Keeneland carryovers: $135,128 Pick 6, $10,145 Super High 5
Pick 6 carryovers have been common at Keeneland this spring, and there’s another up for grabs on Sunday. The prize pool for the $1 wager stands at a hefty $135,128.
On paper, it’s not the toughest Pick 6 sequence to analyze. Three of the six races contain between five and seven entries. One you exclude also-eligible entrants from consideration, the sequence features a maximum of 302,400 possible outcomes, a reasonable number for a Pick 6.
Ironically, one of the trickiest Pick 6 legs to analyze is Race 8, which features only five entries. The race in question is an allowance for three-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs on dirt, and two of them—#5 Scotland (3-5) and #2 King’s Glory (8-5)—appear to rank a cut above the rest. Bettors with big budgets might include both and call it a day, but those with more limited means will surely eye Race 8 as an opportunity to cut costs by singling one or the other.
The credentials of King’s Glory are appealing. Fourth in his debut at Saratoga last summer behind expected Kentucky Derby (G1) starter Verifying, King’s Glory recently returned from a long layoff to wire a six-furlong maiden special weight at Fair Grounds. King’s Glory set a fast pace in his return and still won easing up by 1 3/4 lengths.
But Scotland is also a formidable contender. The chestnut gelding debuted in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park and overcame a slow start to rally and win by a head. Both the runner-up (Let It Ride) and fourth-place finisher (Sweet Cherry Pie) returned to win next time out, with the latter scoring his victory against older rivals.
On the Brisnet Speed rating scale, Scotland is the faster horse, having posted a 94 in his debut versus the 91 King’s Glory earned in his maiden win. The fact Scotland is trained by Bill Mott (a 20% winner with last-out maiden winners) adds to the appeal.
Scotland is a compelling single candidate, but we’re going to take the opposite approach and favor King’s Glory. In a race containing very little pace on paper, King’s Glory appears to hold a significant tactical advantage. If he escapes on an uncontested lead through modest fractions, he may prove impossible to catch down the homestretch.
We should also mention that there’s a $10,145 Super High 5 carryover up for grabs in Race 9 at Keeneland, the final race of the afternoon. If you want to play the $1 wager, you’ll have to decipher a maiden special weight for three-year-old fillies racing one mile on turf.
There aren’t any standouts in the field, but #6 Summertime Rose (6-1) might be a nice-priced contender worth building tickets around. She rallied to finish fourth in a one-mile maiden special weight over the Turfway Park Tapeta track last month and is eligible to improve while switching to turf and picking up four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz, a 29% winner on grass this year.