I know a lot of people are crazy about Pick 6 carryovers, and I understand that. Large pots, large payouts, but they're just not for me. The $2 minimum and the number of possible combinations make them just too expensive for my taste. Pick 4s and Pick 5s, however, are much more up my alley. Most are 0.50-cent minimum, which is a much more 'affordable' amount and if you can find a single or two, you're in a decent spot. Granted, most of the time Pick 4s and Pick 5s will leave you frustrated - after all, picking 4 or 5 straight winners is still a trek through a dark forest, but for me it gives me at least a fighting chance.
Saturday's Keeneland Pick 5 has a carryover of $65,011. This comes on the heels of a Friday sequence where winners paid $16.80, $25.20, $15.60, $12.40 and $52.60. Many folks will look to the $230,220 Pick 6 carryover at Santa Anita, but my eyes are on this quintet. Here's what I'm thinking -
Race 6 - Alw60000n2x - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
A pretty difficult to start the sequence, the turf sprint drew a field of 11, which includes a Wayne Rice-entry that you can probably bypass immediately. Interesting that three of these exit the same similarly conditioned race at Kentucky Downs on September 25, where Limerick Lady (2nd), Gator Zone (3rd) and Crookedpathtoglory (4th) were separated by about a half-length at the wire. They all checked in behind Wesley Ward's Shrinking Violet that day, so no shame there. Of those ones, Gator Zone and Crookedpathtoglory appear the most likely to run forwardly here. Gator Zone was making her first start since March there, and my only concern with her is that the 5 1/2-furlong distance may be a bit shorter than her best. Crookedpathtoglory made up a lot of ground last time and passed her turf debut with flying colors.
#8 Gator Zone
Race7 - Mdn56k - 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
This is the type of race where you wish you could check the Tote prior to playing in the P5, but the only extra 'hint' you'll get are the Daily Double probable will pays for the prior race. Easy Chair is a Todd Pletcher homebred firster for Blue Heaven Farm, and generally "Pletcher" and "firster" are an algebraic equation that often ends in the winner's circle. However, Pletcher firsters are a lot like Baffert firsters - when they take money, they're the goods. If not...look out because they may well be dropping anchor. The betting often lets you know how good - or not so good - they are. My issue with this race is simple...if not Easy Chair, then who? The other first time starters - Lady Marian (George Weaver; 9%), Auriferous (Seth Benzel; 4%), Party Now (Shug McGaughey; 6%) and Poppy's Dream (Ken McPeek; 7%) - all debut for barns that door poorly with firsters. Of the 7 who have started, they're a combined 13-0-0-0. Graham Motion's Lemon de Oro adds Lasix, as does Carl Nafzger's Tiz Windy, but both are a stretch off early form. Darrin Miller hits with 30% of his second-time starters, and Altagracia had a tough trip last time, but nobody that has started has shown much of anything.
#12 Easy Chair
Race 8 - Alw58000n1x - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
Another race of unknowns, as none of the 9 entrants has ever won at this 12-furlong distance. Global Express is 2/1 on the morning line, but nothing on the resume jumps off to make him a horse you need to single. Maybe he ends up on the ticket, but not with any level of confidence. River Lemon may be on some tickets, but anytime a horse has run 2nd or 3rd 14 times to just 2 wins, he's not for me. One Golden Road starts for Maker/Flores and is probably the likeliest winner here. Claimed at Saratoga for $35K, he has moved forward in two tries for Maker, and I'm just too concerned that he has never won on the lawn to bank on him. He obviously likes the surface, but his lone win came in an off-the-turf event at Calder. Paroled always seems to be running on just a bit too late, and again, he's 1-for-19 with 8 2nds/3rds, so he's another that just seems to seems to settle. I don't mind giving him a try at 12f, though. #2 Happy Fella upset a race at Saratoga at 28/1 and has been in decent form.
#2 Happy Fella
#4 One Golden Road
#8 Global Express
Race 9 - Lexus Raven Run Stakes - 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
Probably the deepest race on the card, I wouldn't talk anyone off most of these. Much more about quality than quantity, the majority of these have already run races that could win this. I am taking a stand against Lighthouse Bay. I dislike betting horses first-time-synthetic and a win by her will likely be to my detriment. Ciao Bella Luna won the Beaumont here, but she had a lot going for her then - Rosario was up, she had a recent start and the race kind of fell into her lap. This time will be interesting. She has been off since June, makes her first start for Wayne Catalano (more than capable, mind you), and Ricardo Santana is up. Probably don't want to dismiss her with that synthetic form, but I hate the price. I love Silsita, especially in getting back onto synthetics. She won the Bourbonette Oaks over the useful duo of Marathon Lady and Pure Fun, and she's a hard trier. Primed for Passion may be a step below, but she held her own against older at Presque Isle all summer and is 4-for-6 on synthetics.
#5 Lighthouse Bay
#9 Ciao Bella Luna
#12 Primed for Passion
Race 10 - Mdn56k - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Not a fun 'out' race, especially if also-eligible March Reward doesn't get in. If he does, he's as good as a single, but he'll need defections in order to start. The other AE, - P T L George - would be useful on the ticket as well. Assuming they're out, though, this is wide-open. I like Civility Pledge at a price. He's often on the sidelines, but if he's ready in his first try since January, he's potentially the best of these. Mt Tronador improved markedly in his first start with the new barn, and Mutasaawy adds Lasix for Dan Pietz. Cosmic Karma finally gets on the lawn for Jonathan Sheppard and looms dangerous off some strong synthetic tries at Presque.
#8 Civility Pledge
#11 Mt Tronador
- or -
#14 March Reward
Ticket: 8, 10 / 12 / 2, 4, 6, 8 / 4, 5, 9, 12 / 8, 9, 11 = $48