Friday is closing day at Churchill Downs, and that means a mandatory payout in the 20-cent Pick Six. As I’ve detailed in the past, this means a large pool and an attractive wagering opportunity, so I’m jumping in.
My ticket ultimately costs $28.80, and it assumes fast and firm conditions. Additionally, the ticket is structured in a pretty odd way given the layout of the sequence. I’ll dissect it below…
Race #5: 2,9,12
We open with a $16,000 claimer that’s drawn a field of 12. Some bigger tickets may punch the “ALL” button here, as this has all the makings of a race that could go to a huge longshot.
My top pick isn’t a bomb, but 5-1 on the morning line is pretty attractive. I’m referring to Fat Daddy, who turned the corner last time out when romping by more than five lengths. That was against a much weaker field, but his race three back (the only other time he ran on a fast dirt track) was okay, and this will be his first start for Mike Maker. A repeat of his last race will make him tough to beat.
I’ll also use Blabimir and Caniform, who figure to be the top two betting choices. Blabimir drops way down in class after shipping in from California, while Caniform has improved with every start and should be rolling late.
Race #6: 5,6
This is the Bashford Manor for 2-year-olds, and this seems like a two-horse race between Copper Bullet and Ten City. I’m using them both. Both were runaway maiden winners when last seen, and I love the outside draws that both get in this spot.
Race #7: 2,4,9,10,11,12
I thought this was the most wide-open race in the sequence. It’s a maiden race going long on the turf, and there are some appealing prices in here.
There doesn’t appear to be much early speed signed on, and as such, 10-1 shot Sharm El Sheikh is my top pick. He’s a consistent sort whose lone bad race came at five furlongs, and this route should be to his liking. His trainer has had a strong meet, and I hope we get a price on him on Friday night.
With that in mind, I’m far from in love with any of these horses. This is another potential “ALL” spot for bigger tickets, and if you have the bankroll to go that route, that may not be a bad idea.
Race #8: 1,6,9,11
This is the Debutante for 2-year-old fillies. Contrary to its counterpart (the Bashford Manor), this race drew a huge field, and it presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.
Sunny Skies is probably the best horse in here, especially adding Lasix at second asking. However, there are some other very strong 2-year-old fillies in here. She’s a Julie thumped a next-out winner in her debut, Amberspatriot just missed in stakes company last month, and Lady O’Toole overcame plenty of trouble to win going away in her unveiling.
Race #9: 7
Race #10: 4
Yep, I’m ending my ticket with back-to-back singles. My best bet of the sequence is the first one, which is Drop Dead Red in the ninth. On paper, she appears to be the lone true early speed horse in the field. She loves this surface, romped by nearly 10 lengths last time out, and while this is a step up in class, it’s not like this is a tremendous allowance race.
The payoff leg is the Kelly’s Landing, a seven-furlong stakes race. I opted to single Limousine Liberal, who has won two in a row (largely against better competition). If you’re playing a bigger ticket, you may also want to use The Player, who appears to be ready to run off a long layoff. That one’s best is pretty good, but I’ll bank on a sprinter that appears to be in career form.
144 Bets, $28.80