by Brian Nadeau
January 5, 2018
It doesn’t take long in sunny (though very, very cold) South Florida for a jackpot to build, and as I write this late Wednesday night, the elusive Rainbow 6 jackpot at Gulfstream Park is approaching a carryover in excess of $1 million. With that in mind, let’s take out first shot at the bet this year, though it surely won’t be our last.
*** If you’re not familiar with the Rainbow 6, it’s a simple concept, but one that has brought a ton of excitement to Gulfstream the past several years, and for good reason, as it allows the bettor to chase a huge score, while also allowing some of us to put in a modest ticket in the hopes of a solid, if hardly spectacular, payoff. I fall in the latter, and will routinely play the best in the $40-$100 range, in the hopes of turning that into $800-$1,000. The bet itself is a 20-cent base minimum and the entire pool only gets paid out if there is one individual winner. If there are multiple winners, then 30% of the new money goes into the jackpot (carryover), while 70% of the new money is paid out to the wining tickets. ***
Race 5: 35k MCL for 3yos going 5 furlongs on the turf
It looks like a bit of a spread race to start off, as the proven runners don’t really inspire but are hard to separate, while first-time starter #6 SCRIBE will likely go favored. If the money shows on this Ward runner you can get bold and single, or at least key him, but the barn is off to slow 0-for-9 start at the meet and I’d like a little coverage to start things. So I’ll also use #1 BRAG DUDE, who needs pace help but really woke up cutting back to a turf sprint last time; #8 TENKOZ, who was dreadful in a trio of main starts on the dirt but does drop from the MSW ranks and gets Irad Ortiz; and #5 BLUE CHIP PROSPECT, who has been 2nd in three straight dirt starts and has Jose Ortiz up for his turf debut.
Rainbow 6 horses (listed in order or preference): 6-1-8-5
Race 6: 30k N3L for 4up going 6 furlongs
Another spread race where anyone with a big bankroll might hit the all-ball and hope for chaos, as it looks like it could happen. I can’t afford to go that deep, but I will use five of the seven, as #2 IZZZY THE WARRIOR should improve second-off the long layoff; #6 BORDINI was just a good 4th in a very fast race for the level; #3 VISIONARY RULER figures the inside speed for Navarro; #5 ATIZAPAN will be pressing the whole way and will get first run; and #4 MY FRIEND has dreadful recent form but does get Irad Ortiz and is 3-for-7 over the track and 0-for-9 everywhere else.
Rainbow 6 horses: 2-6-3-5-4
Race 7: 50k MCL for 4up going 6 ½ furlongs
We can’t go four and five-deep all day, but the good news is this looks like a spot to narrow down a bit, as #7 FLORIDA COTTON and #2 RIDE ON FAITH seem to get all the best of it here over a weak field, especially since they both take the biggest drop in racing and leave the MSW ranks for MCL foes. Both horses will relish the return to the main track after weak turf runs, have the speed to be close throughout and meet a group with a lot more questions than answers.
Rainbow 6 horses: 7-2
Race 8: 30k N3L for 4upfm going 6 furlongs
Every Rainbow 6 usually needs a single, or your ticket will be too big to be in the range we’re looking for, and we’ve got one in #7 MURRAY’S GIRL, who is by no means a lock, but seems best of a weak group, especially since she drew the perfect attack post for her pressing style. She did blow a big late lead last time, but the slight cutback will help, and the fact she drew outside means she shouldn’t have to do the dirty work on the lead today.
Rainbow 6 horse: 7
Race 9: 50k MCL for 3yo fillies going 7 ½ furlongs on the turf
A tough heat where we could have another Ward firster going favored, as #3 LA PIU BELLA has worked swiftly for this, drew well and doesn’t meet much, but winning at two turns on debut is never easy, so while I’ll use her, others rank higher. The list starts with #5 POINTEDLEE, who immediately goes to the turf after a middling 5th in her dirt debut, should love the green, as he’s by Point of Entry, and will relish the drop from the MSW ranks too. You can say all the same for #2 MISS ALIPHANT, who started twice on the dirt in NY against tons better and could really wake up here, especially if she shakes loose with the blinkers going on today. You have to use #1 CLOSE THE DEAL too, as she actually has some proven turf form, some speed, and has Irad Ortiz too, so if the above trio doesn’t like the green, she’ll be tough.
Rainbow 6 horses: 5-2-1-3
Race 10: 16k/N1x for 4up Florida breds going 7 ½ furlongs on the turf
If we’re fortunate enough to be alive in the finale, having a bit of coverage would be beneficial, so I’m going to use three of them, though you could make a case for three more too. It was pretty obvious #5 MATANZAS INLET needed his last, as it came off a 14-month layoff and he broke from the far outside post going a mile, which is the kiss of death, and the fact Jose Ortiz is named today says it’s go-time, so I’m expecting a big move forward. Todd Pletcher doesn’t claim many anymore, but he dips back in for #4 DRIVEN BY THUNDER, and for his original owner Mike Repole too, and I’m a huge sucker for the re-claim, so he’s a must-use. But there’s a lot more than just that angle, as his two turf runs—both with Pletcher—would be good enough to win this. It’s tough to knock #1 THORISTIC, and he drew best of all too, so he’s another who has to be used for a very sharp Dibona barn. I’m going to play against #7 Without Remorse, #8 Salute the Colonel and #9 Mai Ty One On, as, even though they all could win, their draws are horrible, as it’s a huge negative when you draw wide at this (silly) distance on the turf.
Rainbow 6 horses: 5-4-1-7
Race 5: 1, 5, 6, 8
Race 6: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Race 7: 2, 7
Race 8: 7
Race 9: 1, 2, 3, 5
Race 10: 1, 4, 5, 7
Ticket Cost: $128.00