Pick 6 carryovers: $50,727 at Turfway, $5,814 at Fair Grounds

March 2nd, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson analyzes a pair of Saturday Pick 6 carryovers at Fair Grounds and Turfway Park, including a $50,727 prize pool scheduled for mandatory dispersal.

Fair Grounds, Race 5: $5,814 Pick 6 carryover (4:06 p.m. ET)

Handicapping the three turf stakes contained within Saturday’s $5,814 Pick 6 carryover at Fair Grounds could be tricky. Fair Grounds was off the turf on Friday, and there’s potential for more rain on Saturday, so there’s a chance the turf stakes will be switched to the main track.

The Pick 6 gets underway with Race 5, the Red Camela S. for older Louisiana-bred fillies and mares racing about one mile on turf. Assuming it stays on grass, we’ll be keen to support #7 Highly Wicked (7-2), whose 2-for-2 record on turf includes a gate-to-wire win in a $20,000 allowance optional claimer at Fair Grounds. If, however, the race switches to dirt, we’ll fall back on #2 Speedy Dudette (6-1) and #6 A G’s Charlotte (5-2), who traded wins while finishing 1-2 in a pair of recent $35,000 allowance optional claimers over the Fair Grounds main track.

Speedy Dudette in particular could be dangerous since the Fair Grounds main track played kindly toward inside runners on Friday, and as a speed horse with an inside post, she figures to secure a ground-saving trip.

Race 7 is the Edward J. Johnston Memorial S. for older Louisiana-breds racing about one mile on turf. One horse who figures to perform well regardless of whether the race stays on turf or switches to dirt is #2 Behemah Star. He’s spent most of his career competing on dirt and exits a strong runner-up finish in a non-state-restricted $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Fair Grounds. But three starts back, Behemah Star won the Louisiana Champions Day Turf S. over the Fair Grounds lawn, defeating a couple of his main Friday rivals.

The final grass event is Race 9, the Black Gold S. for three-year-olds racing about 1 1/16 miles. If it stays on turf, recent Texas Turf Mile S. winner #10 Neat (3-1) and last year’s Bourbon S. (G2) hero #5 Can Group (4-1) are formidable contenders. But on dirt, we have to respect #3 Bear River (8-1), who finished third in a six-furlong $100,000 allowance optional claimer over the Fair Grounds main track last month. The winner, Doncho, looks like a stakes star in the making, and Bear River figures to work out a ground-saving trip from post 3.

Turfway Park, Race 4: $50,727 Pick 6 mandatory payout (7:25 p.m. ET)

The $50,727 carryover in Turfway’s 20-cent “Single 6” jackpot Pick 6 is slated for mandatory payout on Saturday, adding value to an ultra-competitive sequence of races.

The feature event is Race 6, the John Battaglia Memorial S. for three-year-olds racing 1 1/16 miles on Tapeta. #6 Epic Ride (5-2) is the morning line favorite to win this Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier, and it’s easy to understand why—in last month’s one-mile Leonatus S. at Turfway, he led almost all the way to dominate by four lengths.

But Epic Ride benefited from racing at the front through modest fractions in a six-horse field. Saturday’s full field contains more pace on paper and figures to unfold at a quicker tempo. That could lend an edge to #4 Bolt At Midnight (4-1), who carved out a decent pace when wiring a one-mile maiden special weight at Turfway last month by 4 3/4 lengths. He earned higher Brisnet E1, E2, Late Pace, and Speed ratings than Epic Ride did in the Leonatus, so by any metric Bolt At Midnight is fast enough to challenge for a mild upset.

Good luck!