Churchill Downs: A single for the Oct. 29 Single 6 carryover

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

October 29th, 2020

Even with an afternoon of upsets Wednesday at Churchill Downs, the Single 6 jackpot went unclaimed yet again, which triggered a $48,980 carryover for Thursday’s 10-race card.

The key to claiming the jackpot is to hold the only winning combination on the day. It's a tricky task, since the 20-cent minimum bet amount makes it possible to cover a wide variety of outcomes on a reasonable budget.

Still, payoffs can be lucrative, even without nabbing the full prize. The Wednesday sequence (which featured six winners at 10-1 or less, including five non-favorites) returned a hefty $12,708.94.

It’s tempting to spread deep, with lots of longshots, in Thursday’s sequence and hope for a similar (or even better) payoff. But to make the task affordable, we’ll have to take a stand in at least one race.

Most bettors will turn to Race 6 (the kickoff leg of the sequence), where Kentucky Derby (G1) veteran #1 Attachment Rate (7-5) is a clear favorite against just five rivals. But with #4 Guided Missile (6-1) looming as a well-bred and lightly raced alternative, I’d be hesitant to rely too heavily on Attachment Rate at a short price.

Race 7 is a more appealing spot to take a stand. Rain has forced the transfer of all turf races to the main track, which simplifies the handicapping for this 5 1/2-furlong maiden race for 2-year-old fillies. With the scratch of key contender #8 Risky Reward (4-1), Race 7 looks ripe for conquest by #1 Train to Artemus (4-1), a Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred trained by Wesley Ward.

Ward is renowned for his skill at conditioning juvenile sprinters, and Train to Artemus certainly showed promise in her debut, when she opened up a daylight lead in a 6 1/2-furlong dash at Kentucky Downs and succumbed in the final furlong to finish third.

The pace Train to Artemus set was legitimately fast (it produced Brisnet E1 and E2 Pace ratings of 98 and 101), and runner-up Miss Adeline proved the quality of the race when she returned to win her next start.

I’m optimistic Train to Artemus will secure a maiden victory of her own with the cut back to 5 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs. The switch to dirt shouldn't be an issue, since Train to Artemus is a daughter of Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Tapizar, who sires a solid 14% winners in the mud.

Jockey Gerardo Corrales (a 22% winner this year) has retained the mount, so if you’re looking for a single in the Single 6, Train to Artemus is an appealing choice at a fair price.

Good luck!