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The Anatomy of a Carryover

When Face The Fire won the final race on November 20, paying $3.80 as the odds-on favorite, it came with little fanfare—never mind the equipment problems jockey Inez Karlsson had in the process of victory—it was, in fact, just a race. The Pick Six, however, had an embryo; dare I say a sad-looking egg with a price tag of $869.

The following day, Whatsontap ended the racing day a 5-2 winner, but the Pick Six had attracted only a few fresh dollars and thus became a two-day carryover with just over $1,000 in the till; a bigger egg, but still an egg.

You might have already guessed, the Hawthorne Pick Six has not reached the masses (yet) like it has in New York and California. A typical two-day carryover at Santa Anita or Hollywood would almost certainly be in the six-figure range, but alas, I digress.

After the last race on November 29, seven racing days since conception, the Pick Six had reached $4,308. That day a horse named Hangover Cure ($74.60) helped contribute to the maturation process.

On December 7, the Pick Six had developed features recognizable to the bigger player. The carryover had five figures ($11,491), and a growth pattern in line with normal development. An ultrasound would have revealed strong bones and early signs of potential.

One week later on December 14, our exotic’s child had $26,298 and visitors from around the nation were beginning to inquire about possible adoption. The out-of-towners were encouraged to place multiple bids with an occasional single. If our baby were to truly grow, these new players would need to be the proverbial seeds.

On Friday December 19, there was $59,236 worth of reasons to participate in the Pick Six bonanza, as the nation began to realize the magnitude of our carryover. But Dangerous Gal, a 126-1 shot in the first leg of the Pick Six, eliminated the majority of donors and our baby had yet to find a suitable home.

The Pick Six began the Saturday program with $96,932. That was a Hawthorne Race Course record, and at this point, the payout was long past its scheduled delivery date. The Television Games Network hyped the event, and humans who had never heard of that place called Hawthorne were suddenly well acquainted with our ten-race card.

There were $193,000 added to the Pick Six that day, but Mother Hawthorne pushed and pushed to no avail, as longshot after longshot thwarted the delivery process. And although the favorite won the final race of the Pick Six sequence—ridden by none other than Inez Karlsson—the Pick Six had become a man.

When racing resumed on Friday, December 26, the Pick Six had a carryover of $227,137. Whether or not it was hit, is of no concern, as all we ever wanted was for our baby to reach healthy standards. Will we ever produce another of its kind? Who knows? But it sure was fun watching our child grow.

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