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Seattle Handicapper Nails 181K FG Pick 5

Headlines for Friday, December 26, 2008

  • Seattle Handicapper Nails 181K FG Pick 6
  • Theriot Takes Four Winner's Circle Trips Sunday
  • Autrey Saddles Sunday Triple
  • Jockey John Jacinto Getting Hot Again


Seattle Handicapper Nails 181K FG Pick 6

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The upsets were coming.  It was looking like another day of no perfect tickets in Fair Grounds' Pick 6 and what would have been a $181,000 carryover into Friday's card.

But 41-year-old Jay Freeborne, an accountant from Seattle playing Monday's Fair Grounds program on TwinSpires.com, earned himself a pretty good pre-holiday present by holding the only perfect ticket at day's end and taking down a record Fair Grounds Pick 6 payoff of $181,210 in the process.

"This is my mother of all scores - no doubt about it," said Freeborne, who has  hit Pick 4 tickets in excess of $8,000 "about 10 times," but nothing in the neighborhood of Monday's payoff.

Freeborne cited a rider change in the ninth race - the fourth leg of the Pick 6 - that occurred when Patrick Valenzuela was off his mounts as the key to hitting the jackpot.

"The key was the rider change in to (John) Jacinto," Freeborne said Monday night of the change of rider on Pegasus Stables' Leesville.  "When that happened, I included (Leesville)."

Leesville's upset in the Louisiana-bred allowance race - he paid $54.60 to win and was the longest shot in the field of nine - eliminated just about every live ticket remaining, except Freeborne.  Going into the fifth leg, seven live tickets remained and Freeborne had six of them, with three horses, including 11-1 winner Sharbat, in the 10th race and the 1-2 finishers, Dynamite Babe and Bienhereaux, in the 11th.

Freeborne spent "about $600" on eight different tickets.  His winning ticket was $216 and included just one "single" - the Tom Amoss-trained Snow Delicious in the eighth race.

"I've been a Pick 4 guy for a while," Freeborne said.  "I just rekindled my interest in the Pick 6.  I like Fair Grounds a lot.  When it carried over again Sunday, I decided to devote myself (Sunday night) to the Daily Racing Form and Brisnet."

Theriot Takes Four Winner's Circle Trips Sunday

Jockey Jamie Theriot, who captured his first-ever Fair Grounds riding title last season, made a significant move to threaten for the top spot Sunday when he posted a four-win afternoon.

Theriot took the opener aboard Spare Change Stable's Primetime Princess for Cody Autrey, came back to the winner's circle again in the seventh with Moran Racing Stable's Classy Deelites for conditioner Howard Alonzo, made it two in a row with Kent Hunter and Kevin Kordsmeier's Extra Exclusive for Autrey, and came back in the 10th with the Autrey-owned and trained Island Warrior.

"We were on some live horses," Theriot said.  "It feels great to get an opportunity to ride good horses. 

"It was nice to win the riding title last year, and it would be nice to win it again," Theriot added, "but there's a long way to go until the end of the meet, and if I could finish in the top three with all these good riders we have here now - I'd be happy."

Autrey Saddles Sunday Triple

Trainer Cody Autrey contested for leading trainer honors at Fair Grounds last season before being swallowed up by Steve Asmussen, who went on to become the first trainer to average more than a win a day at last winter's meet.

 However, Autrey saddled three winners Sunday to briefly take the lead with 17 trips to winner's circle before Asmussen caught him again after Monday's third race.

The dueling duo remained in that tie throughout Fair Grounds' holiday break, and prior to the resumption of Fair Grounds racing Friday, Autrey was asked to evaluate his chances for leading trainer honors.

"We can maybe hang on for about a month or a month and a half," said Autrey, "but that's about it.  He (Asmussen) just has too many bullets.

"It was nice to get those three wins Sunday," Autrey said. "I wasn't sure they could all win, but I wanted them all to run good and they did.

Jockey John Jacinto Getting Hot Again

Jockey John Jacinto was just finding his stride locally last season when a shoulder injury on Jan. 26 ended his Fair Grounds season.

However, once again this season, he is starting to pick up the pace.  The Lima, Peru, native rode three winners Sunday, two Monday (including the $54.60 win aboard Leesville) and two more on the first half of Friday's card (he had no scheduled mounts for the remainder of the Friday program).

Jacinto's three consecutive multi-win days improved his win total to 18, good for fourth in the rider standings behind Francisco Torres, James Graham and Theriot.

Jacinto was tied for fifth in the jockey standings when he was thrown under the rail in the stretch while aboard first-time starter All Boy.