03/25/2016 5:09PM

CristBlog: GP Rainbow Six 3/26/16


[Update, Monday 3/28: The commenting function is now functional.]

Saturday, 7:15 pm: Fourth choice Appa ($14.20) won the finale at Gulfstream to cap a Rainbow Six that paid $89,456.54 to 147 winners.

If that doesn't sound like enough for four double-digit winners and six losing favorites, remember that it's a 20-cent and not a $2 payoff. The $2 win parlay of the six winners amounted to $211,256, and the $2 Rainbow payoff (not that anyone had it 10 times) was effectively $894,565.

Yes I used all six winners and no I didn't have it, as I did not put Rose's Dancer and Bibbo on the same ticket. It's frustrating to have four A's come in, including a pair of 6-1 shots, but AACCAA doesn't get you there. Instead, I ended up with six 5-of-6's, good for absolutely nothing but tax deductions if I go on to have a profitable year.

It was, however, a whole lot of fun. I wish they'd have a mandatory payout once a month.

Saturday, 6:25 pm: Bill Mott sent out his third winner in the Rainbow 6 when Harmonize ($6.00) was up late to nail 28-1 Rontos Lily and win the Sanibel Island Handicap. Mott also saddled Mighty Mo and Bibbo to earlier victories on the card.

There was a long inquiry following the race that did not involve the winner. Rontos Lily came over on Shake Down Baby in midstretch, forcing her to the inside, which completely stopped the oncoming Sky My Sky. Rontos Lily was ultimately disqualified and placed 7th behind Sky My Sky, elevating Shake Down Baby from 3rd to 2nd and 9-5 favorite Lira from 4th to 3rd.

Harmonize, the lone graded-stakes winner in the field of 11 3-year-old fillies, was making her first start since running 7th as the second choice in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Her victory whittled the number of live Rainbow tickets down to 1,435. No willpays posted yet.

Saturday, 5:50 pm: Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. If you have to get knocked out, better to whiff than lose a photo: My trio ran 3-4-5 behind a pair of C's, 8-1 6th choice Bibbo($18.80) and 27-1 Telling Tony, and it wasn't particularly close. They accounted for a $515 exacta.

This thing is going to pay very, very well. Just 5,000 or so combos alive with two 11-horse fields to go.

It does not appear that there are 5-of-6 consolation payouts when there is a mandatory payout unless no one picks six. According to an archived set of Rainbow 6 rules that once appeared on the Gulfstream website -- the current "Rules" page is blank -- it says that "Should the Rainbow 6 carryover be designated for distribution on a specific date, the unique wager provision of this Rule shall be suspended, and the entire pool shall be distributed as a single price pool to those whose selection finished first in the greatest number of Rainbow 6 contests." (Emphasis added.)

Saturday, 5:15 pm: Tough beat if you needed Prime Time Tommy, the third straight favorite to run second in the Rainbow 6. The 8-5 choice was slammed coming out of the gate from the inside post, fell back to 12th in a field of 13, then rallied past 10 of them but missed catching sixth choice Rose's Dancer($31.80).

I'm alive by only a thread and on one ticket (Sub 9) -- 3,6,11/4,6/3,5,7,11 -- but the payoff ought to be okay if I can crawl the rest of the way home. The pick-3 on the first half of the Rainbow 6 paid $2,213.80 for $2.

The number of live combos went from 1.1 million to 44,228; I have 24 of them.

Saturday, 4:45 pm: Deer Dog ($15.80), beaten just a neck in his only other turf race, squeezed through at the rail and outfinished 9-5 favorite Great Attack by half a length to win the second leg of the Rainbow 6. Deer Dog, 12-1 on the morning line, went off at half that price as the 5th choice in a field of 11.

Live combos down from 9.6 million to 1,108,431, which means 97.5 percent of the combos are already dead. With two A's home, I've got 586 of the live ones.

Saturday, 4:15 pm: Making his first start since August at Saratoga, 3-1 second choice Mighty Mo ($8.60) held off 6-5 favorite Sir Dudley Digges to win a formful opening leg of the Rainbow 6. The winner drifted a bit nearing the wire and the favorite appeared to check momentarily, but there was no foul claim or inquiry. The winner, who made his debut under Todd Pletcher's training, is now handled by Bill Mott, who also saddled first-timer Love and Care to run fourth.

Gulfstream announced that there are still 9,643,000 combinations alive. With a handle of $10.8 million today, at 20 cents per combo, that means there were 54 million combos to start. So look at it optimistically: 82 percent of the combos are already dead!

Saturday, 3:55 pm: With an alleged three minutes to post, $10 million has been bet on the Rainbow 6, on top of the $4.5 million carryover.

