Horses to play in Pick 6 carryovers at Fair Grounds, Santa Anita

February 5th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares horses to play in Sunday carryovers at Fair Grounds and Santa Anita, including a live longshot in Santa Anita’s mandatory-payout $391,631 Rainbow Pick 6 jackpot.

Fair Grounds, Race 3: $902 Pick 6 carryover (3:15 p.m. ET)

The Sunday card at Fair Grounds brings a $902 non-jackpot carryover in the $1 Pick 6.

A competitive sequence is on tap, but there’s a single possibility right off the bat in Race 3, a 5 1/2-furlong dirt allowance for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares. Only seven horses have been entered, and #2 Maestria (7-5) looks like a standout.

Maestria has lots of early speed and ran second over this track, distance, and class level on Dec. 26, beaten only by next-out allowance optional claiming winner Basalt Street. That effort marked Maestria’s first start since being claimed by trainer Chris Hartman, and her reward was a sharp 81 Brisnet Speed rating.

Hartman wins at a 36% rate with horses running for the second time following a claim, so we can expect Maestria to deliver a similarly strong try in her second start for Hartman. If Maestria breaks sharply and assumes her typical pacesetting position, she’ll be tough to run down in the homestretch.

Santa Anita, Race 4: $391,631 Pick 6 mandatory payout (5:04 p.m. ET)

Get ready, horseplayers. Sunday at Santa Anita features the mandatory payout of a $391,631 Rainbow Pick 6 jackpot.

One of the most interesting legs of the 20-cent wager is Race 7, the Palos Verdes (G3) for older horses sprinting six furlongs on dirt. The half-dozen entrants include Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) winner #3 Howbeit (2-1) and the speedy allowance competitor #2 Hopkins (5-2).

But #1 Straight No Chaser (5-1) is an appealing midrange longshot. The lightly raced four-year-old has only run twice on dirt, wiring a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita before finishing seventh in the Malibu (G1) over the same track.

Straight No Chaser’s Malibu effort was better than it appears at first glance. After tracking a stiff pace, Straight No Chaser was thoroughly in contention passing the eighth pole, racing just half a length behind eventual winner and three-time Grade 1 hero Taiba. The fact he tired late against that caliber of competition can be forgiven.

Cutting back to six furlongs and squaring off against easier competition should suit Straight No Chaser just fine. The 100 Brisnet Speed rating he earned in his allowance win is fast enough to challenge on Sunday, so Straight No Chaser is a live longshot well worth supporting. If he wins as the fourth choice in a small field, that will add value to the Pick 6 sequence.

Good luck!