Churchill Downs’ closing day Saturday 12-race card will be a great send-off to a great meet, and will be highlighted by a mandatory payout of the entire carryover pool in the Single 6 Jackpot.
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Churchill’s Single 6 Jackpot is a 20-cent denomination wager and, if it survives through Friday, the carryover in excess of $300,000 makes it a must-bet situation this Saturday. Including what figures to be a massive amount of money bet into the pool for the mandatory payout day, the pool should hit the $1 million mark.
Even if you haven’t bet into the pool all season long, Saturday will be a tremendous betting opportunity at carryover money. Plus, at 20-cents a ticket, even small or average players can cover a wide range of combinations for an affordable investment.
Here is one example of a recommended Saturday Single 6 Jackpot ticket at Churchill, worth $76.80. Best of luck!
Several horses have shots to win race 7 – the first leg of the Single 6 sequence – and it just so happens all of them on this ticket are drawn on the far outside. Those posts are not enough of a deterrent to keep the best horses off the ticket. BATTLE OF MEMPHIS (#8) (4-1) looks like the horse to beat based on a solid allowance second here last out with a good BRIS Speed figure. There are, however, three possible upsetters at double-digit odds who also should be on your tickets, including SALVATOR MUNDI (#10) (10-1), who will improve back on the grass in his second race off a layoff. The other double-digit contenders are SPEED GUN (#12) (12-1), who is two-for-two on the turf in his career, and DASHING DAN (#9) (20-1), who makes his sophomore debut in this spot off a break but showed promise on the turf last season after getting the maiden win at Saratoga.
In the Kelly’s Landing overnight stakes at seven furlongs on the main track, go ahead and spread three ways to cover the main contenders. UNCONTESTED (#1) (7-2) drops from the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) last time and won the General George (G3) at Laurel Park as recently as three races ago. Fellow WARRIOR’S CLUB (#8) (5-2) also drops from an unplaced effort in the Churchill Downs Stakes and was second two races ago at Keeneland in the Commonwealth (G3), a race he won in 2018. PETROV (#7) (6-1) has been just missing behind a good opponent here in two recent six-furlong outings, including a runner-up finish in the Aristides Stakes last out.
OM (#12) (2-1), who exits a very good second-place finish behind division-leading monster World of Trouble in the Jaipur (G1) at Belmont Park, is certainly the horse to beat in this 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance, but he’s still not the only serious contender. UNDRAFTED (#2) (7-2) and BATTLE STATION (#4) (8-1) are two very realistic Wesley Ward trainees who are both sitting on second-off-the-layoff improvement. TOTALLY BOSS (#8) (6-1) steps up in company versus these but has reeled off nice-looking back-to-back turf sprint wins, including a course and distance victory here last out.
If you are trying to put together an economical ticket for smaller and mid-range players, you need to look for a single somewhere in the sequence, and this race presents itself as the best possible single of the six races with MAGIC DANCE (#7) (8-5) for trainer Steve Asmussen. The filly crushed maidens at first asking and earned a far superior BRIS Speed figure in the process. She should take care of business versus these with a similar effort. When there is a giant carryover like there is on Saturday, it’s more about simply surviving than it is about fishing out big prices in any given race.
The penultimate leg of Saturday’s Single 6 Jackpot mandatory payout sequence is the Bashford Manor (G3) at six furlongs on the main track. The horse to beat is PHANTOM BOSS (#1) (9-5), who has been impressive in two starts so far at Santa Anita, including a career debut second behind eventual stakes winner Fore Left, followed by the maiden win, which was another impressive outing to finish easily ahead of next-out winner Pas de Panique. Tough to see him getting beat, but if he does it will probably be by ROWDY YATES (#10) (7-2), a Steve Asmussen first-out winner last time who was geared down in the stretch. There’s no telling how good it could be.
If you are fortunate enough to still be alive into the final leg of the Single 6 Jackpot, you should plan on covering a lot of horses in the finale. Four horses should do it starting with ALFONS WALDE (#5) (4-1), who stalked the pace and held on well for second last out in a 10-horse field at 1 1/8 miles. He tired late in the race so the one-mile distance of this contest should be just perfect. If not, ICON (#9) (8-1) looks like a live Steve Asmussen first starter by Tapit with some good workouts. BIG BEAUTIFUL WALL (#11) (9-2) has established turf form that makes him a legit contender. Finally, ZIP YOUR LIP (#4) (6-1) is an x-factor in the race who stretches out and tries turf for the second time after appearing to handle this surface in a turf sprint. He’s shown enough to date where you’d kick yourself if he won and you didn’t have him on your ticket.
The SINGLE 6 JACKPOT ticket ($76.80) for Saturday, June 29:
8, 9, 10, 12 / 1, 7, 8 / 2, 4, 8, 12 / 7 / 1, 10 / 4, 5, 9, 11
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PHOTO: Churchill Downs (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs