Analyzing Pick 6 carryovers at Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Fair Grounds

December 2nd, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares horses to play in a trio of Pick 6 carryovers at Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, and Gulfstream Park.

Aqueduct, Race 5: $35,165 Pick 6 carryover (1:48 p.m. ET)

Saturday’s card at Aqueduct is packed with graded stakes—four, to be exact. And they’re all part of an enticing $1 Pick 6 featuring a $35,165 carryover.

The sequence is challenging and finding a trustworthy single looks tricky, but a slightly creative possibility exists in Race 10, the Cigar Mile H. (G2) taking place over one mile on dirt. With a dozen horses in the entries, trusting a single might seem risky, but slim morning line favorite #3 Senor Buscador (7-2) has a lot in his favor.

For starters, Senor Buscador is a deep closer in a race packed with speed, so he figures to receive a favorable pace setup. For another, he’s coming out of a tough race, exiting a seventh-place finish (beaten only 5 1/4 lengths) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). He consistently throws down triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings, and now he’s cutting back to a one-turn mile, a favorable configuration since Senor Buscador is 2-for-3 racing one mile and 3-for-4 racing around one turn.

Cutting back from two turns to one turn can, at times, make all the difference for deep closers like Senor Buscador. The fact he breezed a bullet five furlongs over the Belmont Park training track last Saturday cements the son of Mineshaft as a compelling and nice-priced Pick 6 single.

Gulfstream Park, Race 6: $91,522 Pick 6 mandatory payout (2:35 p.m. ET)

The $91,522 carryover in the 20-cent Rainbow Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park is slated for a mandatory payout on Saturday.

One of the most interesting Pick 6 legs to analyze is Race 9, a $100,000 handicap taking place over 1 1/16 miles on Tapeta. At first glance, #9 Me and Mr. C (5-2) seems like a possible single. He owns a sharp series of Brisnet Speed ratings, has won three stakes this year, and boasts a 3-2-1-0 record over the Gulfstream Tapeta.

But Me and Mr. C has done his finest work on turf. His career-best Brisnet Speed rating on Tapeta is only a 90, which is lower than the 92 #2 Volcanic (9-2) threw down when smashing a $62,500 allowance optional claimer over the Gulfstream Tapeta last time out.

Volcanic has gone 6-5-1-0 over the Gulfstream Tapeta and has won four of his last five starts. He has lots of early speed, and since Saturday’s field contains little else in the way of pace on paper, there’s a good chance Volcanic will shake loose on an uncontested lead. If he does, he’ll be tough for the stretch-running Me and Mr. C to run down.

Fair Grounds, Race 6: $1,558 Pick 6 carryover (4:15 p.m. ET)

The Saturday card at Fair Grounds features a bevy of competitive Claiming Crown races plus a $1,558 carryover in the $1 Pick 6.

After analyzing the entries, we’ve identified a live longshot worth using in Race 11, a six-furlong allowance for Louisiana-breds who have never won two races. The six-furlong dirt sprint has drawn 12 horses, 11 of which are exiting races in Louisiana.

The lone exception is #10 Hi Yah (12-1), a three-year-old gelding who spent most of the summer competing at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. He placed a couple times against allowance competition on dirt and turf, earning Brisnet Speed ratings of 80 and 77 that stack up well against Saturday’s field.

Hi Yah was a 10-1 longshot when he tackled a $20,000 claimer sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland last month, but he outran expectations to track a hot pace over a sloppy track and finish third. Hi Yah brings strong Brisnet E1 and E2 Pace ratings to Fair Grounds and figures to achieve a favorable forwardly placed position in his first start against Louisiana-breds.

In short, what’s not to like? Hi Yah is a viable win contender at enticing odds in the Pick 6 finale.

Good luck!