Mandatory Pick 6 Payout at Churchill Downs on Sept. 28, 2019

Churchill Downs’ 20-cent Pick 6 with a 15% takeout will have a mandatory payout on Saturday, Sept. 28, and the challenging sequence concludes with a trio of stakes in which the morning line favorites in all three look opposable.

Ack Ack Stakes

The Ack Ack at a one-turn mile is the first stakes (and first leg of the late Pick 5) but fourth leg of the Pick 6. #4 Thirstforlife is the 3-to-1 morning line favorite and a vulnerable one at that. Obviously the last can be forgiven considering he lost the rider, but bottom line is he is only as fast as anyone else in the race.

#8 Timeline returns from a nearly 10-month layoff and looks dangerous first time for trainer Steve Asmussen if ready. #5 Mr Darcy is 10-to-1 morning line and likely worth that price off a 102 Brisnet Speed Rating going 6 furlongs last out, and he has a pair of wins at this one-mile distance. #6 Mr. Jagermeister is the speed of the field and riding a 3-race win streak among 6 wins in his last 8 starts. Mr Freeze prepped for this against Mr Darcy and couldn’t hold off that foe in his first start in 7 months but could benefit from the stretch out here. #3 C Z Rocket is another exiting a race with Mr Darcy and like Mr Freeze could improve second off the layoff.

USING: 3, 5, 6, 7, 8; VULNERABLE FAVORITE: 4

Jefferson Cup Stakes

The Jefferson Cup is the penultimate leg of the Pick 6 and kicks off the late Pick 4. #6 Tracksmith is the 3-to-1 morning line favorite and another who has not shown enough talent relative to the field to merit backing at a short price. Interestingly enough, #5 Faraway Kitten—2nd choice on the morning line at 7-to-2—is even slower and thus worse value than the favorite.

Unfortunately, going for deeper prices just yields more questions than answers. #1 Scars Are Cool was fastest last out, but that was in getting drilled in the Travers, and this is his turf debut. #2 Spectacular Gem was disqualified after winning a mile stakes gate-to-wire last out, and 9 furlongs appears a reach even as he could be lone speed under James Graham. #3 Corruze was the put-up winner in the aforementioned Spectacular Gem race and retained Lanerie. #4 Mick’s Star has never been fast enough but has shown speed and keeps jockey Florent Geroux, who does have some pedigree (Point of Entry-Medaglia d’Oro) to work with. #7 Rijeka could enjoy the stretchout and is the logical closer here at a nice price (10-to-1 morning line). #8 Clint Maroon raced well in lone 9-furlong start, which could bode well for his stalk-and-pounce style.

USING: 1, 3, 4, 7, 8; VULNERABLE FAVORITES 4, 5

Lukas Classic Stakes

For the Lukas Classic—aka the payoff leg of the Single 6—I’m going with the opinion that the West Virginia Governor’s Cup is a key race. The third-place finisher has already returned to win a big-money stakes (albeit on turf), and that bodes well for the gaudy 104 Speed Rating earned by winner Silver Dust (runner-up Kulkulkan received a 103). With #7 Pioneer Spirit and #4 Quip in the race, both Mountaineer horses should get to run their races.

Speaking of Quip, he is the 5-to-2 morning line favorite, and like the other favorites we have discussed he is only as fast as the other contenders in this field at best. Complement that with him taking a step backward last out, and he is not even usable here as the likely shortest price.

We will use the other 3 horses we have mentioned along with #10 Mocito Rojo, who won another Governor Cup last out—the one at Remington Park.

USING: , 7, 8, 9, 10; VULNERABLE FAVORITES: 4, 6

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