Get ready, horseplayers! A $1,066,989 Rainbow Pick 6 carryover is scheduled for mandatory dispersal on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The Rainbow 6 spans Race 6 through Race 11, a sequence containing 63 horses. As far as Pick 6s go, this one looks fairly manageable to handicap, though the sheer size of the pool should ensure solid payoffs even if a handful of favorites prevail. On Dec. 19, the dispersal of an $839,335 Rainbow 6 carryover produced a final pool in excess of $5.3 million, with each winning bettor receiving $7,363.64.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 pool could grow even larger, so let’s play the sequence on a ~$40 budget and try to win a piece of the action:
Race 6: $20,000 Claiming (5 furlongs on turf, 2:44 p.m. ET)
Speed tends to be dominant in 5-furlong turf sprints at Gulfstream, so we have to respect #2 Sweetsweetsweet (7-2), who recently finished third over this course, class, and distance after setting fast fractions of :21.70 and :44.15.
But #7 Shikaka (9-2) finished ahead of Sweetsweetsweet on that occasion, rallying after a troubled start to gain the runner-up spot. New York shipper #4 Henni Penny (4-1) and the consistent #6 La Cara Bonita (5-2) are also capable of challenging on their best day, so we’ll use these four to kick off the Rainbow 6.
Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (1 mile, 3:15 p.m. ET)
This competitive maiden race for 3-year-olds has come up deep, so we’ll spread with the Todd Pletcher trainees #2 First Task (9-2) and #5 Bracken (7-2); the Chad Brown runners #6 Sound Money (4-1) and #11 Rosenquist (5-1); the stoutly bred #12 Manitowish (15-1); and #3 Simovitch (6-1), who finished second over this track and distance on Dec. 12.
Race 8: $40,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (5 furlongs on turf, 3:46 p.m. ET)
Three-time stakes winner #6 Big Drink of Water (7-2) ran huge off a long layoff on Dec. 17 at Gulfstream, dominating a $35,000 claiming race by 3 1/2 lengths. Blazing splits of :21.21 and :43.95 failed to faze Big Drink of Water, who won the 5-furlong turf sprint in a swift :55.72.
Trainer Larry Rivelli has gone 2-for-5 (40%) at Gulfstream this meet and wins at a lofty 32% rate with horses running back for the second time off a layoff. If Big Drink of Water repeats his last effort, he’ll be tough (or maybe impossible?) to catch.
Race 9: $16,000 Starter Allowance (7 furlongs, 4:17 p.m. ET)
#4 Town Classic (5-2) is the morning line favorite after finishing second in four straight races, including the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit S. But his 46-6-18-8 overall record suggests this 8-year-old gelding is more inclined to settle for second than battle his way to the winner’s circle.
We’ll back up Town Classic with #1 Secret Touch (3-1), who ships in from California for trainer Bob Hess. Runner-up for a $32,000 claiming tag two starts back, Secret Touch most recently finished third behind next-out San Antonio (G2) winner Kiss Today Goodbye in an allowance optional claiming race at Del Mar. Saturday’s field looks like an easier spot.
Race 10: Tropical Turf (G3, 1 mile on turf, 4:49 p.m. ET)
With #6 Analyze It (2-1) expected to scratch, we’ll strongly favor #3 Ride a Comet (5-1) and #5 Frostmourne (9-2). Both are graded stakes-winning turf routers in hot form, and they bring contrasting running styles to the mix. Frostmourne’s speed should play well since there isn’t much pace in the Tropical Turf field, but we’ll use both equally for the Pick 6.
Race 11: $25,000 Maiden Claiming (1 mile on turf, 5:21 p.m. ET)
#2 Time Sensitive (7-2) finished second for a $40,000 claiming tag over this course, class, and distance in September. #9 Smarty Queen (4-1) achieved the same feat in October. They appear well-spotted to vie for victory while dropping in class and picking up hot jockeys Luis Saez and Irad Ortiz, respectively.
Race 6, $0.20 Rainbow Pick 6: 2,4,6,7 with 2,3,5,6,11,12 with 6 with 1,4 with 3,5 with 2,9 ($38.40)