Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010

A very attractive Pick-6 carryover pool of $126,946 awaits handicappers on Wednesday and after passing the first two races on the program – races that offer little value or interest – we’ll dive in and see if we can construct a playable ticket that makes economic sense to the modest player.

The first leg of the Pick-6 – the third race – is a highly competitive, difficult downhill turf dash that may require a spread to insure survival. We’ll go three deep and pray, using #3 Get Funky, #5 Liberian Freighter, and #8 Shadow of Illinois, with preference to Get Funky. The veteran turf sprinting specialist, freshened since November, has enjoyed good success over this course in the past and should fire a big shot after his brief vacation. The works are solid and his back class should carry him through. Liberian Freighter launches a comeback for Drysdale and his healthy work tab indicates he’s fairly fit, so he rates a real look off his best form, while Shadow of Illinois disappointed here New Year’s Day but he’s too much race horse – even at age 10 – to ignore.

We’ll double the fourth race, a modest claiming sprint for fillies and mares, using #1 Ultra Awesome and #2 Sky Marni. Ultra Awesome takes a one level class drop while retaining Bejarano and has a big look off her best effort. The pace scenario in this extended sprint should be fairly comfortable for her and she figures to be in an ideal pace stalking position throughout. Sky Marni is back where she belongs after chasing much tougher last month and this late-running sprinter figures to be the most dangerous of the come-from-behinders.

The fifth race for older maidens on the main track should be an ideal spot for #9 Juliano to earn his diploma. Exiting a very fast and productive heat, the Jenine Sahadi-trained gelding seems sure to be fitter and tougher today and any kind of forward move should land him in the winner’s circle. He’s a nice 7/2 on the morning line and will be a rolling exotic single – and not necessarily an obvious one – on all of our tickets.

The sixth race, a restricted low level claiming sprint for fillies and mares, looks like another one of those spread race, but we’ll try to get by using just three. #5 Soldier Betty was beaten a nose in a similar race last month and this late-runner gets a tad more ground to work with today. #6 Saint Cindy, first off the claim for Carava (23% with a flat-bet profit), likely is better than her last shows. She’s a “blinkers off” play, always a good angle. #8 First Queen is a class dropper in Kathy Walsh’s barn and switches to Rosario. She’s won on this track in the past and could be dangerous from off the pace.

Trainer Bob Baffert appears to have the seventh race surrounded with two main contenders, #2 Indian Firewater and #4 The Program and since either one can win we’ll use them both. Indian Firewater stretches out for the first time after exiting a series of pretty strong sprints and while most of the Indian Charlie runners want to sprint, this colt has the style that should allow him to stay a middle distance. The Program missed as the choice in a s similar first level allowance race last month but has improving numbers, proven form around two turns, and a prior win over the Pro Ride surface.

The finale is a maiden claiming router for 3-year-olds and the best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. The three main contenders as we see it are #2 My Last Tycoon, #5 Quietly Waiting, and #6 Veecu with preference to the latter. My Last Tycoon had a mild late bid after a rugged start vs. much tougher straight maiden types in his recent debut and seems sure to improve in this considerably softer spot. He should enjoy the two-turns as well. Quietly Waiting, an okay third vs. slightly stronger maiden claimers last month, seems to be on the right track now for Steve Knapp and should be in the thick of things late. Veecu has been a money burner of late – he was beaten as the choice in his last two starts – but he has improving numbers, retains Solis, and looks capable of producing the last run.