Fair Grounds: A single for the Risen Star day $3,196 Pick 6 carryover

February 17th, 2024

A non-jackpot $3,196 carryover in the $1 Pick 6 adds betting value to an already fantastic Saturday of racing at Fair Grounds.

The 14-race card includes six stakes races highlighted by the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) and $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2), which respectively serve as steppingstones to the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1). Five of the six stakes are included within the Pick 6 sequence.

The stakes have drawn competitive fields, and assembling a winning Pick 6 ticket won’t be easy. Before scratches, the six races feature 63 horses (averaging 10.5 per race) and 1,179,360 possible outcomes.

The good news is, the one non-stakes race in the Pick 6 offers a viable single to build tickets around. The event in question is Race 9 (post time 4:52 p.m. ET), a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight that serves as the opening leg of the Pick 6. A field of 10 lightly raced three-year-olds has entered, and morning line favorite #10 Cornishman (3-1) looks downright formidable.

Cornishman debuted in a six-furlong maiden special weight on Jan. 20 at Fair Grounds, and after bumping at the break he came away in last place, 8 1/2 lengths behind modest early fractions of :22.40 and :46.31. But Cornishman never gave up, launching a wide rally around the turn and down the homestretch to finish second. He gained three lengths through the final furlong alone and was beaten only one length by Bee Dancer, who is entered in the Risen Star.

Cornishman ran his final furlong in approximately :12.00, a strong fraction that suggests he’ll shine while stretching out over 1 1/16 miles. That’s backed up by his pedigree: Cornishman is a son of two-time Horse of the Year and elite sire Curlin out of Penwith, a daughter of Preakness (G1) winner and champion three-year-old Bernardini. Penwith was stout enough to place in the 1 1/4-mile Delaware H. (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Beldame (G1), so any way you slice it Cornishman is bred to thrive running long.

Sealing the deal are the strong jockey and trainer states in Cornishman’s corner. The Godolphin homebred is conditioned by high-percentage trainer Brad Cox, a 29% winner with horses running long for the first time and a 28% winner with second-time starters. And Cornishman is slated to be ridden by Florent Geroux, a 27% winner at Fair Grounds this meet and a 34% winner teaming up with Cox over the last two months.

Assuming Cornishman breaks cleanly on Saturday, he can secure a position much closer to the early lead. From there, the abundant stamina in his pedigree can win the day down the long Fair Grounds homestretch.

Good luck!