Aqueduct: A single for the $33,630 Pick 6 carryover

September 16th, 2023

The Saturday card at Aqueduct (branded as “Belmont at the Big A”) just got more interesting. The $1 Pick 6 has tossed up an enticing $33,630 non-jackpot carryover.

The Pick 6 gets underway at 3:10 p.m. ET and spans Races 5-10. The sequence contains 56 horses (averaging just over 9.3 per race) and 609,840 possible outcomes before scratches.

The feature event on the card is the $350,000 Jockey Club Oaks (G3), 1 3/8-mile grass contest for three-year-old fillies. With seven horses in the entries, the Jockey Club Oaks has the smallest field in the Pick 6 sequence, making it an ideal spot to seek a single.

The North American fillies aren’t the toughest group on paper, so we’ll throw our support behind the lone European raider, #6 Eternal Hope (1-1). The Godolphin homebred is trained by Charlie Appleby, whose excellent 15-4-4-3 (27%) record at Belmont Park since 2021 includes a couple of Grade 1 wins.

Eternal Hope started her career competing on synthetic tracks, finishing third in her debut before posting back-to-back victories. She was particularly sharp in the 1 1/2-mile Oaks Trial Fillies’ S. racing 1 1/2 miles at Lingfield, scoring by 1 3/4 lengths.

Eternal Hope misfired when switching to turf and stepping up sharply in class for the 1 1/2-mile Oaks (G1) at Epsom, finishing a distant seventh. But she bounced back in the 1 1/4-mile Prix Alec Head (G2) at Deauville, coming home third by 1 1/2 lengths against Prix Saint-Alary (G1) winner Jannah Rose and next-out Blandford (G2) winner Lumiere Rock.

That competitive finish against a strong field stamps Eternal Hope as a standout favorite in the Jockey Club Oaks. Racing 1 3/8 miles should suit the chestnut filly just fine, and European jockey Jamie Spencer (a nine-time Grade 1 winner in North America) is named to ride, so all signs suggest Eternal Hope is a reliable Pick 6 single.

Need another single? He might not be quite as trustworthy as Eternal Hope, but #1A Durante (5-2) in Race 8 is a possibility. The event in question is a $62,500 allowance optional claimer taking place over 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt, and Durante looks formidable after dominating his last three dirt sprints by daylight margins.

Durante was especially strong in a six-furlong allowance at Saratoga last time out, leading all the way to win by 4 1/4 lengths with a career-best 99 Brisnet Speed rating. Under hot jockey Manny Franco (5-for-13, 38% to start the Aqueduct meet), Durante appears poised to keep his win streak going.

Good luck!