I just love those Pick Six carryovers, especially in my home town of New York.
Wednesday was a perfect example. A three-day carryover of $160,000 was on the line, And I came this close to hitting the $14,814 payoff on my phone service at (888) 612 2283.
I had four of the six winners on top (Saint Barr $5.40; Sleeping Indian $4.70); Sherine ($4.10), and Queen of Protocol $7.20)...And Bailero ($5.90) was my second choice.
Sleeping Indian, Sherine and Queen of Protocol - the last three winners in the sequence -- combined for a cold $52.50 (for $2) Pick Three.
By way of comparison, none of the 16 public handicappers in the consensus boxes of DRF, New York Daily News and New York Post had more than two of the six winners listed on top.
Here's an example of why the Pick Six is as tough to nail:
Steve Crist, the former racing writer of the New York Times, and currently the publisher of Daily Racing Form, has the reputation of being Mr. Pick Six. That said, he made a $5,000 public play on the Breeders' Cup Pick Six - and didn't hit it.
Back to the present, and that means a pair of wide-open, $150,000 Grade 2 grass stakes coming up Saturday - the Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct, and the Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs.
Here's looking at the two turfers:
RED SMITH HANDICAP
When asked his favorite sport, the late Red Smith, arguably the greatest sports writer of all times, would always give the same answer - horse racing. His reason? Racing had the most and best story lines.
That said, Red would have loved this 48th running of the stake that bears his name. The race originally was named the Edgemere Handicap, and was changed in 1981 to honor the legendary New York Times and New York Herald-Tribune journalist.
Sixteen horses were entered, but only a dozen can start in the Red Smith, the final grass stake on the New York calendar. Only four pounds separate the entire field, a pretty good Indication of how evenly-matched this field is. In fact, selecting the favorite is as difficult as selecting the winner.
Four of the top Red Smith contenders - Tricky Causeway, True Cause, Prince Rahy (who's on the also-eligible list) and Encinas - checked in 1-2-3-5 respectively, only two lengths apart, last month in the Awad Stakes at Belmont Park.
Encinas (#1), A German-bred making his U.S. debut for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, was wide both turns, moves outside to inside, and drops three pounds...and, if you haven't noticed, jockey Garcia has been a bear from the one-hole in recent grass marathons..
Bee Charmer (#3) and Dreadnaught (#2) come off a 2-3 finish in the well-run Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland. Both shed weight, and both get rider changes - the Michael Matz-trained Bee Charmer from Bridgmohan to Lezcano, the Tom Voss-trained Dreadnaught from Albarado to Carabello. Lezcano and Carabello both are booting home winners at a salty 20 per cent clip out of town.
Like Encinas, the Pscal Bary-trained Musketier (#4) is a German-bred, but the gray is making his U.S. debut in the Red Smith. You must respect the owner, Gary Tanaka, and the fact that Musketier has won under as much as 127 pounds abroad. He gets in with 116 here.
There is a lot to like about Golden Strategy (#5). The 4-year-old, purchased for a mere $3,500 as a yearling, has banked $160,000, and has won 11 of 15 starts - the last three wins by an average margin of 11 lengths.
Golden Strategy is trained by the Calder-based Marty Wolfson and is co-owned by Joe Cornacchia, who years back won two Kentucky Derbys - with Strike the Gold and Go for Gin.
Cornacchia's partner on those horses, Bill Condren, passed away on Monday in Boston.
Operation Red Dawn (#6) comes off a fast-closing third for trainer Chris Clement in the Knickerbocker, his first stakes attempt, and his first-ever race at Aqueduct. He has been worse than third only once in 12 starts, and he moves up on soft going, a distinct possibility.
Note that jockey Garcia, given his choice of mounts, took Encinas over this guy, but Operation Red Dawn acquires an able replacement in Channing Hill.
The Mary Hartman-trained Precious Passion (#7) comes off a Grade 3 score on The Meadowlands turf, and is first-time Stewart Elliott.
Tricky Causeway as mentioned beat some of these wiring the Awad at 5-1, but faces more early pressure this time. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens, although he doesn't get the ink, is as good as it gets these days.
True Cause (#9) certainly has the connections - Godolphin, trainer bin Suroor Saeed, and Jockey Velazquez. He saved all the ground closing for second in the Awad. And has been no worse than third in four starts since arriving from Great Britain.
The New York-bred Dave (#10) never runs a bad race, but that's mostly with state-breds. Trainer Barclay Tagg obviously must believe he has a shot.
Crown Point (#11), trained by David Donk, was third to Naughty New Yorker (a New York-bred) in the '06 Red Smith.
Albert Coppola, Crown Point's breeder, will always be known as the owner of Runaway Groom, who knocked off Triple Crown race winners Gato del Sol, Aloma's Ruler and Conquistador Cielo, in the 1982 Travers, precisely a quarter-century back.
Sunshine Kid (#12) makes his American debut for top English trainer John Gosden.
Note that jockey McCauley will head across the river after this race to ride first-starter Travel Premier for the Fair Grounds-based Greg Sacco in race seven at The Meadowlands. Travel Premier is listed on the bottom at 20-1 in DRF.
Trainer Tagg will be at Churchill on Saturday to saddle Bit of Whimsey - a Distorted Humor filly fresh from winning the Grade One Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland - in The Mrs. Revere, which attracted 14 runners.
Bit of Whimsey enjoyed a perfect rail trip from the one-hole at Keeneland. She may not be as fortunate here.
Javier Castellano is down from Long Island for the return call.
Bel Air Beauty, whom you may remember from the '06 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, comes off a blowout victory from the 11-hole in the Grade 3 Valley View Stakes at Keeneland.
Pay to note that Bel Air Beauty will be the last mount for Ron Guidry, a class act who now hopes to move on to a second career in the stewards' stand.
Props TO Guidry for a distinguished riding career - and also props to Mario Pino, who, on Thursday at Laurel Park, became the 15th jockey to reach the 6,000-win milestone.
Rich Migliore, the long-time New Yorker who has made the successful transition to southern California (16 per cent winners), ships from the left coast to ride Gotta Have Her for trainer Jeanne Sahadi, Gotta Have Her, a front-end winner of two of her last three starts, might take some catching at a price.
Another major player is Tensas Yucatan, a Texas-bred who has been kicking butt in Louisiana for trainer Morris Nicks. This filly gets jockey Albarado, the one-hole, and six pounds from Bit of Whimsey.
Wishing you good luck in playing the Aqueduct and Churchill features, and the rest of the racing action this weekend. And don't forget. My picks are available here online (Daily Best Bets Service) at 888 612 2283.
Aqueduct Blockbuster to Explode Saturday November 10th
Bet all you want, win all you bet, collect all you win. Dynamite on four legs! Nitroglycerin on thetrack. That's the kind of reports that I, John Piesen, have been getting about an explosive runner prepping in secret for a race at Aqueduct this Saturday. All secret sources agree: This runner will explode from the gate, show the field his heels, and romp home. I've been doing extremely well at Aqueduct since opening day and just missed hitting the Pick-6 going 5 for 6 last Wednesday… The horse I have in mind Saturday should win easily at a solid payoff and I'm looking forward to having a great day. I'll be releasing this horse plus a second information horse and my top exacta/trifecta of the day. Plus get my top selections for the Mrs. Revere Stakes from Churchill Downs and The Red Smith from Aqueduct.
Win with me at a special introductory price for only $15.00.
Click here or call the office toll-free 1-888-612-2283.
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