Saturday, 3:20 pm: Ticket time. I made a 7-ticket play for $2,114, with a primary ticket (think all-A's-and-B's) for $1,250, and six single backup tickets (think 5 A's and 1 C) that totalled $864. Each vertical column below is a separate ticket, and I'll boldface (any) winners as we go:

The Rainbow sequence was supposed to start at 3:35 pm, but I took the over for my first winner of the day: The 6th race did not go off until 3:18 so you've probably got until at least 3:50 to get your tickets in.

Saturday 2:45 pm: The second and third grass races on the Gulfstream card were pretty logical, with 5-1 third choice Zipi Zape closing late to nail pace-pressing 2-1 favorite Soul Man in the 4th, and 2-1 Giant Run holding off 5-2 Highland Sky to win the 5th, the $75k Cutler Bay. The posted times for the 4th were surprisingly slow -- 49.91, 1:14.10 and a final time of 1:44.31 for a mile and a sixteenth. In teh Cutler Bay, Giant Run ran the mile in 1:34.74, a better fit with the race #1 time of 1:47.69 for a mile and an eighth. In any case, with two favored front-runners and a plausible deep closer winning the three grass races, it seems as if the course is pretty fair.

Saturday, 2:30 pm: If you needed any reminder that there are no sure things at the racetrack (besides takeout and taxes): Constellation just ran last of four as the 1-to-10 favorite in the Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct. She took $456,617 of a $480,028 place pool, setting up wild payoffs of $21.80 to win and $50.50 to place on the victorious Lost Raven, and $36.00 to place on runner-up Takrees. There was no show betting. Surveillance has been stepped up on area bridges.

Saturday 2:15: Ed Vomacka, the racing secretary at Mahoning Valley and Belterra Park, was first to write in with the correct answer to the non-rhetorical question in the last post: Animal Kingdom was the last 3-year-old champion to race as a 5-year-old. Before him, it was Funny Cide.

Saturday, 1:30 pm: I didn't have a root or a bet in the Dubai World Cup, but hurray for California Chrome and trainers Art and Alan Sherman. When's the last time a former 3-year-old champion male was even still racing as a 5-year-old? (That's not a rhetorical question. Email me if you know the answer.) It's also much easier to root for him now that some of his original connections have faded out of the picture after mismanaging him during a winless 2015.

Saturday, 12:45 pm: They just ran the opener at Gulfstream, the first of two grass races before the Rainbow 6 begins, and it looks like the course is still legitimately firm despite yesterday's thunderstorms. Lucky Kitten, the 2-5 favorite, led a field of $16k claimers all the way and won by daylight through nine furlongs in 1:47.69. Dust was still being kicked up around the first turn. (While Gulfstream turf fractions are regarded by many as works of fiction, for what they're worth the reported fractions were 23.80, 47.47, 1:11.16 and 1:35.26.)

Saturday, 11:30 am: Happy Dubai World Cup Day, Louisiana Derby Day and, if you're reading this, a very happy Gulfstream Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout Day. Welcome back to CristBlog, which returns after 18 months on the sidelines. Unfortunately the commenting function is not operational, but if I make some hideous mistake you feel obliged to correct or have a burning question, you can email me at scrist@drf.com and I'll try to address it here.

As of 11:45, it's fast and firm at Gulfstream with no rain in the updated forecast. For those of you trying to shave down your tickets, the good news is that 14 of the 82 entrants in the six Rainbow races have been scratched, the less good news being that most of them were horses you probably weren't going to use anyway.

I've updated the worksheet at the very bottom of this page to reflect the scratches, which leave fields of 11, 11, 13, 11, 11 and 11. That multiplies out to a mere 12,093,663 possible combinations. At 20 cents a throw, it would cost $418,732.60 to lock it up. Shave it down to 8 horses in each race and you can cut the cost to $52,428. My own plan is to put in something closer to $2,000.


Friday, 6 pm: Gulfstream’s Rainbow Six jackpot lives for another day – but only one.

With only 38 starters in the last six races on Friday’s card, there wasn’t much chance that the Rainbow 6 was going to be hit by a single winner one day before the mandatory payout on Saturday’s card. It looked a little more possible after the first two winners in the sequence paid $16.80 and $26.40, but then winners at 7-2, 4-1 and 1-2 ensured there were no lone jackpot tickets alive heading into the finale. There will be a carryover of $4,503,332.50 into tomorrow, and the pool will finally be paid out after 52 straight cards where it carried over.

This is the second largest carryover since the bet started five years ago. It grew to $6.39 million going into the May 25, 2014 Gulfstream card, just one day before a scheduled mandatory payout. Then the owner and horseplayer Dan Borislow caught everyone napping in anticipation of the next day, playing a $15,206.40 (76,032 combinations) ticket that used four horses in one race and “all” in the other five. While everyone else was doing his homework for the next card, Borislow took down $6.6 million.

