Sunday is the final day of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park, and because of that, all multi-race wagers must pay out in full. This includes the Rainbow Six, which has built itself up over the past several weeks and could boast a pool of more than $5 million by post time of the day’s sixth race.
I’ll look to ride the momentum from a very successful Saturday, where this space gave out a pair of winning Pick Four tickets (including a $6 wager that returned nearly $230!). I’ve managed to cobble together a $36 ticket for a 20-cent wager, and it’s certainly worth taking a swing given the size of the pool. I’ll go race-by-race and dissect my strategy.
RACE #6: 6, 8, 9
We start off with a maiden claiming event, and to be kind, there’s not much in the way of proven form in here. I held my nose and went three-deep; hopefully, that’s enough to get us out of the first leg.
#6 Quality A. Rod drops way down in class after two failed tries in the maiden special weight ranks. He also cuts back in distance for trainer Mike Maker, and the drop alone makes him a formidable foe. Meanwhile, #8 Do It Fast may be the main early speed in the race and ran OK two back at this level, while #9 Delta Force lost all chance at the break in his debut, sports a solid work since that outing, and adds blinkers.
RACE #7: 3
In sequences like this, you need to single at some point to keep ticket costs down. While I’m not infatuated by the horse I wound up singling here, I do like him a considerable amount, and if he doesn’t win, I have no clue who does, since the others pretty much look exactly the same.
#3 Completely Bonkers beat state-bred company two back with a huge late move and returned against unrestricted foes on February 18th. He was fifth that day, but finished just two lengths behind Delta Prince, who ran very well when second in Saturday’s Grade 3 Appleton. This is probably an easier spot, and this ultra-consistent 4-year-old is a deserving 2-1 favorite on the morning line.
RACE #8: 5, 6, 7, 9, 11
If you’ve got deeper pockets (or more than one solid single) and want to punch the “ALL” button here, go ahead and do that. For the sake of keeping my ticket cost down, I settled on going five-deep, and I really hope the morning line holds up, because some of these horses figure to be prices at post time.
My top pick is a horse taking a slight drop in class in his second start off a layoff. That’s #9 Arpinella, who showed some speed from a bad post at the $35,000 maiden claiming level before fading late. He probably needed the race, this seems like a softer spot, and the post position (while still not ideal) is at least slightly better this time around.
That’s by no means a top pick I’m highly confident about, though, and there are several others in here that could win this at a price. I’ll focus on two in particular. #5 Last Lightning was a close-up second against lesser company in his debut before stopping badly when last seen in January. However, he finally tries turf today, and this 3-year-old has the pedigree to love it. He’s by world-class turf miler Leroidesanimaux, and out of a mare named Glaire, who was a Grade 1 winner on turf in her native Brazil. That makes Last Lightning a half-brother to a horse named Exclusive Strike, whose career highlight was a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Man o’ War going long on the sod.
Additionally, #7 Sin Llorar is a first-time starter with a strong pedigree of his own. His dam was a three-time winner on turf, in addition to being a half-sister to Storm Boot, a sire of 46 stakes winners. His trainer has shown an ability to win with first-time starters, and it’s not like he’d have to be much to place well in here.
RACE #9: 6, 7
I often enjoy taking first-time starters in races where the horses that have run before haven’t shown much. In this case, my top pick is a debuting daughter of Discreetly Mine, but I couldn’t bring myself to single her in this wager.
#7 Cope has a strong series of workouts, and it’s a bit surprising to see her entered for a $12,500 tag in her unveiling. If she runs to her workouts against this group, I think she’s absolutely the one to beat. I’ll also throw in #6 Cindy’s Candy, who cuts back to 5 ½ furlongs after an OK second at this level going a mile. She was second going this distance in her debut last October, and she’d benefit from a pace meltdown up front.
RACE #10: 4, 7, 9
If there are scratches elsewhere on this ticket, expect me to add a horse or two in here. This is a very challenging $16,000 claimer on the turf, featuring many horses that have been at this level for a long time.
#4 Forall the Marbles is my top pick, due in no small part to a substantial edge in back class over the rest of this group. Many of his recent outings have come against better groups, and he drops down to this level after tiring to finish seventh against optional claiming foes. Forall the Marbles was claimed that day, his new trainer is hitting at a ridiculous 38% clip with new acquisitions, and the last time he ran at this level, he was a wire-to-wire winner here in January.
I’ll also use #7 Rock Eagle and #9 Entwistle, both of whom are in OK form and should be flying late. If there are scratches, I may also use #1 Mr. Magic or #8 Gracious Plenty, but for now, I’ll go with my first three and hope that’s enough.
RACE #11: 2, 5
If we get to this point, we’ll be two-deep for, hopefully, large stacks of cash. Sometimes, going two-deep provides a false sense of security, especially in a big field. However, in here, I’m more than happy to stop there, as I think I’ve got the class of the field on my ticket.
#5 Tiger Paw takes a big drop in class from the $30,000 claiming level for aggressive connections. He’s been competitive against much better groups in the past, but owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey are reportedly downsizing their operation, meaning aggressive spots at lower levels. I’ll also use #2 Chivalrous, who broke through last time out in his first start for a new barn with a win against non-winners-of-two company. He takes a step up in class here, but Nik Juarez stays aboard, and this one could sit a dream trip rating just off the early speed.
Here’s a look at the ticket, which, again, costs $36 for a 20-cent bet. If there are scratches, check out my Twitter feed (@AndrewChampagne) for any modifications.
Best of luck with your Rainbow Six ticket!