s Pick 6 can unfold.

Finding a reliable single will be the key to keeping ticket costs reasonable, and fortunately, Race 8 presents just such an opportunity. #1 Magna G Force (7-2) is 0-for-13 on dirt, 0-for-8 on turf, and 2-for-2 racing on synthetic at Turfway. She was much the best in a $5,000 claiming race her last month, leading all the way to score by 3 1/2 lengths, and leading jockey Gerardo Corrales retains the mount. With her key rivals marooned in outside posts, Magna G Force will be tough to beat if she breaks alertly from the rail.

Good luck!