With no one spoiling the fun by pulling a Borislow this year, the pool could climb over the $10 million mark tomorrow. (The previous record one-day handle on the bet as $5.67 million last April 25.)

There will be plenty of whale-sized bettors and syndicates investing $10,000 or more, but the bet makes sense for players with bankrolls of all sizes in a way that traditional $2 Pick Sixes rarely do. Due to the huge carryover of free money, and the 20-cent minimum bet that gives smaller players far more coverage than they can get in a $2 Pick Six, a series of non-chaotic results could well produce a massively overlaid payoff.

Five of tomorrow’s six Rainbow races are scheduled for the turf, all at a mile or less, and it’s worth keeping an eye on the weather. Friday afternoon thunderstorms led to a 55-minute gap between the 4th and 5th races and drove the afternoon’s three remaining turf races onto a sloppy main track. (There was another weather delay just before the 9th.) The forecast for tomorrow calls for only a 10 percent chance of more rain, and the previously parched grass course should be useable.

Below are my preliminary thoughts on each of the six races, followed by a cheat sheet listing each entrant’s morning-line odds, his last-out Beyer Speed Figure, and his highest career BSF on today’s surface (dirt or turf, not necessarily Gulfstream’s.) You can print out the worksheet by going to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HIXkN5aKpfSjD-DZyEQ0TAU9e5SuZP-Bvm2i-PsoPKQ/pubhtml?gid=0&single=true.

The mandatory-payout Rainbow 6 starts with the 7th race, scheduled to go off at 3:35 pm (I’ll take the over.) I’ll be posting my tickets around 3 p.m. and then liveblogging the sequence until its joyful or bitter conclusion.


RACE 7: The opening leg, where 14 are entered to go 7 ½ furlongs on the turf, has the lowest-odds morning-line favorite in the sequence: 9-5 Sir Dudley Digges, beaten just a neck at this level last time out and with two turf Beyers that lay over the field. On a card with few prospective singles, some may choose to lean on him, but he’s 0 for 5 and usually loses ground in the final yards. There are several appealing alternatives including second-time starters from Christophe Clement (Fastnet Latina) and Bill Mott (Mighty Mo), a dangerous-looking firster from Mark Casse (Royal Sniper), and second-off-a-layoff Horner Man. Derby Champagne is competitive but needs to draw in from the also-eligible list.

RACE 8: There’s plenty of form in this five-furlong turf sprint for older $16k claimer: The 14 entrants have combined to make 353 career starts. The 9-year-old Great Attack, a G3 winner who ran 4th and 5th in a couple of Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprints, is the 2-1 favorite off a victory at this level January 21. He’s the class of the field but he hasn’t notched back-to-back victories since 2010 and is 3 for his last 22. Contention runs deep, including Noble Prince, Red Fever, Little Baker and Texas Rustler, all of whom have won on this course and distance with similar speed figures.

RACE 9:  The lone dirt race in the sequence, for $12.5k maiden claimers at seven furlongs, has a legit favorite in Prime Time Tommy, who has the field’s top Beyer off a second-place finish at 7-to-10 in a one-mile version of this race March 3. He’s 0 for 9 but rest of the field is 0 for 111. Mr. Coupons looks next best and the lightly-raced class-droppers Upperton and World Leader are dangerous.

RACE 10: The first of three one-mile grass races that end the card is a starter allowance/optional claimer for $35k 3-year-olds. All qualify under the starter conditions and none is in for a tag. The four fastest horses are dropping out of a pair of tougher races than this – El Ciclon and Parmel Landing ran 2nd and 4th in a $50k version of this race March 11, and Copingaway and Decisionsdecisions faced better running third and fourth in a restricted stakes race Feb. 15.

RACE 11: This might be the place to narrow, as two of the 12 3-year-old fillies in the $75k Sanibel Island Stakes appear to tower over the competition: Harmonize, a G3 winner who was not raced since finishing 7th as the 9-2 second choice in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Lira, whose lone loss in four career starts came last time out to Catch a Glimpse,  winner of the BCJFT. The likely third choice is Sky My Sky, who earned a competitive figure with a front-running maiden victory last out. It’s a long way back to the rest.

RACE 12: They saved the most chaotic for last: a subpar crew of 3-year-old $25k maiden claimers, with six of them trying turf for the first time. The two saving graces are that only one of the 16 is a first-time starter, and that about half of them have run so poorly that they appear incapable of winning a race. Good luck sorting through the other half. This is a race so dismal that the morning-line favorite, Little Chuck, is 0 for 6, fades in the stretch every time, and has a discoraging pedigree for his grass debut. Use as many as you can afford.

Here’s that worksheet. I’ll be back by 3 p.m. Saturday. Apologies that the commenting function does not seem to be working.