Fair Grounds: Longshots for the $18,862 Pick 6 carryover

January 20th, 2024

Saturday’s stakes-packed card at Fair Grounds just got even better. After going unsolved for multiple days in a row, the $1 Pick 6 has accumulated a non-jackpot carryover worth $18,862.

A competitive sequence is on the agenda. The Pick 6 spans Race 8 (post time 4:30 p.m. ET) through Race 13, encompassing 57 horses (averaging 9.5 per race) and 580,608 possible outcomes before scratches.

Live longshots abound throughout the sequence, and we’ve identified two in particular that you won’t want to leave off your Pick 6 tickets:

Race 8: #6 Bee Dancer (12-1)

This six-furlong maiden special weight for three-year-olds is packed with promising first-time starters, and that includes Bee Dancer.

Bee Dancer is a son of Metropolitan H. (G1) winner Bee Jersey, who is siring 20% winners from first-time starters. Even better, Bee Dancer is trained by Dallas Stewart, who has gone 4-for-12 (33%) debuting three-year-olds at Fair Grounds since 2022. Stewart has been especially sharp with such runners since 2023, going 3-for-7 (43%).

These stats suggest Bee Dancer has a strong chance to factor on debut, and that’s backed up by his morning workouts. He’s put together a solid work tab culminating with five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Fair Grounds. Under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (a 31% winner teaming up with Stewart over the last two months), Bee Dancer is a logical choice to exceed expectations and vie for victory at enticing odds.

Race 13: #4 Can Group (6-1)

The feature event of the day is the Lecomte (G3), a Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier taking place over 1 1/16 miles. At first glance, it’s a rematch between #7 Track Phantom (9-5) and #2 Nash (5-2), the 1-3 finishers from last month’s Gun Runner S. over this track and distance. Of the pair, we narrowly prefer Track Phantom, who won the Gun Runner despite engaging in a hot speed duel.

But we also want to include Can Group. The Mark Casse trainee showed strong form on turf last year, defeating stakes winners Noted and No Vote in the Bourbon (G2) before finishing fourth by two lengths against international rivals in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

However, Can Group has the potential to shine while switching to dirt. His pedigree is reasonably dirt-oriented, and he finished third in a pair of maiden special weight sprints on dirt to start his career. In one of those contests, Can Group finished behind Timberlake and West Saratoga, who went on to win the Champagne (G1) and Iroquois (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Can Group seems likely to get overlooked in the betting, so if he closes out the Pick 6 with a Lecomte upset, we’ll have every chance to catch a nice payoff.

Good luck!