Los Alamitos: Horses to bet (or pit) in $19,786 Pick 6 carry

Once upon a time, $2 Pick 6 bets with no jackpot were common across the country. They have largely been replaced by cheaper $1 bets and inexpensive jackpot bets, but Los Alamitos is a holdout, offering a traditional $2 Pick 6.

A $2 Pick 6 is expensive to play, but Saturday’s Thoroughbred card streak at Los Alamitos looks enticing thanks to a $19,786 carry. If we can find a worthwhile build ticket or two, the Los Alamitos Pick 6 could become both affordable and lucrative.

The streak kicks off in Race 4 at 6:37 p.m. ET. A quick look at the morning line odds for all six races might suggest #6 Self-isolation (4-5) in Race 6 as the only possible candidate. Square Eddie’s daughter goes from a stake to an optional $20,000 stipend claimant that runs for a mile on the dirt, but there’s a catch: self-isolation is 0 for 4 on the dirt, and his three highest Brisnet speed ratings were earned on grass. It is not necessarily unbeatable by changing surface.

A more appropriate unique opportunity might arise in Race 5, a special six furlong first weight. #6 Rhetoric (6-5) hasn’t raced since last August, but Bob Baffert’s apprentice was sharp on this occasion, crossing the third wire by just half a length against the future two-time graduated stakes winner Forbidden Kingdom . Considering Rhetoric didn’t get the cleanest trip down the stretch (and was promoted to second place via disqualification), it was an impressive effort.

Rhetoric has worked hard for his comeback run and picks up hot jockey Juan Hernandez, a 38% winner at Los Alamitos this encounter. The 89 Brisnet speed rating he posted last summer is ahead of Saturday’s pack, so unless his unraced stablemate #2 Western Cape (2-1) short big early (not out of the question), rhetoric should do the job for a short price.

Bettors might also consider choosing #3 Slow down Andy (8-5) in Race 9, the Los Alamitos Derby. Last seen fighting for a tenacious win in the Sunland Derby (G3), Slow Down Andy missed a start in the Kentucky Derby (G1) due to illness, but bounced back with some serious training in Santa Anita. Slow down Andy beat multi-stakes winner Messier in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) at this track last December and looks set to pick up another stakes victory while returning to Los Alamitos.

Good luck!