Sunday’s mandatory payout in the Empire Pick 6 at Saratoga promises to be lucrative. The carryover pool has been nearing $1.5 million and if there is no single winner Saturday, an additional $5+ million in handle is expected. Horse players will be chasing a large pot in races 5-10.

Race 5

Will use a pair to kick off the 20-cent wager. #6 Bastet exits a fine showing over 7 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park and her speed may prove advantageous in this 1 1/16-mile turf maiden. She looks ready to graduate for Bill Mott in the third start.  #4 Lady Rosalie ran well over the course and distance last summer. The 4-year-old filly should improve upon her comebacker last out, and trainer Brittany Russell has a winner this meet.

Race 6

Front-running #2 Timely Tradition steps up in class in good form and will take some beating for the hot connections of Raymond Handal/Joel Rosario. #9 Pop a Choc can’t be dismissed following a fast maiden win at Belmont Park, and #5 Secondary Market fits well here if ready to go off the layoff for Chad Brown.

Race 7

#10 Summer Violence is bred to relish the switch to turf and catches a field lacking pace. She looks capable of leading all the way with Irad Ortiz. #5 Mo Me Mo My should appreciate the class relief and gives Doug O’Neill a viable shot for his first win of the meet.

Race 8

Tough for me to eliminate many in this 1 1/8-mile entry-level turf allowance. Probable favorite #5 Mr Jaggers brings improving form to the equation for Mott, and I also will use #1 Venezuelan Hug, #2 Our Country, #3 Shamrocket, #7 Buy Me Candy, and #8 City Man.

Race 9 — Alydar S.

#1 Endorsed has shown an affinity for Saratoga, and the 4-year-old opened 2020 with a pair of classy performances before finding the competition too tough in the Met Mile (G1) last out. He still has plenty of upside for Mott, and I expect to see him rebound with a strong showing here. Single.

Race 10

James Bond is winning at a 30% clip this meet (6-for-20) and has #8 Brunate well-spotted in this weak race with Tyler Gaffalione. #9 Pier Forty switches back to dirt and takes a steep class drop in his second start for Steve Asmussen. #1 Imperio D and #2 Always Funny could both run well on the front end.

20-cent Empire 6 ticket

  • 4,6 with 2,5,9 with 5,10 with 1,2,3,5,7,8 with 1 with 1,2,8,9 = $57.60